National Archives at Boston

FAQs about the Renovations at the National Archives at Boston

See also the Renovations main page

Why is the renovation necessary?

The renovation is important for several reasons. It will provide a more secure and overall better environment for researchers looking at original records and for staff and others working on original records. The renovated space will also give us more flexibility and increase our capacity to offer programs for teachers, students and the general public.

When will the renovation take place, and how long will it take?

The renovation began in December 2010. The renovation is expected to take six months.

Will the National Archives at Boston be closed for any period of time in connection with this renovation?

It may be necessary to close and/or limit some services during the renovation. We are currently soliciting feedback from our staff, volunteers and customers to help inform our decisions. We will do everything possible to keep any disruption in service at a minimum.

Will the renovation impact access to original records?

No. During the renovation staff will continue to have access to our original records and will therefore be able to make them available to researchers. Access to, and preservation of our records will continue to be our priority.

Will you continue to provide certified copies during the renovation?


Will you continue to provide emergency entitlement requests?


Will the renovation impact staff?

Yes. Staff offices are part of the renovation. During the renovation staff will be relocated to other parts of the building and will be able to do their work.

Will the renovation impact access to the on line computer resources and microfilm?

The renovation will impact access to these services. It is possible that these services would not be available for the duration of the renovation. It is also possible that these services could be made available in a "Modular Unit" placed in the parking lot area. We are currently exploring this option and its associated costs and benefits.

Will you continue to offer education programs, workshops and tours during the renovation?

There is the potential for these programs to be scaled back or put on hold during the renovation. This will depend on whether we opt to put a "Modular Unit" in the parking lot that would allow us to host classes.

What will your new space look like?

Our renovated space will have the same functional areas as our current space including a textual research room, computer/microfilm access area, and records processing area. We will have more space than we currently do to accommodate researchers, volunteers, interns, teachers and students.

Will you be introducing new technology to better serve customers?

We are hopeful of someday going "wireless". In fact, a needs survey of the facility was just completed in July 2010. Also, we are particularly interested in improving ways for staff and patrons to copy/scan records. Please let us know what your needs are.

What other research resources will be available?

In our renovated space, we will continue to provide unlimited free access to online subscriptions services including Ancestry, Footnote, Heritage Quest, and ProQuest.

What kind of public programs will you offer?

We will continue to offer genealogical and historical workshops as well as educational programs for teachers and students including being a destination for school/organization "field trips". We will also continue general outreach programs and special events for the public.

Will you have exhibits?

Yes. Our renovated space will give us the capacity to host exhibits and we will do so to the extent possible dependent on funding.

Will you have space to accommodate volunteers during the renovation?

Yes. Our volunteers are vital to our mission, and we will work to accommodate those that wish to be with us during the renovation.

How can I provide my feedback on the renovation?

We will consider and respond to all suggestions so that the public understands when and why we have made certain decisions. You may provide feedback or send questions regarding this renovation to Diane LeBlanc, Regional Administrator or David Powers, Assistant Regional Administrator at 781 663-0130 or e-mail us at or