Research

Research in Federal Records and Presidential Materials by Media Type

Records at the National Archives can be found in the following formats:

Textual Documents

The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) holds millions of textual documents in multiple repositories nationwide. Federal records and Presidential materials in paper format constitute the largest portion of NARA's holdings. Document types include correspondence, registers, reports, forms, treaties, case files, and log books.

You will find Textual Documents at our following locations:

Microfilm and Other Micrographic Formats

National Archives holdings include records on microfilm reels, microfiche, and a number of other micrographic formats. These records were either transferred to NARA by the originating agency in that form or converted by NARA for the convenience of preservation and reference of the original record.

You will find Microfilm holdings at our following locations:

Many of NARA's microfilm publication roll lists and descriptive pamphlets are online. By searching the Microfilm Catalog, you will be able to find out if a roll list or descriptive pamphlet is available. You will need to contact one of the NARA Units listed in the Viewing Location field(s) of the microfilm publication description to find out how to get a copy of the descriptive pamphlet or roll list.

See also New NARA Microfilm Publications Issued

Cartographic and Architectural Records

The holdings of the Cartographic and Architectural Section in College Park, Maryland, include over 15 million maps, charts, aerial photographs, architectural drawings, patents, and ships plans, constituting one of the world's largest accumulations of such documents.

See the Online Catalog to search maps online. The Online Catalog contains descriptions of historical maps and cartographic data files as well as documents and photographs related to geography.

You will find Cartographic holdings at our following locations:

Electronic Records

The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) has in its custody nearly 200,000 electronic records files. These holdings reflect the Federal government's usage of computers for statistical data analysis, regulatory purposes, and administrative functions. Learn more
You will find Electronic Records at our following locations:

You can search some of our electronic records online through the Access to Archival Databases (AAD) AAD.

Motion Picture Films and Sound and Video Recordings

National Archives multimedia collections include nearly 300,000 reels of motion picture film and more than 200,000 sound and video recordings. You will find Motion Picture Films and Sound and Video Recordings at our following locations:

You can also search our holdings online through the Online Catalog by using the filter under Locations to select Motion Picture Sound and Video Branch.

Photographs and Graphic Works

You will find Photographic holdings at our following locations:

You can also search our holdings online through the Online Catalog by using the filter under Type of Archival Materials to select Photographs and other Graphic Materials.


  • Government Publications and Library Materials

  • Research >

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

    .