Contests at the National Archives

I Found it in the National Archives!

"I Found it in the National Archives" contest logo

The National Archives wants to hear what you’ve discovered in the Archives that has made a difference in your personal or professional life!  Share your story with us during our “I Found it in the National Archives” contest and you could win a prize.

"I Found It in the National Archives" is NARA’s take on the recent, nationwide "I Found it the Archives," contest sponsored by the Society of American Archivists. Thanks for the great idea SAA!

Important Dates

  • Submit your entry: June 9, 2011 – Tuesday, August 9, 2011
  • Semi-finalists announced: August 23, 2011
  • Public Voting: August 23, 2011 – September 13, 2011
  • Final winners will be announced Friday, September 16th in honor of Constitution Day!

How to Enter

  • Record the story of your quest for information, what made it important, and how you achieved success at the National Archives in the form of a 400-word essay or a video no longer than two minutes. Whether you’re in Philadelphia or Atlanta, Riverside or Washington, D.C., if you’ve visited a National Archives facility to do research or have been helped by our archivists to find records that you need, we want to hear about it. Make sure to tell us the National Archives location where you made your discovery.

  • Waiver and Release: Please review and fill out the waiver and release form.
    • If you would like to submit your entry via email or postal service, download the waiver form and send it to us along with your entry.
    • If you would like to submit your entry on Tumblr, visit our Tumblr site and add the ifoundit2011 tag.

  • Between Thursday, June 9, 2011 and Tuesday, August 9, 2011 (11:59 PM EASTERN) submit your entry one of the following ways:
    • Post your essay or video to the contest’s Tumblr page. Tag your entry ifoundit2011 to indicate that you accept the terms of the waiver and release. If you do not tag your entry ifoundit2011, it will not be entered in the contest. See below for information on creating a Tumblr account.
    • Email your essay or video files to Attach your completed waiver and release form.
    • Mail your typed essay and completed waiver and release form to:
      "I Found it in the National Archives"
      c/o Kristen Albrittain, Rm. 3200
      National Archives at College Park
      8601 Adelphi Road
      College Park, MD 20740-6001
    • Mailed entries must be postmarked by August 9, 2011.


  • The five semi-finalists will be chosen by a panel of National Archives staff and announced on August 23, 2011. NARA retains the sole discretion over the selection of, and decision not to select, any particular entry as a winner. Visitors are invited to view the semi-finalists and vote for their favorite entry on our Tumblr page between August 23 (10 AM Eastern Time) and September 13, 2011 (11:59 PM Eastern Time).
  • The semi-finalist with the most public votes as of 11:59 PM Eastern time on September 13, 2011 will be the winner. NARA staff may not vote.


  • The essay and video with the most votes will be declared the winner and will receive a prize chosen by the National Archives staff from the Archives gift shop, and is not to exceed $50.00 in value.
  • The entries with the second and third highest vote counts will be declared runners-up and will also receive a prize from the Archives gift shop; each prize will not exceed $25.00 in value and will also be chosen by the National Archives staff.

Rules and Regulations

  • You must be 18 years of age or older at the date of entry to participate.
  • All entries, regardless of submission method, will be posted on the contest Tumblr page for public viewing beginning Thursday, June 9, 2011 at 10 AM.
  • NARA is not responsible for lost, late, misdirected or incomplete entries or technical errors or difficulties.
  • Your entry becomes the property of the National Archives and Records Administration. We reserve the right to post your essay or video online or in print form. All participants should read the waiver form before submitting their entry. By tagging your entry ifoundit2011, you agree to the waiver's terms.
  • If you are staff member or related to a member of the same household as a National Archives and records Administration employee or contractor, you may submit your story; however, you will not be eligible to become a finalist or win a prize. Along with your submission, please clearly identify that you are a National Archives employee.
  • Public voting will begin August 23 (10 AM Eastern Time) and continue through September 13, 2011 (11:59 PM Eastern Time)

Using Tumblr

  • Before submitting your entry, be sure to read the contest's rules posted on Tumblr.
  • To make a submission to the "I Found it in the National Archives" tumblelog, visit us at From there, click on the Tell Us Your Stories link.
  • It is not necessary to be a registered user of Tumblr to submit your entry or participate in the contest. You must, however, enter your name and valid email address.
  • When submitting an essay, add your text to the Post box.
  • Select the box marking that you accept Tumblr's terms of submission and the box for the ifoundit2011 tag which indicates that you agreet to abide by the contest waiver and release. If this tag is not selected, your entry will not be eligible for competition.
  • To submit a video, first upload your entry to YouTube. YouTube automatically generates an embed tag, which you will then copy and paste directly into Tumblr.
  • To embed your video, click on Submit a Text Post and select Submit a Video from the drop down menu. Select the box marking that you accept Tumblr's terms of submission and the box for the ifoundit2011 tag. If this tag is not selected, your entry will not be eligible for competition.
  • If you wish to create a Tumblr account, go to their main page: Enter a valid email address, password, and your desired URL name.
  • If you have questions or technical difficulties using our Tumblr site, please send us a message via the Need Help? link or contact us at


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Contests at the National Archives >

The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration
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