National Archives and Records Administration

National Archives and Records Administration

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Encyclopedia
The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) is an independent agency of the United States government
Independent agencies of the United States government
Independent agencies of the United States federal government are those agencies that exist outside of the federal executive departments...

 charged with preserving and documenting government and historical records and with increasing public access to those documents, which comprise the National Archives. NARA is officially responsible for maintaining and publishing the legally authentic and authoritative copies of acts of Congress
United States Congress
The United States Congress is the bicameral legislature of the federal government of the United States, consisting of the Senate and the House of Representatives. The Congress meets in the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C....

, presidential proclamations and executive orders, and federal regulations. The chief administrator of NARA, the Archivist of the United States
Archivist of the United States
The Archivist of the United States is the chief official overseeing the operation of the National Archives and Records Administration. The first Archivist, R.D.W. Connor, began serving in 1934, when the National Archives was established as an independent federal agency by Congress...

, not only maintains the official documentation of the passage of amendments to the U.S. Constitution by state legislatures, but has the authority to declare when the constitutional threshold for passage has been reached, and therefore when an act has become an amendment.

History



Originally, each branch and agency of the U.S. government was responsible for maintaining its own documents, which often resulted in the loss and destruction of records. Congress
United States Congress
The United States Congress is the bicameral legislature of the federal government of the United States, consisting of the Senate and the House of Representatives. The Congress meets in the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C....

 established the National Archives Establishment in 1934 to centralize federal record keeping, with the Archivist of the United States
Archivist of the United States
The Archivist of the United States is the chief official overseeing the operation of the National Archives and Records Administration. The first Archivist, R.D.W. Connor, began serving in 1934, when the National Archives was established as an independent federal agency by Congress...

 as its chief administrator. The National Archives was incorporated into the General Services Administration
General Services Administration
The General Services Administration is an independent agency of the United States government, established in 1949 to help manage and support the basic functioning of federal agencies. The GSA supplies products and communications for U.S...

 in 1949, but in 1985 it became an independent agency as NARA (National Archives and Records Administration).

Most of the documents in the care of NARA are in the public domain
Public domain
Works are in the public domain if the intellectual property rights have expired, if the intellectual property rights are forfeited, or if they are not covered by intellectual property rights at all...

, as works of the federal government are excluded from copyright
Copyright
Copyright is a legal concept, enacted by most governments, giving the creator of an original work exclusive rights to it, usually for a limited time...

 protection. However, some documents that have come into the care of NARA from other sources may still be protected by copyright or donor agreements. NARA also stores classified documents and its Information Security Oversight Office
Information Security Oversight Office
The Information Security Oversight Office is responsible to the President for policy and oversight of the government-wide security classification system and the National Industrial Security Program...

 monitors and sets policy for the U.S. government's security classification system.

NARA's holdings are classified into "record groups" reflecting the governmental department or agency from which they originated. The records include paper records, microfilmed records, still pictures, motion pictures, and electronic media.

Many of NARA's most requested records are frequently used for research in genealogy
Genealogy
Genealogy is the study of families and the tracing of their lineages and history. Genealogists use oral traditions, historical records, genetic analysis, and other records to obtain information about a family and to demonstrate kinship and pedigrees of its members...

. This includes census
Census
A census is the procedure of systematically acquiring and recording information about the members of a given population. It is a regularly occurring and official count of a particular population. The term is used mostly in connection with national population and housing censuses; other common...

 records from 1790 to 1930, as well as ships passenger lists and naturalization
Naturalization
Naturalization is the acquisition of citizenship and nationality by somebody who was not a citizen of that country at the time of birth....

 records.

The National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC), the agency's grant-making arm, awards funds to state and local governments, public and private archives, colleges and universities, and other nonprofit organizations to preserve and publish historical records. Since 1964, the NHPRC has awarded some 4,500 grants.

2006 controversy over reclassification



In March 2006, it was revealed by the Archivist of the United States in a public hearing that a memorandum of understanding between NARA and various government agencies existed to "reclassify", i.e., withdraw from public access, certain documents in the name of national security, and to do so in a manner such that researchers would not be likely to discover the process.
An audit indicated that more than one third withdrawn since 1999, did not contain sensitive information.

Security


In 2011, a retired employee pled guilty to stealing original sound recordings from the archives.
Archival Recovery Teams investigate stolen records.

