Research at the National Archives

How to Access

How to Access the Records

Are Department of State documents online in the National Archives Catalog?

  • No. Most records in the National Archives Catalog are described at a higher (more general) level. However, some individual items, such as the Zimmermann Telegram in 1917 and Fidel Castro's letter to President Franklin Roosevelt in 1940, have been digitized and are available through the National Archives Catalog.

National Archives Catalog

The National Archives Catalog provides a description of archival holdings by record group, collection, series, and in some cases down to the file units and individual item level. Access the National Archives Catalog at

Write to Us

National Archives staff are available to do limited research and to answer specific questions. Mail your request to:

Civilian Reference (NWCTC), Room 2600,
National Archives at College Park,
8601 Adelphi Road,
College Park, MD 20740-6001,

By e-mail: Contact Us

If you send enough information, we may be able to make a specific search and provide information for ordering copies.


Many of the records series of Department of State records have been microfilmed, and are available for review at the National Archives. All the microfilm are available at the National Archives in College Park, Maryland. Copies of selected microfilm are also available in the Regional Archives. Check the Microfilm Catalog to find out which locations besides College Park have which microfilm. Microfilm is also available for purchase.

See also the Diplomatic Records Microfilm Catalog for more information.
To Search the catalog online:

  1. From the main Microfilm Catalog page, click Advanced Search (next to the Search button)
  2. In the righthand column, under Subject Catalog, select "Diplomatic Records"
  3. Enter any related Subject Terms in the line above, such as a country name
  4. Hit "Search"

For more information, Contact Us

Visit NARA

Most of the Department of State records are located in the National Archives at College Park, Maryland.

Hire a Researcher

Researchers specializing in Diplomatic Records