- What is the data?
- How do I access the data?
- Why was this data selected?
- What high value criteria does it meet?
- Is this the first time the data is available?
- Who may be interested in this information?
- Who do I contact if I have questions about this data?
This dataset provides archival descriptions of the permanent holdings of the federal government in the custody of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). The archival descriptions include information on traditional paper holdings, electronic records, and artifacts.
Please note the Online Catalog is a work in progress. Almost two-thirds of our records are already described in the Online Catalog at the series level. Learn more about the Online Catalog.
These files are compressed because of their size. Use WinZip or a similar program to extract the contents of the files. Each compressed file contains thousands of XML files.
The following data files represent Archival Descriptions available through May 27, 2014.
Part 1 (109 MB)
Part 2 (109 MB)
Part 3 (110 MB)
Part 4 (120 MB)
Part 5 (111 MB)
Part 6 (103 MB)
Part 7 (106 MB)
Part 8 (77 MB)
* Please note these files are zipped. You'll need to use Winzip or a similar program to unzip.
Technical documentation provides details on what XML tags are used.
Many of the government's permanent records are not yet available online. The Online Catalog is a finding aid to the permanent records of the federal government in NARA's custody, whether the records are online, or available in our research rooms.
Access to the government's permanent records:
- can be used to increase agency accountability and responsiveness
- improves public knowledge of the agency and its operations
- furthers the core mission of the agency
- creates economic opportunity
- responds to need and demand as identified through public consultation
These archival descriptions are published in the Online Catalog. This is the first time the data is available as raw data in XML format.
Researchers, veterans, family historians and genealogists, academics, and records managers.