National Archives Building


The National Archives Building, known informally as Archives I, located north of the National Mall
National Mall
The National Mall is an open-area national park in downtown Washington, D.C., the capital of the United States. The National Mall is a unit of the National Park Service , and is administered by the National Mall and Memorial Parks unit...

 on Constitution Avenue
Constitution Avenue
In Washington, D.C., Constitution Avenue is a major east-west street running just north of the United States Capitol in the city's Northwest and Northeast quadrants...

 in Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. On July 16, 1790, the United States Congress approved the creation of a permanent national capital as permitted by the U.S. Constitution....

, opened as its original headquarters in 1935. It holds the original copies of the three main formative documents of the United States and its government: the Declaration of Independence
United States Declaration of Independence
The Declaration of Independence was a statement adopted by the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776, which announced that the thirteen American colonies then at war with Great Britain regarded themselves as independent states, and no longer a part of the British Empire. John Adams put forth a...

, the Constitution
United States Constitution
The Constitution of the United States is the supreme law of the United States of America. It is the framework for the organization of the United States government and for the relationship of the federal government with the states, citizens, and all people within the United States.The first three...

, and the Bill of Rights
United States Bill of Rights
The Bill of Rights is the collective name for the first ten amendments to the United States Constitution. These limitations serve to protect the natural rights of liberty and property. They guarantee a number of personal freedoms, limit the government's power in judicial and other proceedings, and...

. It also hosts a copy of the 1297 Magna Carta
Magna Carta
Magna Carta is an English charter, originally issued in the year 1215 and reissued later in the 13th century in modified versions, which included the most direct challenges to the monarch's authority to date. The charter first passed into law in 1225...

 confirmed by Edward I
Edward I of England
Edward I , also known as Edward Longshanks and the Hammer of the Scots, was King of England from 1272 to 1307. The first son of Henry III, Edward was involved early in the political intrigues of his father's reign, which included an outright rebellion by the English barons...

. These are displayed to the public in the main chamber of the National Archives, which is called the Rotunda
Rotunda (architecture)
A rotunda is any building with a circular ground plan, sometimes covered by a dome. It can also refer to a round room within a building . The Pantheon in Rome is a famous rotunda. A Band Rotunda is a circular bandstand, usually with a dome...

 for the Charters of Freedom
Charters of Freedom
The term Charters of Freedom is used to describe the three documents in early American history which are considered instrumental to its founding and philosophy. These documents are the United States Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights...

.
The National Archives Building also exhibits other important American historical documents such as the Louisiana Purchase Treaty
Louisiana Purchase
The Louisiana Purchase was the acquisition by the United States of America of of France's claim to the territory of Louisiana in 1803. The U.S...

, the Emancipation Proclamation
Emancipation Proclamation
The Emancipation Proclamation is an executive order issued by United States President Abraham Lincoln on January 1, 1863, during the American Civil War using his war powers. It proclaimed the freedom of 3.1 million of the nation's 4 million slaves, and immediately freed 50,000 of them, with nearly...

, and collections of photography and other historically and culturally significant American artifacts.

Once inside the Rotunda for the Charters of Freedom, there are no lines to see the individual documents and visitors are allowed to walk from document to document as they wish. For over 30 years the National Archives have forbidden flash photography but the advent of digital cameras with automatic flashes have made the rules increasingly difficult to enforce. As a result, all filming, photographing, and videotaping by the public in the exhibition areas has been prohibited since February 25, 2010.

National Archives at College Park


Because of space constraints, NARA opened a second facility, known informally as Archives II, in 1994 near the University of Maryland, College Park
University of Maryland, College Park
The University of Maryland, College Park is a top-ranked public research university located in the city of College Park in Prince George's County, Maryland, just outside Washington, D.C...

 campus (8601 Adelphi Road, College Park, MD, 20740-6001). Largely because of this proximity, NARA and the University of Maryland engage in cooperative initiatives. The College Park campus includes an archaeological site
National Archives Archeological Site (College Park, Maryland)
The National Archives Site is an archeological site at the National Archives facility in College Park, Prince George's County, Maryland. The site contains archeological remains from prehistoric settlements during the Late Archaic period, c. 4000-1500 B.C...

 that was listed on the National Register of Historic Places
National Register of Historic Places
The National Register of Historic Places is the United States government's official list of districts, sites, buildings, structures, and objects deemed worthy of preservation...

 in 1996.

