National Archives at Chicago FAQs
- What is the National Archives at Chicago?
- Do I have to make an appointment to view historical records or microfilm?
- How do I get there?
- Is there parking available?
- What are your hours?
- Which building entrance do I use?
- I'm from out of town, can you recommend a hotel in the area?
- Can I bring my laptop/digital camera/scanner?
- Can I make my own copies?
- How much are copies and reproductions?
- You are in Chicago, does that mean you have Cook County records?
- I need my copies certified. Can you do that?
- What materials can be brought into the research rooms?
- I'd like to become a Volunteer or Intern. How do I apply?
- Where can I find information about public programs presented by the National Archives at Chicago?
Q. What is the National Archives at Chicago?
A. As one of the branches of the National Archives, we hold historical Federal records for six states: Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Wisconsin, Minnesota and Michigan. There are three National Archives operations at our facility in Chicago:
- Archival Operations (maintains historical records for the public)
- Federal Records Center (maintains current records of Federal agencies and courts)
- Records Management Program (works with Federal agencies to transfer records to the National Archives).
For information and updates on the Barack Obama Presidential Center, which will include a library , archive and museum, click the link above!
Q. Do I have to make an appointment to view historical records or microfilm?
A. No, though we strongly recommend that textual researchers contact us at least one to two days in advance to confirm that we hold the records needed for their research, and that the records are available on the day of their visit. If you're trying to obtain a copy of a recent bankruptcy, contact the Records Center at (773) 948-9030 for more information, since many of these records are held off site. Public access computers and microfilm readers are usually freely available, but feel free to contact us to verify that they are not being used by other patrons.
Q. How do I get there?
A. We suggest you review our directions. Despite our Pulaski Road address, access to our facility is on West 75th Street, about one block west of the Pulaski Road/75th Street intersection.
Q. What are your hours?
A. The Archives is open Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m to 4:15 p.m. Please be aware that we stop pulling records one hour before closing. We are closed on all Federal holidays. Learn More
Q. Which building entrance do I use?
A. If you're visiting to review microfilm or textual records that are 30 years old or older, use the entrance on the east side of the building that has a gray awning leading up to it. This is our public entrance.
Q. Can I bring my laptop/digital camera/scanner?
A. You're welcome to bring a laptop, digital camera, or flat-bed scanner. However, we request that you contact us prior to your visit to discuss any limitations on using such equipment. No flash is allowed.
Q. How much are copies and reproductions?
A. Photocopies of textual records are $0.80 per page. There's a $20.00 minimum fee for mail orders. Scans made from microfilm are $0.40 per page. A limited number of digital images can be made for $10.00 per image. This link provides additional information about our fee schedule.
Q. You are in Chicago, does that mean you have Cook County records?
A. No! Cook County records are not Federal records, so you will need to contact the Cook County archive
Q. What materials can be brought into research rooms?
A. For information on what materials can, or cannot, be brought into research rooms, see the Regulations for Using the National Archives.
Q. I'd like to become a Volunteer or Intern. How do I apply?
A. Great! If you're interested in learning more about these opportunities, see our Volunteer and Internship Opportunities page.
Q. Where can I find information about public programs presented by the National Archives at Chicago?
A. Currently our Public Programs are on hold, but our Facebook Page provides up-to-date information on events and other information.