October 10, 2003
National Archives Washington, DC, Research Rooms Temporarily Closed October 13-26 To Make Way For New Research Center
Washington, DC. . .The research rooms in the National Archives Building in Washington, DC, will be closed for renovation from October 13 through October 26 to allow staff to prepare for the brand new National Archives Building Research Center opening on Monday, October 27.
The new National Archives Building Research Center will include more records, finding aids, and staff assistance as well as more amenities for researchers and visitors. A number of research services formerly housed on upper floors of the sixty-eight-year-old building-along with some new services-are included in the new ground-floor National Archives Building Research Center. The new location of the Research Center will allow researchers to do much of their work on a single level rather than multiple floors of the building.
The aim of the new Center is to improve "ready access to essential evidence," as reflected in the mission of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). Thousands of researchers come to the National Archives Building annually to search records of their own family as well as those that document their rights, the actions of government officials, and the national experience.
The National Archives Building Research Center will include:
- The Genealogy Consultation and Microfilm Research Rooms
In these rooms, archivists and archive specialists will assist researchers with genealogical research, issue research cards, and make microfilmed and microfiched indexes and records available. Researchers will have access to computers to consult online finding aids. New microfilm readers will be equipped with electrical power to facilitate laptop computer use. Thousands of rolls of new microfilm publications will be added over the next several years.
- Military Service Research Room
One of the new features of the Research Center is the Military Service Research Room where researchers may examine Compiled Military Service Records for the period up to World War I.
- Textual Finding Aids Room
The Textual Finding Aids Room will be moved from Room 410 to the new Research Center, near the Genealogy Consultation Room.
- The Archival Library Information Center
The Archival Library Information Center (ALIC) will also be located on the ground floor with an increased number of volumes available to researchers. Family historians will find in ALIC all of the bound and CD-ROM indexes to the federal census, and ALIC's professional librarians can assist researchers in locating and using these indexes. The library will expand its hours of operation to ensure that there is always staff on duty when the building is open.
- New Amenities For Researchers
With twenty computers, the new research complex will have five times the number of terminals currently available to researchers. Positioned in the new Genealogy Consultation Room, Finding Aids Room, and ALIC, these computers will provide access to NARA databases, such as the Archival Research Catalog, ALIC's catalog, and Access to Archival Databases. There will be 218 new lockers and new restrooms conveniently located within the Research Center.
- The Central Research Room
The Central Research Room will remain in its current location on the National Archives Building's second floor in Room 203. Researchers will continue to examine textual records in that room, except for military service records, pension files, and bounty-land warrants. Records to be reviewed in the Central Research Room will be ordered on the ground floor in the Finding Aids Room.
- Cashier and Publications Sales Area
The Research Center will house the Cashier's Office and a small publication sales area. Hours of operation will be Monday through Friday between 9 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.
Hours of Operation
Hours of operation for the Research Center will remain the same. The Microfilm Research Room, the Military Service Research Room, and ALIC will be open Mondays and Fridays from 8:45 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 8:45 a.m. to 9 p.m.; and Saturdays from 8:45 a.m. to 4:45 p.m.
For press information, contact the National Archives Public Affairs Staff at 301-837-1700.