Research Our Records

Research Room Rules

Researcher Notice - Effective October 1, 2018

Research Services is committed to improving the experience of all users of archival records in the custody of the National Archives while also ensuring the safety of the records. To that end, we have finalized a common set of rules which will be implemented in archival research rooms nationwide over the next few months. Implementation in the Washington, DC area will occur on October 1, 2018, and all other facilities will implement the rules January 2, 2019.

The rules are intended to provide clear instructions to both staff and researchers on the research room:

  • registration process;
  • entry and exit procedures;
  • items authorized and not authorized for use in the research rooms;
  • pull requests;
  • records handling guidelines; and
  • copying and equipment approvals.

The rules reflect the National Archives’ current approach to holdings security and are intended to ensure a consistent customer service experience across all facilities. There may be unique circumstances in the specific facility you use that warrant additional guidance or clarification. However, this additional guidance will not contradict the common set of research room rules.

The rules will be available for researcher use in each facility or can be requested in writing from the facility managers listed below.