National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) Fact Sheet

The National Archives and Records Administration ensures, for the citizen and the public servant, for the President and the Congress and the Courts, the identification, protection, preservation, and accessibility of historically valuable records of the federal government that document the rights of American citizens, the actions of federal officials, and the national experience from the nation's beginnings in 1774. Among the records in its holdings are our nation’s founding documents: the Declaration of Independence, Constitution, and Bill of Rights.

The records of the nation's civil, military, and diplomatic activities are held by the National Archives and Records Administration in trust for present and future generations. These documents capture the sweep of America's past: slave ship manifests the Emancipation Proclamation, and General Order No. 3; journals of polar expeditions and photographs of Dust Bowl farmers; Indian treaties that made transitory promises, the Louisiana Purchase Treaty that doubled the territory of the young republic; and the records of all our wars and conflicts. In the Washington, DC, area alone, these records total approximately 15 billion pieces of paper and 44 million still pictures and graphics; 300,000 reels of motion picture film and 400,000 sound and video recordings; 12 million maps, charts, and architectural and engineering plans; and 24 million aerial photographs; and 1,265.7 terabytes of electronic records.

Dr. Colleen Shogan became the 11th Archivist of the United States in May 2023. Most recently, Dr. Shogan served as Senior Vice President and Director of the David M. Rubenstein Center at the White House Historical Association. She previously worked in the United States Senate and as a senior executive at the Library of Congress. Dr. Shogan was the Vice Chair of the Women’s Suffrage Centennial Commission and the Chair of the Board of Directors at the Women’s Suffrage National Monument Foundation. A native of the Pittsburgh area, Dr. Shogan holds a BA in Political Science from Boston College and a Ph.D. in American Politics from Yale University, where she was a National Science Foundation Graduate Fellow.

The National Archives and Records Administration, established in 1934, is more than a grand neo-classical building between the White House and the Capitol. It is a national resource, consisting also of the National Archives at College Park, Maryland, 15 Presidential libraries, 15 archival field offices located around the country as well as the Office of the Federal Register, the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC), the Information Security Oversight Office (ISOO), the Office of Government Information Services (OGIS), and the National Declassification Center (NDC).

The Office of the Federal Register edits and publishes a number of important legal and rulemaking publications of the federal government, including the daily Federal Register, the annual Code of Federal Regulations, the United States Statutes-at-Large, the Public Papers of the President, and the U.S. Government Manual. Currently, its publications are all available online free of charge, including the eCFR, today's in-effect edition of the Code of Federal Regulations.

The NHPRC is the grant-making body of the National Archives and Records Administration. Established by law, with 15 members representing the three branches of government and professional societies, the NHPRC subsidizes printed publication series, such as the papers of Thomas Jefferson and Martin Luther King, Jr., and provides grants to state and local governments, libraries, and associations for the care of historical records.

The Presidential libraries operated and maintained by the National Archives and Records Administration now number fifteen. They are:

These libraries preserve and make available to the public the papers and other historical materials of these presidents. Through a variety of public programs, the libraries and their museums provide a rich cultural resource for their communities and an opportunity for scholars and citizens alike to enhance their knowledge of the presidency and the American political system.

Around the country, from Atlanta to Seattle, there are 22 regional records facilities. They store the non-permanent records of the agencies in their regions, as well as preserve and make accessible to researchers essential evidence documenting the actions of the Federal government in their regions. The materials held in the regional records facilities range from court cases relating to the sinking of the Titanic and farm foreclosures during the Great Depression, to naturalization papers for Hollywood stars and Chinese immigration case files.

With facilities in 17 states, and an informative Internet web site at, the National Archives and Records Administration is the most accessible archives in the world.

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For additional research information, please contact the National Archives Research Staff at 1-866-272-6272; for recorded information about public programs and events, please call 202-357-5000 or visit our online Calendar of Events; for additional Press information, please contact the National Archives Public Affairs Staff at