In 2005 , NARA observed 20 years as an independent agency. On April 1, 1985, the National Archives and Records Act of 1984 became effective, and NARA was no longer part of the General Services Administration.
During the past two decades of independence, NARA has proven itself to be a vital, invaluable resource within the Federal Government. It has expanded its role as the nation's recordkeeper and raised its public profile as democracy's beacon.
Every year, NARA's work grows. Every year, NARA becomes the repository of more Government records to manage and preserve. And every year, a larger portion of those records are electronic records, the products of an increasingly digital Government.
During those past 20 years, NARA has added new state-of-the art facilities and has vastly improved its customer services. It has taken on the challenge of electronic records through its Electronic Records Archives program. It has renovated the historic National Archives Building and has conserved the founding documents of our country. It has launched the National Archives Experience, a set of interconnected exhibit, theater, educational, and online environments that provide a variety of ways of exploring America's records and the stories they contain. And much more.
These photos illustrate just a few of the highlights of the past 20 years.
Celebrate the National Archives with us!
- Read a first-hand account of the campaign for independence in the 1980s;
- View a webcast of the official May 20, 2005 celebration at the National Archives Building in Washington, DC;