In the United States, the National Archives facilities are facilities and buildings housing the research and agency services of the country's National Archives and Records Administration. Within the organization of the National Archives, the upkeep of its facilities falls under the National Archives Facilities and Property Management Office.
The National Archives Building, known informally as Archives I, located north of the National Mall on Constitution Avenue in Washington, D.C., opened as its original headquarters in 1935. It holds the original copies of the three main formative documents of the United States and its government: the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights. It also hosts a copy of the 1297 Magna Carta confirmed by Edward I.These are displayed to the public in the main chamber of the National Archives, which is called the Rotunda for the Charters of Freedom. The National Archives Building also exhibits other important American historical documents such as the Louisiana Purchase Treaty, the Emancipation Proclamation, and collections of photography and other historically and culturally significant American artifacts.
Once inside the Rotunda for the Charters of Freedom, there are no lines to see the individual documents and visitors are allowed to walk from document to document as they wish. For over 30 years the National Archives have forbidden flash photography but the advent of cameras with automatic flashes have made the rules increasingly difficult to enforce. As a result, all filming, photographing, and videotaping by the public in the exhibition areas has been prohibited since February 25, 2010.
An Innovation Hub provides facilities for the public to access NARA documents and provide metadata.Historical records of the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate are available for research at NARA's Center for Legislative Archives.
Because of space constraints, NARA opened a second facility, known informally as "Archives II", in 1994 near the University of Maryland, College Park campus (8601 Adelphi Road, College Park, MD, 20740-6001). Largely because of this proximity, NARA and the University of Maryland engage in cooperative initiatives.The College Park campus includes an archaeological site that was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1996.
The Washington National Records Center (WNRC), located in Suitland, Maryland is a large warehouse type facility which stores federal records which are still under the control of the creating agency. Federal government agencies pay a yearly fee for storage at the facility. In accordance with federal records schedules, documents at WNRC are transferred to the legal custody of the National Archives after a certain point (this usually involves a relocation of the records to College Park). Temporary records at WNRC are either retained for a fee or destroyed after retention times has elapsed. WNRC also offers research services and maintains a small research room.
Two offices in the St. Louis, Missouri area comprise the National Personnel Records Center.
There are facilities across the country with research rooms, archival holdings, and microfilms of documents of federal agencies and courts pertinent to each region.
A regional office in Anchorage, Alaska was closed in 2014 with records for the region transferred to Seattle, Washington.The Seattle facility is planned to be closed by a decision of the U.S. Office of Management and Budget in January 2020, with records moved to California and Kansas City.
Federal Records Centers exist in each region that house materials owned by federal government agencies. Federal Records Centers are not open for public research but, in many cases, may be housed in the same complex or building as a National Archives regional office. The federal records centers (FRCs) are also administratively divided into two archival divisions.
The Director of the Federal Records Center Program is considered one of the primary office chiefs in the National Archives Executive for Agency Services. The federal records center program is headquartered at the National Archives at College Park. Both the National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) and the Washington National Records Center (WNRC) are considered part of the federal records center program.
The Federal Records Center in Lenexa, Kansas is a large underground complex which contains storage vaults for records and artifacts. The center is perhaps best known for holding items from the treatment of John F. Kennedy after his fatal shooting in 1963, including the blood stained dress of Jacqueline Kennedy as well as the hospital gurney on which President Kennedy was pronounced dead.
NARA also maintains the Presidential Library system, a nationwide network of libraries for preserving and making available the documents of U.S. presidents since Herbert Hoover. The Presidential Libraries include:
Libraries and museums have been established for other presidents, but they are not part of the NARA presidential library system, and are operated by private foundations, historical societies, or state governments, including the Abraham Lincoln, Rutherford B. Hayes, William McKinley, Woodrow Wilson and Calvin Coolidge libraries. For example, the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum is owned and operated by the state of Illinois.
The National Archives Building in downtown Washington holds record collections such as all existing federal census records, ships' passenger lists, military unit records from the American Revolution to the Philippine–American War, records of the Confederate government, the Freedmen's Bureau records, and pension and land records.
There are also ten Affiliated Archiveslocations across the U.S. which hold, by formal, written agreement with NARA, accessioned records.
Beginning in 2012, the National Archives began storing closed (classified and privacy protected) records not open to the public, as well as certain lesser used records and files, at contracted storage facilities operated by the records management company "Iron Mountain".
Continuity of Operations (COOP) is a United States federal government initiative, required by U.S. Presidential Policy Directive 40 (PPD-40), to ensure that agencies are able to continue performance of essential functions under a broad range of circumstances. PPD-40 specifies certain requirements for continuity plan development, including the requirement that all federal executive branch departments and agencies develop an integrated, overlapping continuity capability, that supports the eight National Essential Functions (NEFs) described in the document.
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.
The National Park Service (NPS) is an agency of the United States federal government that manages all national parks, many national monuments, and other conservation and historical properties with various title designations. It was created on August 25, 1916, by Congress through the National Park Service Organic Act and is an agency of the United States Department of the Interior. The NPS is charged with a dual role of preserving the ecological and historical integrity of the places entrusted to its management while also making them available and accessible for public use and enjoyment.
