National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) Fact Sheet

The National Archives and Records Administration ensures, for the citizen and the public servant, for the President and the Congress and the Courts, ready access to essential evidence that documents the rights of American citizens, the actions of Federal officials, and the national experience from the nation's beginnings in 1774. Among the records in its holdings are the Charters of Freedom: the Declaration of Independence, Constitution and Bill of Rights.

The records of the nation's civil, military and diplomatic activities are held by the National Archives and Records Administration in trust for present and future generations. These documents capture the sweep of America's past: slave ship manifests and the Emancipation Proclamation; journals of polar expeditions and photographs of Dust Bowl farmers; Indian treaties that made transitory promises, and the Louisiana Purchase Treaty that doubled the territory of the young republic; and the records of all our wars and conflicts. In Washington alone these records total approximately 10 billion pieces of paper and 25 million still pictures and graphics; 300,000 reels of motion picture film and 400,000 sound and video recordings; 12 million maps, charts, and architectural and engineering plans; and 24 million aerial photographs.

David S. Ferriero was sworn in as tenth Archivist of the United States on November 13, 2009. Prior to becoming Archivist, Mr. Ferriero was the Andrew W. Mellon Director of the New York Public Libraries and is a leader in the field of research librarianship.

The National Archives and Records Administration, established in 1934, is more than a grand neo-classical building between the White House and the Capitol. It is a national resource, consisting of the National Archives at College Park, Maryland, 13 Presidential libraries, 22 regional records facilities located around the country as well as the Office of the Federal Register, the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC), the Information Security Oversight Office (ISOO), the Office of Government Information Services (OGIS), and the National Declassification Center, (NDC).

The Office of the Federal Register edits and publishes a number of important legal and rulemaking publications of the Federal Government, including the daily Federal Register, the annual Code of Federal Regulations, the United States Statutes-at-Large, the Public Papers of the President, and the U.S. Government Manual. Currently, its publications are all available online free of charge, including the eCFR, today's in effect edition of the Code of Federal Regulations.

The NHPRC is the grant-making body of the National Archives and Records Administration. Established by law, with 15 members representing the three branches of government and professional societies, the NHPRC subsidizes printed publication series, such as the papers of Thomas Jefferson and Martin Luther King, Jr., and provides grants to state and local governments, libraries and associations for the care of historical records.

With the establishment of the George W. Bush Library at its temporary site in Lewisville, Texas, the Presidential libraries operated and maintained by the National Archives and Records Administration now number thirteen. They are:

These libraries preserve and make available to the public the papers and other historical materials of these Presidents. Through a variety of public programs, the libraries and their museums provide a rich cultural resource for their communities and an opportunity for scholars and citizens alike to enhance their knowledge of the Presidency and the American political system.

Around the country, from Anchorage to Atlanta, there are 22 regional records facilities. They store the non-permanent records of the agencies in their regions, as well as preserve and make accessible to researchers essential evidence documenting the actions of the Federal government in their regions. The materials held in the regional records facilities range from court cases relating to the sinking of the Titanic and farm foreclosures during the Great Depression, to naturalization papers for Hollywood stars and Chinese immigration case files.

With facilities in 17 states, an informative Internet web site at, the National Archives and Records Administration is the most accessible archives in the world.

# # #

For additional research information, please contact the National Archives Research Staff at 1-866-272-6272; for recorded information about public programs and events, please call 202-357-5000 or visit our online Calendar of Events; for additional Press information, please contact the National Archives Public Affairs Staff at 202-357-5300.

Top of Page

Press/Journalists >

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