National Archives at Chicago FAQs
- What is the National Archives-Great Lakes Region?
- Do I have to make an appointment to view historical records or microfilm?
- How do I get there?
- Is there parking available?
- What are your hours?
- Which building entrance do I use?
- I'm from out of town, can you recommend a hotel in the area?
- Can I bring my laptop/digital camera/scanner?
- Can I make my own copies?
- How much are copies and reproductions?
- I need my copies certified. Can you do that?
- What materials can be brought into the research rooms?
- I'd like to become a Volunteer or Intern. How do I apply?
- Where can I find information about public programs presented by the National Archives-Great Lakes Region?
Q. What is the National Archives-Great Lakes Region?
A. As one of the regional facilities of the National Archives, we hold historical Federal records for six states: Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Wisconsin, Minnesota and Michigan. There are three National Archives operations at our facility in Chicago:
- Archival Operations (maintains historical records for the public)
- Federal Records Center (maintains current records of Federal agencies and courts)
- Records Management Program (works with Federal agencies to transfer records to the National Archives).
The Great Lakes Region also includes a Federal Records Center in Dayton, Ohio. While the Dayton facility doesn't maintain an archives, the facility does offer public access computers.
Q. Do I have to make an appointment to view historical records or microfilm?
A. No. However, we advise microfilm researchers to call in advance to reserve a microfilm reader. We strongly recommend that textual researchers contact us one to two days in advance to confirm that we hold the records needed for their research, and that the records are available on the day of their visit. If you're trying to obtain a copy of a recent bankruptcy that's less than 30 years old, contact the Records Center at (773) 948-9030 to make an appointment.
Q. How do I get there?
A. We suggest you review our directions. Despite our Pulaski Road address, access to our facility is on West 75th Street, about one block west of the Pulaski Road/75th Street intersection.
Q. What are your hours?
A. The Archives is open Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m to 4:15 p.m., and on the second Saturday of each month from 8:00 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. We're closed on Federal holidays. Learn More
Q. Which building entrance do I use?
A. If you're visiting to review microfilm or textual records that are 30 years old or older, use the entrance on the east side of the building that has a burgundy awning leading up to it. If you're visiting to review records less than 30 years old, such as a recent bankruptcy case file, use the main entrance near the flagpole. You'll need to sign in at either entrance.
Q. Can I bring my laptop/digital camera/scanner?
A. You're welcome to bring a laptop, digital camera, or flat-bed scanner. However, we request that you contact us prior to your visit to discuss any limitations on using such equipment.
Q. How much are copies and reproductions?
A. Photocopies of textual records are $0.75 per page. There's a $15.00 minimum fee for mail orders. Reader-printer copies made from microfilm are $0.50 per page. A limited number of digital images can be made for $10.00 per image. See our fee schedule.
Q. What materials can be brought into research rooms?
A. For information on what materials can, or cannot, be brought into research rooms, see the Regulations for Using the National Archives.
Q. I'd like to become a Volunteer or Intern. How do I apply?
A. Great! If you're interested in learning more about these opportunities, see our Volunteer and Internship Opportunities page.
Q. Where can I find information about public programs presented by the National Archives-Great Lakes Region?
A. Please visit our Public Programs page.