About the National Archives

National Archives History

Congress established the National Archives in 1934 to preserve and care for the records of the U.S. Government. Previously, Federal records were kept in various basements, attics, abandoned buildings, and other storage places with little security or concern for storage conditions. In 1935, Archives staff began to survey Federal records and the next year began transferring records to the new National Archives building in Washington, DC. From one building on Pennsylvania Avenue, the National Archives now has over 40 facilities nationwide including field archives, Federal Records Centers, Presidential Libraries, the Federal Register, and the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.

The National Archives History Office preserves and promotes the history of the National Archives.

You don't have to go to Washington, DC to visit the National Archives.

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