Affiliated facilities


The National Archives Building in downtown Washington holds record collections such as all existing federal census records, ships' passenger lists, military unit records from the American Revolution
American Revolution
The American Revolution was the political upheaval during the last half of the 18th century in which thirteen colonies in North America joined together to break free from the British Empire, combining to become the United States of America...

 to the Philippine-American War
Philippine-American War
The Philippine–American War, also known as the Philippine War of Independence or the Philippine Insurrection , was an armed conflict between a group of Filipino revolutionaries and the United States which arose from the struggle of the First Philippine Republic to gain independence following...

, records of the Confederate government, the Freedmen's Bureau records, and pension and land records.

There are also ten Affiliated Archives locations across the U.S. which hold, by formal, written agreement with NARA, accessioned records.
  • University of North Texas Libraries, Denton, Texas
  • U.S. Military Academy Archives, West Point, New York
  • William W. Jeffries Memorial Archives
    William W. Jeffries Memorial Archives
    The William W. Jeffries Memorial Archives, found at the United States Naval Academy in the Nimitz Library, was named in dedication of William Worthington Jeffries , former professor, archivist, and museum director at the Academy from 1942 to 1989.Professor William W...

    , U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland
  • HABS/HAER Division, National Park Service, Washington, DC
  • Oklahoma Historical Society
    Oklahoma Historical Society
    The Oklahoma Historical Society is an agency of the government of Oklahoma dedicated to promotion and preservation of Oklahoma's history and its people by collecting, interpreting, and disseminating knowledge and artifacts of Oklahoma....

    , Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
  • Pennsylvania State Archives
    Pennsylvania State Archives
    The Pennsylvania State Archives is the official archive for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, administered as part of the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission. It is located in the state capitol of Harrisburg and is a part of the Pennsylvania State Capitol Complex.It was founded in 1903,...

    , Bureau of Archives and History, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
  • Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress, Washington, DC
  • State Records Center and Archives, Santa Fe, New Mexico
  • U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC
  • Yellowstone National Park Archives, Wyoming

Regional facilities


There are fourteen facilities across the country with research rooms and archival holdings and microfilms of documents of federal agencies and courts pertinent to each region, and two major facilities in St. Louis, Missouri
St. Louis, Missouri
St. Louis is an independent city on the eastern border of Missouri, United States. With a population of 319,294, it was the 58th-largest U.S. city at the 2010 U.S. Census. The Greater St...

 which comprise the National Personnel Records Center
National Personnel Records Center
The National Personnel Records Center is an agency of the National Archives and Records Administration, created in 1956. It is divided into two large Federal Records Centers located in St...

.
  • Anchorage, Alaska
    Anchorage, Alaska
    Anchorage is a unified home rule municipality in the southcentral part of the U.S. state of Alaska. It is the northernmost major city in the United States...

     - Pacific Alaska Region
  • Laguna Niguel, California
    Laguna Niguel, California
    Laguna Niguel is an affluent city located in southern Orange County, California. The name "Laguna Niguel" is derived from the Spanish word "Laguna" which means lagoon, and the word "Nigueli" which was the name of a Juaneño Indian village that was once located on Aliso Creek. The population was...

    , Pacific Region
  • San Francisco (located in San Bruno, California
    San Bruno, California
    San Bruno is a city in San Mateo County, California, United States. The population was 41,114 at the 2010 census.The city is adjacent to San Francisco International Airport and Golden Gate National Cemetery.-Geography:San Bruno is located at...

    ), Pacific Region
  • Denver, Colorado
    Colorado
    Colorado is a U.S. state that encompasses much of the Rocky Mountains as well as the northeastern portion of the Colorado Plateau and the western edge of the Great Plains...

    , Rocky Mountain Region
  • Atlanta, Georgia
    Georgia (U.S. state)
    Georgia is a state located in the southeastern United States. It was established in 1732, the last of the original Thirteen Colonies. The state is named after King George II of Great Britain. Georgia was the fourth state to ratify the United States Constitution, on January 2, 1788...

    , Southeast Region
  • Chicago
    Chicago
    Chicago is the largest city in the US state of Illinois. With nearly 2.7 million residents, it is the most populous city in the Midwestern United States and the third most populous in the US, after New York City and Los Angeles...

