National Archives at Kansas City

Services for the Public, National Archives at Kansas City

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Genealogy Research

Resources available at The National Archives at Kansas City include free access to computer databases, microfilm publications containing records from across the National Archives and one-of-a-kind records of genealogical value.

New to genealogy? Our staff and volunteers are available to get you started!

Free online

Some of the most frequently used records are listed below.

  • Federal population censuses, 1790-1940 (most of the 1890 schedules were destroyed by fire in 1921).
  • Passenger arrival records.
  • Passport application files.
  • American Revolution military service records and pension and bounty land warrant application files.
  • Mexican border crossings from 1903 and Canadian border crossing records from 1895.
  • Select American Civil War Union service records and all Confederate military service records; and indexes to compiled military service records for other wars.
  • Dawes census cards, enrollment jackets and land allotment jackets for the Five Tribes of Oklahoma.
  • Naturalization Records including declarations of intent and petitions.

For more information about online databases

Microfilm readers and public access computers are available without an appointment.

Historical Research

Online Catalog

Our Online Catalog contains selected information pertaining to records at the Kansas City facility.

Original records

The National Archives at Kansas City has more than 150,000 cubic feet of archival holdings, including textual documents, photographs, maps, and architectural drawings, dating from about 1821 to the 1990s. These archival holdings were created or received by the Federal courts and over 70 Federal agencies in Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota. Federal law requires that agencies transfer permanently valuable, noncurrent records to NARA.

Among subjects of local interest are: frontier and territorial history; American Indians native to the Northern Great Plains; the development of natural resources; court cases involving fugitive slave Dred Scott, Birdman of Alcatraz Robert Stroud, automobile entrepreneur Henry Ford, and civil rights pioneer Oliver Brown, who challenged school segregation in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka.

The archival holdings are arranged by record group (abbreviated RG), a body of records from an agency or bureau, identified by an RG number. Selected finding aids, including a comprehensive guide to archival holdings, are available by mail and online. Research can be initiated in person, by telephone, mail, fax, or electronic mail. Individuals who wish to use original records on-site will facilitate their research by calling before visiting.

Before using archival holdings, every researcher must obtain a researcher identification card. An applicant must show identification that includes a photograph, such as a driver's license, passport, or school or business identification card, and complete a short form giving name, address, telephone number, and a brief description of the proposed research topic. A researcher ID card, valid for one year, is then issued. It must be presented during each research visit.

Microfilmed records

In addition to unique original records, the Kansas facility has extensive holdings of National Archives microfilm publications. These publications reproduce basic documentation for the study of history, economics, public administration, political science, law, ethnology, genealogy, and other subjects. Included are records relating to U.S. diplomacy, the Revolutionary War, the Civil War and Reconstruction, Native American-Government relations, westward expansion, and World War II.

Bankruptcy Case Files

The Kansas City facility has bankruptcy and other case files from Federal, U.S. district and bankruptcy courts in Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska, and the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals. Find out how to access them.


For a fee, the staff will make or arrange for copies of documents, including certified copies for legal use, unless the physical condition of the documents does not allow reproduction.

Copies of microfilm can be made at self-service copiers or by other arrangement for a fee.

Mail Order Reproductions

You may order a reproduction of an original record other than a naturalization record for our minimum mail-order fee of $20.00.

  • Naturalization records cost $10.00 each.
  • If you order multiple records, for instance two inmate files, you will be charged $20.00 per record.
  • If the record is over 25 pages in length, eighty cents will be added for each additional page.
  • If you need your copies certified, a fee of $15.00 per certification will be added.

Please do not send payment with your original inquiry. We will provide the exact reproduction cost if we locate the requested record.

  • To speed the fulfillment of your request, please be as specific as possible in describing the record.

When making a request by e-mail, please include your:

  • full name
  • daytime telephone number
  • mailing address

DO NOT send your credit card number via e-mail — our system is not designed to handle sensitive information.*

* See our Privacy Statement

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The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration
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