National Archives at Chicago

Visit our Genealogy page for general information about our holdings.

Genealogy FAQs

Q.   What Federal census records do you have?

A.  We have Federal Census records on microfilm for the entire U.S. from 1790 to 1930.

Q.   Does your facility have a subscription to

A.  The public access computers at all National Archives facilities provide courtesy access to

This includes both the Chicago and Dayton facilities of the Great Lakes Region.

Q.   What is

A. is a subscription-based firm that provides access to digital copies of select records from the National Archives. Courtesy access to is available through any of the National Archives' public access computers. Learn more information about the National Archives partnership with

Q.   Do I need to make an appointment to use a microfilm reader?

A.  Though a reservation is not required to use a microfilm reader, we recommend you telephone our Microfilm Research Room at (773) 948-9020 to reserve a microfilm reader to ensure that one will be available for you.

Q.   Can I reserve a computer?

A.  No. Computer availability is based on a first come, first served basis. During periods of high demand, researchers are limited to 30 minutes per session.

Q.   Do you have birth, death or marriage records?

A.  No. Birth, death, and marriage records are created at the county and state levels of government. We recommend that you contact the appropriate county courthouse, state archives, or state department of health.

Q.   Do you lend or borrow microfilm rolls with other institutions?

A.  The National Archives does not participate in an interlibrary loan program. Other potential resources for viewing select rolls of National Archives microfilm publications may be through your local Family History Center, or the Center for Research Libraries.

Q.   How can I find more recent (1940-2000) records of the Federal census?

A.  Information from Federal census records that have not yet been released to the public can be obtained through the U.S. Census Bureau's Age Search Service.

Q.   Do you have information on how to locate missing persons, veterans and records of adoptions/birthparents?

A.  No. The National Archives doesn't hold information on how to locate missing persons. We recommend that you contact your local public library regarding books and other resources available for review.

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The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration
1-86-NARA-NARA or 1-866-272-6272