    , Illinois
    Illinois
    Illinois is the fifth-most populous state of the United States of America, and is often noted for being a microcosm of the entire country. With Chicago in the northeast, small industrial cities and great agricultural productivity in central and northern Illinois, and natural resources like coal,...

    , Great Lakes Region
  • Boston
    Boston
    Boston is the capital of and largest city in Massachusetts, and is one of the oldest cities in the United States. The largest city in New England, Boston is regarded as the unofficial "Capital of New England" for its economic and cultural impact on the entire New England region. The city proper had...

    , Massachusetts
    Massachusetts
    The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. It is bordered by Rhode Island and Connecticut to the south, New York to the west, and Vermont and New Hampshire to the north; at its east lies the Atlantic Ocean. As of the 2010...

    , Northeast Region
  • Pittsfield, Massachusetts
    Pittsfield, Massachusetts
    Pittsfield is the largest city and the county seat of Berkshire County, Massachusetts, United States. It is the principal city of the Pittsfield, Massachusetts Metropolitan Statistical Area which encompasses all of Berkshire County. Its area code is 413. Its ZIP code is 01201...

    , Northeast Region, microfilm research room
  • Kansas City, Missouri
    Kansas City, Missouri
    Kansas City, Missouri is the largest city in the U.S. state of Missouri and is the anchor city of the Kansas City Metropolitan Area, the second largest metropolitan area in Missouri. It encompasses in parts of Jackson, Clay, Cass, and Platte counties...

  • St. Louis, Missouri
    St. Louis, Missouri
    St. Louis is an independent city on the eastern border of Missouri, United States. With a population of 319,294, it was the 58th-largest U.S. city at the 2010 U.S. Census. The Greater St...

    , National Personnel Records Center
  • New York City, New York, Northeast Region
  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
    Pennsylvania
    The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is a U.S. state that is located in the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. The state borders Delaware and Maryland to the south, West Virginia to the southwest, Ohio to the west, New York and Ontario, Canada, to the north, and New Jersey to...

    , Mid Atlantic Region
  • Fort Worth, Texas
    Fort Worth, Texas
    Fort Worth is the 16th-largest city in the United States of America and the fifth-largest city in the state of Texas. Located in North Central Texas, just southeast of the Texas Panhandle, the city is a cultural gateway into the American West and covers nearly in Tarrant, Parker, Denton, and...

    , Southwest Region
  • Seattle, Washington, Pacific Alaska Region
  • Valmeyer, Illinois
    Valmeyer, Illinois
    Valmeyer is a village in Monroe County, Illinois, United States, on the Mississippi River. The population was 1200 at the 2006 census.-History:...

    , National Personnel Records Center

Presidential libraries


NARA also maintains the Presidential Library system
Presidential library
In the United States, the Presidential library system is a nationwide network of 13 libraries administered by the Office of Presidential Libraries, which is part of the National Archives and Records Administration...

, a nationwide network of libraries for preserving and making available the documents of U.S. presidents
President of the United States
The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces....

 since Herbert Hoover
Herbert Hoover
Herbert Clark Hoover was the 31st President of the United States . Hoover was originally a professional mining engineer and author. As the United States Secretary of Commerce in the 1920s under Presidents Warren Harding and Calvin Coolidge, he promoted partnerships between government and business...

. The Presidential Libraries include:
  • Herbert Hoover Presidential Library in West Branch, Iowa
    West Branch, Iowa
    West Branch is a city in Cedar and Johnson counties in the U.S. state of Iowa. The population was 2,342 as of July 2009, a 7% growth since the 2000 census...

  • Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library in Hyde Park, New York
    Hyde Park, New York
    Hyde Park is a town located in the northwest part of Dutchess County, New York, United States, just north of the city of Poughkeepsie. The town is most famous for being the hometown of U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt....

  • Harry S. Truman Presidential Library in Independence, Missouri
    Independence, Missouri
    Independence is the fourth largest city in the U.S. state of Missouri, and is contained within the counties of Jackson and Clay. It is part of the Kansas City Metropolitan Area...

  • Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library in Abilene, Kansas
    Abilene, Kansas
    Abilene is a city in and the county seat of Dickinson County, Kansas, United States. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 6,844.-History:...

  • John F. Kennedy Presidential Library in Boston
    Boston
    Boston is the capital of and largest city in Massachusetts, and is one of the oldest cities in the United States. The largest city in New England, Boston is regarded as the unofficial "Capital of New England" for its economic and cultural impact on the entire New England region. The city proper had...

