The Online Catalog offers, both in paper form and online, a selection of guides, finding aids, microfilm catalogs, and special archival publications useful to anyone, especially scholars, archivists, historians, and researchers.
Not all finding aids and images on the NARA website are currently described in the Online Catalog, although that is our goal. An updated version of the (Public Link) Guide to Federal Records in the National Archives of the United States can be searched on the NARA website to identify records of interest.
Catalog descriptions are based upon NARA's Lifecycle Data Requirements Guide (LCDRG). The first edition of the Guide, issued in November 2000, contains standards related to archival description. In developing its standards, NARA consulted all relevant external standards to determine their applicability to the description of NARA's holdings of Federal and Presidential Government records and donated materials. NARA used these external standards as a basis for developing a standard which best met the needs of NARA's holdings.
The LCDRG is updated frequently and will expand to cover other portions of the records lifecycle over time.
Having found what you need, let's investigate how you obtain it.