About the National Archives

NARA Professional Engagement

NARA accepts the challenge to both lead and serve our colleagues and partners in the archival, records management, information management, library, museum, and allied professions.  This statement outlines NARA’s purpose, activities, and responsible parties for US and international engagement and partnerships.

Professional Engagement

In concert with our strategic goals, we support engagement with the records, archives, and open government communities to:

  • Learn:  We will gather information about the processes and approaches of other leading institutions, bringing best practices back to NARA.
  • Share information: We will share information about our processes and approaches with others.
  • Influence:  We will participate in the development of standards and policies that affect our work by participating in international standards bodies (ISO).  We will ensure the incorporation of archives perspectives in related projects of organizations with broader scope (e.g. IFLA, UNESCO).
  • Accomplish common goals: We will join with allied organizations where appropriate to advance common goals together.  For example, NARA participates with other organizations in projects such as:

Digitization Partnerships

Digitization partnerships present an opportunity for increased access to historical government information through the increased availability of information technology products and services, within the broader context of Digitization at the National Archives.

Contact:  Pamela Wright, Chief Innovation Officer, pamela.wright@nara.gov

International Activities and Professional Contacts

The NARA Office of the Chief of Staff coordinates NARA’s agency-level institutional membership and engagement activities, which may involve any office. Strategic direction for these activities comes from the Archivist and executive leadership.  

International Organizations – NARA is an institutional member of international organizations, where we learn and share information and participate in collaborative projects for the common good:

  NARA also participates in international standards development through membership in relevant technical committees of:

  Contact: Meg Phillips, External Affairs Liaison, meg.phillips@nara.gov

International Visitors – Colleagues from national archives around the world may request assistance in setting up a professional visit with NARA staff and leaders.  NARA will accommodate these requests as resources permit.

  Contact: Brian McLaughlin, International Visitor Liaison, at execsec@nara.gov or (202) 357-5052

International Agreements

  • Because NARA is a domestic Federal agency with no international mandate or authority our international activities take place within the broader sphere of US international relations managed by the Department of State.  The Department of State guides and advises NARA as we engage with foreign governments and governmental archives.
  • While NARA welcomes opportunities to share information and discuss potential collaboration with archival colleagues, we do not generally sign formal memoranda of understanding (MOUs) to formalize these relationships.
  • For any questions you may have about these activities, please contact External Affairs Liaison Meg Phillips at meg.phillips@nara.gov.