As we move into the post-pandemic period, we realize there remains confusion over availability and procedures for performing research at National Archives facilities across the country. In response to requests from NCH and many of our member organizations, NARA has prepared this update on the status of their research rooms. Below are detailed instructions from NARA on how to arrange your research visit in advance. You can also click here for a link to a .pdf version that can be shared.
To prepare for a research trip, check out NARA’s “Getting Started” and “FAQ” pages. You should complete the researcher orientation slides and online researcher application that are required before getting a researcher card.
Consultation and Research Appointments: All NARA research rooms are open to the public and welcome researchers. Research appointments are required to ensure that each researcher has sufficient space and to give us the opportunity to help each researcher prepare for the visit in advance with consultations and advance record pulls, when possible. As of May 2023, appointments are easily available at most sites. Please check the specific facility page for hours and contact information for making a research appointment at NARA’s research rooms, including Presidential Libraries.
Appointments at the Washington DC, College Park (Textual, Still Pictures, Moving Image and Sound, and Cartographic), and St. Louis facilities are available through Eventbrite.com Beginning May 30, appointment slots will remain open on Eventbrite until 7am on the day of the visit.
NARA staff are available to provide reference consultation services via phone, video, or email, to assist you in planning and preparing for your visit, and in identifying records to be pulled for your visit. The consultations will be used to provide information about NARA’s holdings and are generally scheduled for an hour or less. Please come prepared to discuss your research needs, in as much specificity as possible. Consultations at the beginning of your research will save you time and help you avoid disappointment if records are restricted or not available.
For those unable to visit in person, National Archives staff will continue to serve the public by responding to emailed requests for records (via email@example.com or using our Contact Us page) and History Hub inquiries. You can also explore the National Archives Catalog online.