Native American Heritage

Bureau of Indian Affairs

Allotment Records, Applications, Case Files, 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. (National Archives Identifier 296316)

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

Most American Indian-related records held by the NARA primarily relate to administrative matters and the management of tribal and individual resources by the Federal government.

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

Each agency’s records includes 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. For research assistance, visit the National Archives Catalog or 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  
Present-day Federal Records