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Module 1: History and Mission of NARA
Page 10 of 128
Why Do We Have an Archives?
d The text "Why do we have an archives?" and the "The written word remains" animate onto the top and bottom of the screen. Then three images animate in. 1st is of the declaration, 2nd is the constitution, and 3rd is the American State Papers. An image of the National Archives II facility drops down from top of the screen. In the end, an open book icon with the text ‘Read Jane Fitzgerald’s experience working at NARA’ appears. This button can be selected to read the corresponding story.

Why do we have an archives? NARA's motto is "Littera Scripta Manet" which means "The Written Word Remains." From the earliest years of this country, we see evidence of a desire to preserve a record of our nation's history. The Federal Government recognized relatively early that its records, from the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, to the many documents created throughout the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial Branches, provide tangible, unique, and enduring evidence of our identity as a country. Evidence of this is clear from 1831, when Congress began support of a series of volumes called the (Public Link) American State Papers, in which important Executive and Legislative documents dating from 1789 to 1838 were published. This interest in preserving our history led to the establishment of the National Archives 100 years later.

Select the storybook to read about how an employee works to preserve America's paper trail!

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