Innovation Hub

Citizen Scanning

We Make Access Happen!

You can help the National Archives achieve its goal of digitizing all our records when you use the scanners in the Innovation Hub.

How it Works

If you're a researcher at the National Archives in Washington, DC, you can have records brought directly to the Innovation Hub to scan. You can take home a digital copy of your scans free of charge on your own USB drive, and we’ll upload a copy to the National Archives Catalog (please note: uploading to the Catalog will take 8-10 weeks).  Where possible, we'd like you to scan the entire folder of the material that you are using.

Currently, you can walk in and request documents from the four most-requested types of records:

  • Compiled Military Service Records
    • These records contain abstracts taken from muster rolls, pay vouchers, and other records, and provide a basic picture of the soldier's biographical and military information. CMSRs dating from after the Revolutionary War through the Philippine Insurrection are available to scan.
  • Pension Files
    • Pension files contain the soldier's (or their dependent's) application for a pension, as well as supporting evidence such as affidavits, medical records, marriage records, and often other documents. Pension files based on military service between 1783 and 1903 are available to scan. 
  • Bounty Land Records
    • Bounty Land files contain the application of the veteran (or their dependent), as well as supporting evidence such as commissions, discharges, or affidavits. Approved applications also contain information about the land granted. Bounty Land files based on military service between 1790 and 1855 are available to scan. 
  • Carded Medical Records (1780s-1917)
    • These records contain information from other records, such as hospital registers, rolls, and reports, which relate to the medical treatment of individuals in military service or in military hospitals. Carded Medical Records dating from after the Revolutionary War through 1912 are available to scan.

Some of these records have already been digitized by citizen scanners or by our partners. Please check the National Archives Catalog and the list of Records Digitized by Partners to see if the records you're interested in are already available online. 

Other records held at the National Archives Building in Washington, D.C., may be made available for the public to scan. Please contact innovationhub@nara.gov if you would like to scan materials other than those listed above. 

Featured Project

If you don't have records in mind but still want to help us digitize our collections, you can help with our featured project. We will have boxes of records in the Innovation Hub ready to be digitized and you can scan as many pages as you'd like. 

Currently, we are working on logbooks of United States Coast Guard vessels that served in the Vietnam War. You can learn more about these records at our Featured Project page

Citizen Archivist Initiative

Whether you're in the Hub waiting for records to be pulled, or at home, you are also welcome to participate in our Citizen Archivist initiative. By tagging and transcribing records in our online catalog, you can help us improve searchability and accessibility for everyone. 

New in the Catalog

We are constantly adding new records to our catalog. See some of the  recently scanned documents

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