The General Services Administration (GSA) is an independent agency of the United States government established in 1949 to help manage and support the basic functioning of federal agencies. GSA supplies products and communications for U.S. government offices, provides transportation and office space to federal employees, and develops government-wide cost-minimizing policies and other management tasks.
In the United States, the presidential library system is a nationwide network of 13 libraries administered by the Office of Presidential Libraries, which is part of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). These are repositories for preserving and making available the papers, records, collections and other historical materials of every president of the United States from Herbert Hoover to George W. Bush. In addition to the library services, museum exhibitions concerning the presidency are displayed.
The National Personnel Records Center fire of 1973, also referred to as the 1973 National Archives fire, was a fire that occurred at the Military Personnel Records Center in Overland, Missouri, a suburb of St. Louis, on July 12, 1973, striking a severe blow to the National Archives and Records Administration of the United States. MPRC, the custodian of military service records, lost approximately 16–18 million official military personnel records as a result of the fire.
The National Personnel Records Center(s) (NPRC) is an agency of the National Archives and Records Administration, created in 1966. It is part of the National Archives federal records center system and is divided into two large Federal Records Centers located in St. Louis, Missouri and Valmeyer, Illinois. The term "National Personnel Records Center" is often used interchangeably to describe both the physical Military Personnel Records Center facility and as an overall term for all records centers in the St. Louis area. To differentiate between the two, the broader term is occasionally referred to as the "National Personnel Records Centers".
The National Oceanographic Data Center (NODC) was one of the national environmental data centers operated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) of the U.S. Department of Commerce. The main NODC facility was located in Silver Spring, Maryland and was made up of five divisions. The NODC also had field offices collocated with major government or academic oceanographic laboratories in Stennis Space Center, MS; Miami, FL; La Jolla, San Diego, California; Seattle, WA; Austin, Texas; Charleston, South Carolina; Norfolk, Virginia; and Honolulu, Hawaii. In 2015, NODC was merged with the National Climatic Data Center and the National Geophysical Data Center into the National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI).
The Federal Protective Service (FPS) is the uniformed security police division of the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS}. FPS is "the federal agency charged with protecting and delivering integrated law enforcement and security services to facilities owned or leased by the General Services Administration "—over 9,000 buildings—and their occupants.
Don W. Wilson was appointed the Archivist of the United States, serving from December 4, 1987, to March 24, 1993.
The Military Personnel Records Center (NPRC-MPR) is a branch of the National Personnel Records Center and is the repository of over 56 million military personnel records and medical records pertaining to retired, discharged, and deceased veterans of the U.S. armed forces.
The United States government classification system is established under Executive Order 13526, the latest in a long series of executive orders on the topic. Issued by President Barack Obama in 2009, Executive Order 13526 replaced earlier executive orders on the topic and modified the regulations codified to 32 C.F.R. 2001. It lays out the system of classification, declassification, and handling of national security information generated by the U.S. government and its employees and contractors, as well as information received from other governments.
The Leo J. Ryan Memorial Federal Building, also known as the Leo J. Ryan Memorial Federal Archives and Records Center, is a United States government office facility which opened in 1973, and is located in San Bruno, California. It houses the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) for the Pacific Sierra Region of the United States. The building was renamed in honor and memory of U.S. Representative Leo J. Ryan, through Congressional legislation which passed in 1984.
The President John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection Act of 1992, or the JFK Records Act, is a public law passed by the United States Congress, effective October 26, 1992. It directed the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) to establish a collection of records to be known as the President John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection. It stated that the collection shall consist of copies of all U.S. government records relating to the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy, and that they are to be housed in the NARA Archives II building in College Park, Maryland. The collection also included any materials created or made available for use by, obtained by, or otherwise came into the possession of any state or local law enforcement office that provided support or assistance or performed work in connection with a federal inquiry into the assassination.
The Presidential and Federal Records Act Amendments of 2014 is a United States federal statute which amended the Presidential Records Act and Federal Records Act. Introduced as H.R. 1233, it was signed into law by President Barack Obama on November 26, 2014.
The Washington National Records Center (WNRC) in Suitland, Maryland, stores and references records of U.S. Federal agencies located in the District of Columbia, Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia.
The Federal Records Act of 1950 is a United States federal law that was enacted in 1950. It provides the legal framework for federal records management, including record creation, maintenance, and disposition.
Federal Statistical Research Data Centers are partnerships between U.S. federal government statistical agencies and leading research institutions to provide secure facilities located throughout the United States that provide access to restricted-use microdata for statistical purposes to authorized individuals. There are 29 FSRDCs across the country, primarily located at academic institutions and federal reserve banks.
The organization of the National Archives and Records Administration refers to the administrative and bureaucratic structure of the National Archives and Records Administration of the United States. The National Archives is considered an independent federal government agency, receiving this status in 1985 after existing under the General Services Administration since the National Archives' founding in 1934.
The National Archives at Seattle is a regional facility of the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration Pacific Region located in Seattle, Washington. The archives building is situated in the Windermere neighborhood of Northeast Seattle, near Magnuson Park, and holds 56,000 cubic feet (1,600 m3) of documents and artifacts.