About the National Archives

About the National Archives

Of all documents and materials created in the course of business conducted by the United States Federal government, only 1%-3% are so important for legal or historical reasons that they are kept by us forever.

Those valuable records are preserved and are available to you, whether you want to see if they contain clues about your family’s history, need to prove a veteran’s military service, or are researching an historical topic that interests you. Learn more

Spotlight on National Archives History

National Archives & Records Administration 20th 1986-2005The National Archives and Records Administration became an independent federal agency in 1985. Learn about how the archives came into independence in a video panel discussion about our journey.

Prologue: NARA's Quarterly Magazine

Current Issue:

Woman in migrant camp Archival Vintages for The Grapes of Wrath
Who were the real people behind Tom Joad and all the others in the John Steinbeck's classic novel of the Great Depression?
Camp David sign Camp David
For 70 years, Presidents and their families have enjoyed this idyllic retreat in the Maryland mountains.
Revolutionary War soldier Escorting a Presidency into History
When a President leaves office, the National Archives is standing by to take custody of his records, which will help determine how history treats him.

Legendary Archivist John Taylor Dies at 87

John E. Taylor, an archivist at NARA for 63 years and a legend among those researching World War II and postwar intelligence activities, died September 20, 2008 at his home. He was 87.

Calendar of Events


Experience the National Archives

Join us for an exhibit, film, lecture, or book signing and more.
More events

From the Archivist

Allen Weinstein

  • Who is the Archivist?
    Allen Weinstein is the ninth Archivist of the United States, the head of the agency, appointed by the President of the United States.
    Please note: resignation effective December 19, 2008.

    Adrienne Thomas
    Effective December 20, 2008, Acting Archivist Adrienne Thomas.

  • Allen Weinstein

  • Speeches & Writings
    Writings from Allen Weinstein, Ninth Archivist of the United States.

  • Allen Weinstein

  • Conversations
    A series of informal interviews on American history and identity with notable scholars.
Help Us Recover Lost and Stolen Documents
Doing Business With the National Archives
Visit an Online Exhibit

The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration
8601 Adelphi Road, College Park, MD 20740-6001
Telephone: 1-86-NARA-NARA or 1-866-272-6272