The National Archives Catalog

Welcome to the New National Archives Catalog

The National Archives Catalog has a new look! We are excited to introduce a fully redesigned and modernized online public access Catalog. This new and improved Catalog maximizes our ability to make the records of the National Archives even more accessible. 

Access the new Catalog.

We invite you to try out the new Catalog and let us know what you think! We will continue to introduce new features over the next several months. The new Catalog officially launched on November 21, 2022, replacing the legacy Catalog at catalog.archives.gov. Our legacy Catalog (legacy.catalog.archives.gov) will still be available until March 2023, but please note search result navigation capabilities for searches with high numbers of results may be limited.

About the new Catalog

The new Catalog focuses on scalability and is a new platform prepared for the future. In the next few years we will grow to 500 million digitized pages. New back-end enhancements will ensure an improved search experience. Our new Catalog makes it easier and more intuitive for you to find what you are looking for, and potentially discover related content of interest.

This redesigned Catalog is the result of a two-year agile development process, focusing on user research and testing. Many thanks to all of our volunteers who answered the call to provide input, feedback, and testing.

Thank you for giving our new Catalog a try! We look forward to hearing your thoughts about the new and improved search experience.

What’s new 

Here are some of the new features and benefits you can expect from the new Catalog:

Feature Details
(NEW) Better, faster performance and searching The new Catalog uses OpenSearch and is designed to scale and perform better. The rebuilt site should return and load search results faster. We also switched to a new and improved optical character recognition (OCR) tool for turning text in digitized documents into searchable text. Better OCR should lead to improved search and discovery, too.
(NEW) Mobile-friendly experience (mobile first design and interface) The new Catalog uses a mobile first design approach and a flexible display layout that is easier for resizing for different screens and devices.
(NEW) Improved 508 / accessibility Accessibility features are enhanced and streamlined. The Catalog team tested for accessibility compliance, color contrast, screen reading tool compatibility, and more.
(NEW) Enhanced image viewing: New pan and zoom features Get a closer look at the details! We are using International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) technology and the Leaflet viewer to provide image tiling, pan, zoom, thumbnails, and access copies of digital images on the fly. This allows us to provide our users with higher quality digital images, while also making the storage and importing of images for the Catalog more efficient.
(NEW) More user-friendly display of archival descriptions and authority records Based on user experience feedback and testing with our customers, we created new, more intuitive displays for archival descriptions and authority files for organizations, people, and topical subjects.
Filter by Begin/End Congress Dates Use Advanced Search to search Congressional Records by Congress number or Congressional date range.
PDF Display View the PDF documents with our new and improved PDF viewer. You can now view entire PDFs,  including page numbers, without leaving the Catalog. PDFs are also available as downloadable files.
OCR search result highlighting We are listening and we know this feature is important to you. Optical character recognition (OCR) highlighting is now available in the search results so you have context and confirmation that your keywords appeared in the digital objects returned in your search results. This feature can be turned off by selecting Options in the blue page header.
Rotating background image on homepage Enjoy the Catalog homepage, featuring a rotating selection of images from National Archives Catalog records.
(NEW) Login.gov Catalog user accounts are now migrated and mapped to Login.gov. Now it is easier to manage your Login.gov with a login you may use on other federal agency websites.
(NEW) Enhanced features for contributors The new Catalog provides a new user customer experience for contributors with more intuitive features for adding tags, comments, and transcriptions. It includes a new, more engaging dashboard for user contributor accounts showing activity related to your contributions.
Bulk records export Our customers, especially educators, often ask for bulk records exports and feature enhancements related to exports. We will deliver a baseline functionality now and continue to refine and expand on these features in the coming years.
Sharing on social media and in messages Share your discoveries and your contributions with your friends, colleagues, and family. There is a stable URL for every description which you can copy via the Share button to paste anywhere (email, documents, social media, and direct messages). We will have a widget for easy sharing on Facebook soon, and later we may iterate on some other social media sharing features, based on feedback from customers.

What’s coming

The new Catalog is a work in progress! Here are some features that you can expect to find over the next several months of development:

Feature Details
(NEW) New records/ holdings added daily Currently the Catalog updates on a weekly basis. The processing times for import now will only take a few hours, so new Catalog records and digital copies can be imported daily.
(NEW) New, improved, and more user friendly Application Programming Interface (API) We are excited about the new Application Programming Interface (API) experience. It includes a simplified data structure, more aggregated data, and documentation in Swagger. We think it is easier to use and look forward to your feedback about it.
Advanced and Faceted Search We will continue to roll out more advanced search features during the preview period, including additional facets that can be used to refine your search.
Saved lists Based on customer feedback we will introduce a new user experience for saved lists.

FAQs

Q: Can I still access the legacy Catalog?

A: Not yet ready to make the switch? Our legacy Catalog will still be available until March 2023, giving you the chance to try out the new Catalog alongside the Catalog you are familiar with. You can access the legacy Catalog at legacy.catalog.archives.gov

Q: How do I contribute as a Citizen Archivist to the new Catalog?

A: Citizen Archivist contributions (tags, transcriptions, and comments) and contributions functions are now available in the new Catalog! Learn how to register and get started, and find additional instructions on our Citizen Archivist Dashboard

Q: Where can I find help searching the Catalog? 

A: We’ll be updating the Catalog help pages as we continue with Catalog development. Check them out at Using the National Archives Catalog.

Q: How do I give feedback about the new Catalog?

A: We’d love to hear what you think about the new Catalog! Email us at catalog@nara.gov or fill out the new Catalog feedback survey.

 

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