Calendar of Events

Know Your Records Program

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Events and publications showing you how to use U.S. Federal Government records held at the National Archives for historical and genealogical research. Events are free and open to all. Registration is not required.

Please check back often for schedule updates!


Lectures are held throughout the month and are available both on-site and on YouTube:

Did you miss a live event? We have a growing number of video recordings, handouts, and presentations available on the Know Your Records playlist.

Thursday, May 4, at 2 p.m. EDT
African American Soldiers in the Great War​
William G. McGowan Theater 
US National Archives YouTube Channel
Archives technician Matthew Margis discusses the history of African American soldiers in World War I through the photographic holdings in the National Archives.  Presentation slides | Handout 1 | Handout 2

Wednesday, May 10, at 2 p.m. EDT
Oh, the Stories They Tell: Chinese Exclusion Acts Case Files​
William G. McGowan Theater*& 
US National Archives YouTube Channel
Although the search for a Chinese Exclusion Act case file may be difficult and challenging, the rewards can be great as these files may contain a treasure trove of information for the family and social historian. In a live, interactive broadcast, National Archives at Seattle Director Susan Karren discusses Chinese Exclusion Act records in recognition of the Chinese Exclusion Act’s 135th anniversary. *Please note that the presenter will be broadcast in from Seattle. Presentation Slides


For DC location details see our Visitor's Guide.

Know Your Records Playlist US National Archives YouTube Channel

This is a small sampling of over 50 videos available on the Know Your Records playlist

Introduction to Genealogy at the National Archives (5-part video series)
Learn how to do basic genealogical research using Federal records at the National Archives including census, immigration, and military service and pension records.

Pedigree chart traditional treeGenealogy Programs

“Help! I’m Stuck” Genealogy Consultation

Not sure where to begin? Has a genealogical problem stumped you? Archivist Claire Kluskens is available from noon to 4 p.m. to answer your questions. Sign up for first-come, first-served 20-minute appointments at the Microfilm Research desk on Saturdays. The genealogy consultations take place on one Saturday a month, in the Microfilm Research Room, Research Center ( Penn. Ave. Entrance), 700 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC.

Winter Spring/Summer  Autumn
December 10, 2016, noon-4 p.m. Saturday, April 22, noon-4 p.m. Saturday, September 16, noon-4 p.m.
Saturday, January 28, noon-4 p.m. Saturday, May 20, noon-4 p.m. Saturday, October 21, noon-4 p.m.
Saturday, February 11, noon-4 p.m. Saturday, June 10, noon-4 p.m. Saturday, November 4, noon-4 p.m.
Saturday, March 18, noon-4 p.m. July & August - break

Saturday, December 9, noon-4 p.m.

Virtual Genealogy Fairs

Every year, the National Archives hosts a virtual Genealogy Fair via a live webcast on YouTube. The sessions offer family history research tools for all skill levels on Federal records. Thousands of family historians participate in the live event. It is not too late to be part of this educational program!

Session videos and handouts are available free of charge from the links below.

Virtual Genealogy FairsYear 2016Year 2015, Year 2014, Year 2013

2016 National Archives Virtual Genealogy Fair

Did you miss the live broadcast of our largest genealogy event of the year? Session videos and handouts remain available free of charge.

Videos & Handouts at

The National Archives hosted a free, live, two-day virtual Genealogy Fair via webcast on YouTube, offering advice on family history research for all skill levels on Federal records, including basic genealogical research, underutilized records, census, Department of State documents, and military records. Sessions included genealogical research guidance on how to use traditional and online resources and tools.  For the sessions and handouts, visit the Virtual Genealogy Fair web page at

Genealogy Workshops Nationwide

The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) offers the public a comprehensive program of genealogical workshops and courses in its facilities nationwide. Topics include an introduction to genealogy and research into records such as census schedules, military service and pension records, and passenger lists.

More DC, Area Events


All events listed in the calendar are free unless noted.