About the National Archives

National Archives History

National Archives building images compiled to form a graphic banner for the top of the page.

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

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.

 

Navy Archives Staff, 1942

 

The National Archives has been compiling photographs of staff at work, records storage conditions, building construction, personnel activities, and much more since our establishment in 1934. ​Visit our Flickr galleries to see a selection National Archives photographs. And visit our Online Catalog to see thousands more of our historic photographs. 

 

 

 

Top