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Land Records

Please note:  Although some of these records have been digitized and made available online, there are many records that are only available in paper or microfilm format at NARA locations.

The access to and acquisition of land drove much of American history.  From wars, treaties, immigration, and settlement, land is interwoven into the very core of what it means to be America.  The National Archives preserves many of the historical records that reflect this topic.  Many Federal agencies that drove land related actions include the General Land Office, the Bureau of Land Management, the Bureau of Reclamation, U.S. Forest Service, and the National Park Service.  Records held by the National Archives that can be of great use to researchers include, but are not limited to Land Entry Case Files, Right of Ways, Mineral Surveys, township surveys, and water rights.

As you plan your research, consider this question:  how does my research topic interest intersect with the US Federal Government?

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