The Center for Legislative Archives

How to Access Records

Rules of Access

The holdings of the Center for Legislative Archives are made available according to access policies set by the creator of the records. The Center holds both open and closed records. It is important to know the rules of access before planninig your research visit to be sure the records you are interested in accessing are available. Some open records must be screened for privacy or other restrictions before they can be viewed.

Consult our page on Rules of Access for more detailed information. We encourage researchers to contact the Center at (202) 357-5350 or legislative.archives@nara.gov before planning your research visit. The records of the legislative branch are not subject to the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act.

Planning Your Research Visit

We encourage researchers to contact the Center for Legislative Archives by email legislative.archives@nara.gov or telephone (202 357-5350) before you plan your research visit to Washington, DC. This will allow our staff to expedite your research visit and ensure the records you wish to consult are open and available for research. Archivists are available to speak with you Monday - Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The Center for Legislative Archives is located in the National Archives building in downtown Washington, DC. For directions and additional information about conducting research at the National Archives, visit Information for Researchers at the National Archives Building in Washington, DC.

The National Archives provides free access to several subscription databases while at a National Archives facility.

Research Hours for the National Archives Building in Washington

The National Archives building is open for research Monday through Friday, 8:45 a.m. to 5:45 p.m. It is closed Saturdays, Sundays, and Federal Holidays.

Legislative archivists are available Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m, and can pull legislative records from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Please note that the the Center does not pull legislative records on Saturdays.

Records in College Park

Most of the Center's records are located at the National Archives building in Washington, DC. However, some legislative records are made available through the Research Room in College Park, MD, including Publications of the U.S. Government (Record Group 287), Records of the General Accounting Office (Record Group 411), and most audio-visual records, such as photographs, sound recordings, and videos. To access these records, contact the Research Room in College Park, MD.

 

Ready to start your research?

Visit our Research Portal to browse and search legislative records.

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