    , Massachusetts
    Massachusetts
    The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. It is bordered by Rhode Island and Connecticut to the south, New York to the west, and Vermont and New Hampshire to the north; at its east lies the Atlantic Ocean. As of the 2010...

  • Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library in Austin, Texas
    Austin, Texas
    Austin is the capital city of the U.S. state of :Texas and the seat of Travis County. Located in Central Texas on the eastern edge of the American Southwest, it is the fourth-largest city in Texas and the 14th most populous city in the United States. It was the third-fastest-growing large city in...

  • Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum in Yorba Linda, California
    Yorba Linda, California
    Yorba Linda is a suburban city in northeastern Orange County, California, approximately northeast of Downtown Santa Ana, and southeast of Downtown Los Angeles....

  • Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library
    Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library
    The Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library is part of the National Archives and Records Administration's presidential library system. The library is located at 1000 Beal Avenue on the north campus of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, where Ford was a student and football player...

     in Ann Arbor, Michigan
    Ann Arbor, Michigan
    Ann Arbor is a city in the U.S. state of Michigan and the county seat of Washtenaw County. The 2010 census places the population at 113,934, making it the sixth largest city in Michigan. The Ann Arbor Metropolitan Statistical Area had a population of 344,791 as of 2010...

  • Jimmy Carter Presidential Library in Atlanta, Georgia
    Georgia (U.S. state)
    Georgia is a state located in the southeastern United States. It was established in 1732, the last of the original Thirteen Colonies. The state is named after King George II of Great Britain. Georgia was the fourth state to ratify the United States Constitution, on January 2, 1788...

  • Ronald Reagan Presidential Library
    Ronald Reagan Presidential Library
    The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Center for Public Affairs is the presidential library and final resting place of Ronald Wilson Reagan, the 40th President of the United States. Designed by Hugh Stubbins and Associates, the library is located in Simi Valley, California, about northwest of...

     in Simi Valley, California
    Simi Valley, California
    -2010:The 2010 United States Census reported that Simi Valley had a population of 124,237. The population density was 2,940.8 people per square mile...

  • George Bush Presidential Library
    George Bush Presidential Library
    The George Bush Presidential Library and Museum is the presidential library of George H. W. Bush, the 41st President of the United States. It was dedicated on Nov. 6, 1997 and opened to the public shortly thereafter...

     in College Station, Texas
    College Station, Texas
    College Station is a city in Brazos County, Texas, situated in East Central Texas in the heart of the Brazos Valley. The city is located within the most populated region of Texas, near three of the 10 largest cities in the United States - Houston, Dallas, and San Antonio...

  • William J. Clinton Presidential Library in Little Rock, Arkansas
    Little Rock, Arkansas
    Little Rock is the capital and the largest city of the U.S. state of Arkansas. The Metropolitan Statistical Area had a population of 699,757 people in the 2010 census...

  • George W. Bush Presidential Library in Dallas, Texas
    Texas
    Texas is the second largest U.S. state by both area and population, and the largest state by area in the contiguous United States.The name, based on the Caddo word "Tejas" meaning "friends" or "allies", was applied by the Spanish to the Caddo themselves and to the region of their settlement in...



Libraries and museums have been established for other presidents, but they are not part of the NARA presidential library system, and are operated by private foundations, historical societies, or state governments, including the William McKinley
William McKinley
William McKinley, Jr. was the 25th President of the United States . He is best known for winning fiercely fought elections, while supporting the gold standard and high tariffs; he succeeded in forging a Republican coalition that for the most part dominated national politics until the 1930s...

, Rutherford Hayes, Calvin Coolidge
Calvin Coolidge
John Calvin Coolidge, Jr. was the 30th President of the United States . A Republican lawyer from Vermont, Coolidge worked his way up the ladder of Massachusetts state politics, eventually becoming governor of that state...

, Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln was the 16th President of the United States, serving from March 1861 until his assassination in April 1865. He successfully led his country through a great constitutional, military and moral crisis – the American Civil War – preserving the Union, while ending slavery, and...

 and Woodrow Wilson
Woodrow Wilson
Thomas Woodrow Wilson was the 28th President of the United States, from 1913 to 1921. A leader of the Progressive Movement, he served as President of Princeton University from 1902 to 1910, and then as the Governor of New Jersey from 1911 to 1913...

 libraries. For example, the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum
Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum
The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum documents the life of the 16th U.S. President, Abraham Lincoln, and the course of the American Civil War. Combining traditional scholarship with 21st century showmanship techniques, the popular museum continues to rank as one of the most visited...

 is owned and operated by the state of Illinois
Illinois
Illinois is the fifth-most populous state of the United States of America, and is often noted for being a microcosm of the entire country. With Chicago in the northeast, small industrial cities and great agricultural productivity in central and northern Illinois, and natural resources like coal,...

.


Public-private partnerships


In an effort to make its holdings more widely available and more easily accessible, the National Archives began entering into public-private partnerships in 2006. A joint venture with Google
Google
Google Inc. is an American multinational public corporation invested in Internet search, cloud computing, and advertising technologies. Google hosts and develops a number of Internet-based services and products, and generates profit primarily from advertising through its AdWords program...

 will digitize and offer NARA video online. When announcing the agreement, Archivist Allen Weinstein said that this pilot program is
...an important step for the National Archives to achieve its goal of becoming an archive without walls. Our new strategic plan emphasizes the importance of providing access to records anytime, anywhere. This is one of many initiatives that we are launching to make our goal a reality. For the first time, the public will be able to view this collection of rare and unusual films on the Internet."


On 10 January 2007, the National Archives and Footnote launched a pilot project to digitize historic documents from the National Archives holdings. Allen Weinstein explained that this partnership would "allow much greater access to approximately 4.5 million pages of important documents that are currently available only in their original format or on microfilm" and "would also enhance NARA's efforts to preserve its original records."

In July 2007, the National Archives announced it would make its collection of Universal Newsreel
Universal Newsreel
Universal Newsreel was a series of 7- to 10-minute newsreels that were released twice a week between 1929 and 1967 by Universal Studios. A Universal publicity official, Sam B. Jacobson, was involved in originating and producing the newsreels...

s from 1929 to 1967 available for purchase through CreateSpace, an Amazon.com
Amazon.com
Amazon.com, Inc. is a multinational electronic commerce company headquartered in Seattle, Washington, United States. It is the world's largest online retailer. Amazon has separate websites for the following countries: United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Japan, and...

 subsidiary. During the announcement, Weinstein noted that the agreement would "...reap major benefits for the public-at-large and for the National Archives." Adding, "While the public can come to our College Park, MD research room to view films and even copy them at no charge, this new program will make our holdings much more accessible to millions of people who cannot travel to the Washington, DC area." The agreement also calls for CreateSpace partnership to provide the National Archives with digital reference and preservation copies of the films as part of NARA's preservation program.

Social Media and Web 2.0


The National Archives currently utilizes social media
Social media
The term Social Media refers to the use of web-based and mobile technologies to turn communication into an interactive dialogue. Andreas Kaplan and Michael Haenlein define social media as "a group of Internet-based applications that build on the ideological and technological foundations of Web 2.0,...

 and Web 2.0
Web 2.0
The term Web 2.0 is associated with web applications that facilitate participatory information sharing, interoperability, user-centered design, and collaboration on the World Wide Web...

 technologies in attempt to better communicate with the public.

On June 18, 2009, the National Archives announced the launching of a YouTube channel "to showcase popular archived films, inform the public about upcoming events around the country, and bring National Archives exhibits to the people." Also in 2009, the National Archives launched a Flickr photostream to share portions of its photographic holdings with the general public.
A new teaching with documents website premiered in 2010 and was developed by the education team. The website features 3,000 documents, images, and recordings from the holdings of the Archives. The site also features lesson plans and tools for creating new classroom activities and lessons.

In 2011 the National Archives initiated a Wikiproject on the English Wikipedia to expand collaboration in making its holdings widely available through Wikimedia. See WP:GLAM/NARA.

Archivist of the United States


The Archivist
Archivist
An archivist is a professional who assesses, collects, organizes, preserves, maintains control over, and provides access to information determined to have long-term value. The information maintained by an archivist can be any form of media...

 of the United States is the chief official overseeing the operation of the National Archives and Records Administration. The first Archivist, R.D.W. Connor, began serving in 1934, when the National Archives was established by Congress
United States Congress
The United States Congress is the bicameral legislature of the federal government of the United States, consisting of the Senate and the House of Representatives. The Congress meets in the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C....

