Research at the National Archives

Why aren’t all Federal Archived Records Online?

The volume of materials—paper-based, electronic, and sound and video recordings—is huge.

  • Laid end to end, the sheets of paper in our holdings would circle the Earth over 57 times!

In addition to all of this paper, we have:

  • over 93,000 motion picture films;
  • more than 5.5 million maps, charts, and architectural drawings;
  • more than 207,000 sound and video recordings;
  • more than 18 million aerial photographs;
  • nearly 35 million still pictures and posters;
  • and more than 3.5 billion electronic records.

The volume grows at about 1.4 billion pages per year, again not including electronic data and other media. Creating copies for our web site, and preserving those copies, exceeds our resources at this time.

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