Repository:The National Archives (United States)

Repository The National Archives (United States)
Postal Address The National Archives and Records Administration
8601 Adelphi Road
College Park, MD 20740-6001
Place United States

the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) is an independent agency of the United States government charged with the preservation and documentation of government and historical records. It is also tasked with increasing public access to those documents which make up the National Archive. NARA is officially responsible for maintaining and publishing the legally authentic and authoritative copies of acts of Congress, presidential directives, and federal regulations. NARA also transmits votes of the Electoral College to Congress. It also examines Electoral College and Constitutional amendment ratification documents for prima facie legal sufficiency and an authenticating signature.

The National Archives, and its publicly exhibited Charters of Freedom, which include the original United States Declaration of Independence, United States Constitution, United States Bill of Rights, and many other historical documents, is headquartered in the National Archives Building in Washington, D.C.

From the National Archives website:

Each year, our staff serves our visitors billions of letters, photographs, video and audio recordings, drawings, maps, treaties, posters, and other items that we have preserved. The materials are not for loan to the public, as a library loans material; they are protected, but are available for you to use in-person at our facilities and affiliated archives.

Online access to archival databases is available -- see Repository:National Archives - Access to Archival Databases (United States).


What is available from the National Archives?

You can visit National Archives locations nationwide to:[1]

  • View exhibits of historical records and presidential papers:
  • The Public Vaults and the Charters of Freedom (the Declaration of Independence, The Constitution, and the Bill of Rights), located in Washington, D.C.
  • Exhibits about American Presidents (each one since Herbert Hoover) in our Presidential libraries.
  • Records of local importance to geographical regions of America in our regional facilities.
  • Request records for your examination in our research rooms. Please note: Records are located in specific facilities.
  • Attend public programs, including film presentations, workshops, and lectures. See our Washington D.C. Calendar of Events. For events around the country, see the calendars for each National Archives facility.
  • Review proposed Federal rules and regulations at the Federal Register, which is part of the National Archives and is located in Washington, D.C.

Who Uses the National Archives and Why?

Most people who come to the National Archives to conduct research are genealogists or family historians. They are trying to find information about their ancestors in order to fill in their family tree or write a family history. They use census records to learn people's names, ages, and who lived where, when. They check passenger arrival lists from boats that originated in Europe to prove when an immigrant landed in the United States. Genealogists also often look at military service records, as well as land, naturalization, and passport records, and more.

In addition to conducting this research at the National Archives Building in Washington, DC, the Regional Archives also have most of the main genealogical-related records on microfilm as well.

Usage notes

The National Archives website offers little genealogical content, but it has information on how to effectively use the physical holdings.[2]

Notes and references

  1. Information on different locations is reported at
  2. Information on how to use the Archives is organized to facilitate use of particular archival locations; see for more information.
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