Native American Heritage

Bureau of Indian Affairs

Allotment Records, Applications, Case Files, Correspondence, Rolls

Background on the Bureau of Indian Affairs

refer to caption

Photograph from an industrial survey report of Fort Bidwell Agency, California. The photograph presumably depicts Bieber Quinn, Leroy Quinn, Sally Ann Quinn, and Sally Jack sitting on a front porch., ca. 1924.

The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) maintains historically significant and permanently valuable records created by the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) and its predecessor agencies from as early as 1793. Tasked with federal oversight of American Indians and Alaska Natives, the BIA interacted with many individuals and families.

Most records related to American Indians and Alaska Natives in NARA's holdings primarily document administrative matters and the management of tribal and individual resources by the federal government.

Records created by the BIA can be found at many NARA research facilities throughout the country. There is no comprehensive index to these records. It is important to know the tribe and/or BIA agency to locate potentially relevant records.

Each agency’s records include various record series, usually arranged chronologically, alphabetically, numerically, or by subject. Research can require extensive time or repeat visits. Some records have been microfilmed and/or digitized.

Select topics are listed below. For descriptions of other records in NARA's holdings, search the National Archives Catalog. For questions, Contact Us.


BIA Photo Explorer



Allotment Records
Applications & Case Files
BIA records for each state, its agencies, bands, and tribes   BIA schools in each state  
Correspondence Files

Present-day Federal Records