Research Our Records

What's Allowed in Research Rooms

Persons and Personal Use Items

Allowed Not Allowed
  • All persons with a valid researcher identification card

  • Equipment repairmen escorted by NARA staff are the only people allowed through with a red visitor's badge.

  • Persons without a valid pass, or children under 14 years old

  • Food, drink (including water) candy, gum

  • Cigarettes, E-Cigarettes, or any other tobacco products

  • Hand Sanitizer, lotion

Notes and Related Materials

Allowed Not Allowed
  • Stamped research notes on loose paper, NARA issued paper and note cards, handouts, and NARA publications

  • One approved book at a time

  • Pencils and mechanical pencils
  • Envelopes, notebooks, pads, binders, folders 

  • "Post-it" notes (unless stapled to approved pre-existing notes)

  • Pens, highlighters, markers, and other types of non-approved writing utensils

Special Equipment

Allowed * Not Allowed ***
  • Video and audio recording decks
  • Cameras, camcorders and tripods
  • Photographic copy stands (with approval)
  • Video tapes, audio tapes, and film
  • Scanners (only flatbed without autofeed)
  • Personal computers
  • CDs/DVDs
  • Flash bulbs
  • Personal copiers
  • Scanners with auto-feed attachments whether the attachment is disabled or not
  • Hand wand scanners
Please Note:

*All equipment must be removed from cases and the cases stored in lockers

***Any non-government owned equipment is prohibited in from the classified research rooms

Clothing and Personal Effects

Allowed Not Allowed
  • Sweaters and sweatshirts, with or without hoods, short (waist length), indoor business attire (such as suit jackets, sports coats, blazers, or waist-length indoor jackets with or without zippers). Note: All clothing in the research rooms must be worn at all times as designed. Sweaters and sports jackets cannot be worn around the waist or placed on chairs or tables.
  • Scarves, no more than four inches wide and four feet in length
  • Vests (with small pockets & no inner pockets)
  • Religious headwear and garments
  • Small silk or similar indoor- type kerchiefs
  • Coin purses or small pocket sized wallets
  • Small Eye Glass Cases
  • Clear plastic "sandwich/food storage type" bags for holding small items no larger than 10" x 10"
  • Outerwear: Garments worn over indoor clothing primarily as protection against the elements such as, overcoats, coat-type sweaters, wind breakers and jackets (other than indoor business attire)**
  • Hats, caps, or scarves (wider than four inches wide or four feet in length)
  • Purses, fanny packs, briefcases, suitcases, handbags, backpacks, boxes, bags, equipment bags, or containers of any kind
  • Clear plastic bags if larger than 10"x10"
  • Camera Vests

** Please Note:
You may also be asked to remove any outer clothing that is wet or contains outdoor debris. NARA reserves the right to determine whether a garment is considered to be outerwear.