NARA and Declassification

General Information about Restricted Records

Federal records may be restricted by statute, Executive Order, or by the agency that transferred the records to NARA. All agency-specified restrictions must comply with the exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Even if the records are not national-security classified, some records contain information exempt from release under the FOIA. Presidential records are governed by separate access laws, for more information please visit the website for the Office of Presidential Libraries.

The public may request access to all closed records under the Freedom of Information Act, in addition, access to classified records may be requested under the Mandatory Declassification Review (MDR) provisions of Executive Order 13526. If your initial access request for archival records is denied, you will be notified of your right to appeal the decision. Please note that EO 13526 provides for alternate appeal methods for Mandatory Review requests if you have not received a response in one year, more information is available on the website for the Information Security Oversight Office.