C. Preston Huff,
February 23, 2011
National Archives and Records Administration –
National Archives at Fort Worth to Open at Montgomery Plaza –
February 28, 2011
The National Archives at Fort Worth has completed its move out of the Federal Depot on Felix Street where it has been for nearly 50 years. Last year, Archives staff moved over two million historical documents and the public research room for original documents to the Federal Records Center on John Burgess Drive near Everman Parkway and I-35W in south Fort Worth. The microfilm and public access computer research room and a training room have been moved to the Montgomery Plaza building on West Seventh Street near the Cultural District. This new location will be open to the public on Monday, February 28th at 8:00 a.m. Please note that these offices will be closed to the public the entire week of February 21st (through Friday, February 25th) as final preparations are being made to finish the space.
The new Montgomery Plaza location houses microfilmed and digitized records that are used primarily for family history or genealogy research. It contains ten public access computers for searching the growing volume of online genealogical information including free access to Ancestry.com and Footnote.com, along with microfilm readers for materials that are not yet digitized. There is no fee for using the resources at the National Archives’ research room which is open from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, and the 3rd Saturday of the month. Staff and volunteers will provide expert services to help researchers. The main phone number for this office stays the same – 817-831-5620.
The National Archives at Fort Worth Montgomery Plaza location also houses a small classroom for educational sessions with teachers. National Archives staff will share information about the rich holdings that it maintains and how these documents can be used to enhance the classroom experience. The Education Center also has distance learning equipment which enables the Archives educators to broadcast sessions into schools throughout Texas and beyond. Having this equipment tied into a special network enables the Archives staff to reach hundreds or even thousands of students in a single session. One of the more popular distance learning sessions has been “Animals in Space”, which features historical records from the Johnson Space Center.
The original historical records stored at the Federal Records Center on John Burgess Drive reflect the Federal Government’s presence in the four-state region of Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Louisiana. Among the oldest records is a document, signed by President Thomas Jefferson in 1803 – appointing a customs collector in New Orleans following the Louisiana Purchase. More recent NASA Johnson Space Center records document the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo space exploration program and the subsequent Shuttle program. Overall the National Archives at Fort Worth has original documents from over 100 Federal agencies including Federal courts, Bureau of Indian Affairs (mostly from Oklahoma), Corps of Engineers, Bureau of Customs (New Orleans Customs House), Department of Agriculture, and many more.
At the Federal Records Center, the archival records are preserved in a climate controlled room with closely guarded access. Persons interested in accessing the original historical records must make an appointment to view them during normal work hours, Monday through Friday from 6:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. by contacting the Archives staff via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 817-551-2051. All members of the public with a research interest are welcome.
The move from the Federal Depot is part of a long-term effort by the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) to improve its facilities in order to meet strict archival preservation standards and provide a better customer experience. For more information contact C. Preston Huff, Regional Administrator, 817-551-2001.
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