. As a result of a first Hoover Commission
Hoover Commission
The Hoover Commission, officially named the Commission on Organization of the Executive Branch of the Government, was a body appointed by President Harry S. Truman in 1947 to recommend administrative changes in the Federal Government of the United States...

 recommendation, in 1949 the National Archives was placed within the newly formed General Services Administration
General Services Administration
The General Services Administration is an independent agency of the United States government, established in 1949 to help manage and support the basic functioning of federal agencies. The GSA supplies products and communications for U.S...

 (GSA). The Archivist served as a subordinate official to the GSA Administrator until the National Archives and Records Administration became an independent agency on April 1, 1985.

On July 28, 2009, President Obama nominated David Ferriero
David Ferriero
David Sean Ferriero is a librarian, library administrator, and the 10th Archivist of the United States. He was Director of the New York Public Library; and before that, he was the University Librarian and Vice Provost for Library Affairs at Duke University. Prior to his Duke position, he worked...

 of New York to be 10th Archivist of the United States
Archivist of the United States
The Archivist of the United States is the chief official overseeing the operation of the National Archives and Records Administration. The first Archivist, R.D.W. Connor, began serving in 1934, when the National Archives was established as an independent federal agency by Congress...

. He was confirmed by the United States Senate
United States Senate
The United States Senate is the upper house of the bicameral legislature of the United States, and together with the United States House of Representatives comprises the United States Congress. The composition and powers of the Senate are established in Article One of the U.S. Constitution. Each...

 on November 6, 2009. He was sworn in as Archivist on November 13, 2009.

Popular culture


The archives feature in the first National Treasure
National Treasure (film)
National Treasure is a 2004 mystery adventure heist film from the Walt Disney Studios under Walt Disney Pictures. It was written by Jim Kouf, Ted Elliott, Terry Rossio, Cormac Wibberley, and Marianne Wibberley, produced by Jerry Bruckheimer, and directed by Jon Turteltaub...

 film, in which Ben and Riley attempt to steal the Declaration of Independence
Declaration of independence
A declaration of independence is an assertion of the independence of an aspiring state or states. Such places are usually declared from part or all of the territory of another nation or failed nation, or are breakaway territories from within the larger state...

.

See also

  • 1973 National Archives Fire
  • Sandy Berger
    Sandy Berger
    Samuel Richard "Sandy" Berger was United States National Security Advisor, under President Bill Clinton from 1997 to 2001. In his position, he helped to formulate the foreign policy of the Clinton Administration...

    , National Security Advisor
    National Security Advisor (United States)
    The Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs, commonly referred to as the National Security Advisor , serves as the chief advisor to the President of the United States on national security issues...

     to President Bill Clinton
    Bill Clinton
    William Jefferson "Bill" Clinton is an American politician who served as the 42nd President of the United States from 1993 to 2001. Inaugurated at age 46, he was the third-youngest president. He took office at the end of the Cold War, and was the first president of the baby boomer generation...

    , pled guilty to 2004 theft in Archives
  • Digital preservation
    Digital preservation
    Digital preservation is the set of processes, activities and management of digital information over time to ensure its long term accessibility. The goal of digital preservation is to preserve materials resulting from digital reformatting, and particularly information that is born-digital with no...

  • Electronic Records Archives
    Electronic Records Archives
    The Electronic Records Archives is an office of the United States National Archives and Records Administration which was officially established in 2000....

  • Library of Congress Digital Library project
    Library of Congress Digital Library project
    The Library of Congress National Digital Library Program is assembling a digital library of reproductions of primary source materials to support the study of the history and culture of the United States...

  • National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program
    National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program
    The National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program is an archival program led by the Library of Congress to archive and provide access to digital resources. The U.S. Congress established the program in 2000...

  • National Security Archive
    National Security Archive
    The National Security Archive is a 501 non-governmental, non-profit research and archival institution located in the George Washington University in Washington, D.C.. Founded in 1985 by Scott Armstrong, it archives and publishes declassified U.S. government files concerning selected topics of US...

  • U.S. Constitution, civic religion, shrine
  • White House Millennium Council
    White House Millennium Council
    The White House Millennium Council was an American organization established by Executive Order 13072 in 1998 by President Bill Clinton to commemorate the millennium...

    (time capsule)

External links