National Archives at St. Louis

Official Personnel Folders (OPF), Archival Holdings & Access, ca. 1850-1951

Archival Holdings:

The archival holdings of civilian Official Personnel Folders (OPF) include records created by various Federal agencies during the period 1850-1951.   To view a list of agencies with OPFs in our archival holdings, click Official Personnel Folders (OPF), Archival Holdings.

For records of Federal civilian employees whose employment ended after 1951, click Official Personnel Folders (OPF), Federal (non-archival) Holdings and Access .

How can I access Archival OPFs?

Please note: the following information, regarding access, pertains only to records of former Federal civil servants whose employment ended before 1952. To access records of civil servants whose employment ended after 1951, click Official Personnel Folders (OPF), Federal (non-archival) Holdings and Access.

Individuals may access these records by:

  • Visiting the NPRC Archival Research Room in St. Louis, MO (click on the Research Room link for information on how to schedule an appointment.)

  • Employing an independent researcher to examine the records on their behalf, or

  • Submitting a written request for copies of the records (for a copy fee) via postal mail

How do I submit a written request for copies of records?

Please identify the documents or information needed and explain the purpose of your request. Certain basic information needed to locate civilian personnel records, includes:

  • full name used during Federal employment,
  • date of birth,
  • Social Security Number (if applicable),
  • name and location of employing Federal agency,
  • beginning and ending dates of Federal Service

Written requests may be mailed :

National Archives & Records Administration
ATTN: Archival Programs
P.O. Box 38757
St. Louis, MO 63138

Copy Fees:

Archival OPFs are subject to the NARA fee schedule that authorizes the Agency to collect fees from the public for copies of archival records (44 USC 2116c and 44 USC 2307).

Mailed Requests:

A mailed request requires the purchase of the COMPLETE photocopy of the OPF.
Note: Do not send payment until we notify you that a record has been located.

  • An OPF of 5 pages or less: $25 flat fee

  • An OPF 6 pages or more: $70 flat fee

Visitors to the NPRC Archival Research Room:

There is no fee to request and review an archival record in the Archival Research Room. So too, any number of pages may be copied for a per page fee.

  • Paper to paper copy made by Attendant: $ .80 per page and $3.50 per microfilm to paper copy

  • Self service copies are $ .25 per paper to paper copy and $ .60 per microfilm to paper copy

If you or your designated representative decide to review the records, please notify us in advance of your visit so we can make the necessary arrangements. You will need to speak to an Attendant at 314-801-0850 to schedule an appointment to visit our Archival Research Room.

National Archives at St. Louis >

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