Services for Federal Agencies


Refer to Caption The Washington National Records Center in Suitland, Maryland

The Washington National Records Center (WNRC) provides records management services to headquarters and field offices of Federal agencies located in the District of Columbia, Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia. It also serves Federal Courts located in the District of Columbia and Armed Forces worldwide.

WNRC is the first stop for Federal records after they are no longer actively used by the agency of origin. Agency records stay at the WNRC, where they are tracked through an automated database, until they are either destroyed through recycling or accepted by NARA as permanent records. All Federal agency records management and interaction with the facility is governed by the Code of Federal Regulations as it relates to records management. Access to most records stored at the facility is controlled by the agency of origin, however court records are open to the public.

Storage Services

The WNRC stores records for hundreds of Federal agency offices in its geographical service area. The WNRC has 20 "stacks," each approximately 40,000 square feet in size. The total capacity of the Center is over 3.9 million cubic feet, with the current record holdings of over 3.8 million cubic feet.

WNRC accepts records for storage and servicing in accordance with approved agency records retention schedules, General Records Schedules, and prescribed archival standards.

WNRC provides storage and reference services on a cost reimbursable basis to Federal agencies. For more information, see the Records Center Program pages.

Federal agency staff members should contact by e-mail or call (301) 778-1650 for further information on records storage and disposition procedures.

Technical Workshops

The WNRC offers a webinar entitled, "Using Washington National Records Center Services" via YouTube, which provides specific information on the procedures and documentation currently used in retiring records to the WNRC. It also describes the Center's reference service, procedures for retrieving files, and final disposition of the records.

Reference Services

When requested by authorized agency staff members, the Reference Services Branch staff retrieves and returns records to the Federal agency retaining legal custody of the records. The WNRC generally mails or has available for pick up requested records within 24 hours of receipt. A number of reference request options are available:

Emergency requests can be submitted by fax at 301-778-1534 or telephone at 301-778-1505.

Federal agency staff members should contact Reference Services * for further information on specific reference procedures. The WNRC staff will make photocopies of agency records at a cost of $.65 per page. Payment can be made by cash, check, money order, or credit card.

Customer Service

One of the goals of the National Archives and Records Administration is to provide service that rivals the best in the business. The Customer Comment Form is available in the WNRC Research Room. We appreciate your comments and suggestions for improvement.

WNRC also holds semi-annual focus group meetings each Spring and Fall. If you would like to participate, please call 301-778-1600.

* Please see our Privacy Statement