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Encyclopedia > National Archives and Records Administration
The National Archives building in Washington, DC
The National Archives building in Washington, DC

The United States National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) is an independent agency of the United States federal government charged with preserving and documenting government and historical records. It is also charged with increasing public access to those documents. NARA is officially responsible for publishing acts of Congress, presidential proclamations and executive orders, and federal regulations. The agency often works closely with scholars to facilitate their studies. Image File history File links Public Exhibit area of the National Archives Building, Washington, DC, 1998, by Rick Dikeman This looks like its the Declaration of Independence and Constitution. ... Image File history File links Public Exhibit area of the National Archives Building, Washington, DC, 1998, by Rick Dikeman This looks like its the Declaration of Independence and Constitution. ... Aerial photo (looking NW) of the Washington Monument and the White House in Washington, DC. Washington, D.C., officially the District of Columbia (also known as D.C.; Washington; the Nations Capital; the District; and, historically, the Federal City) is the capital city and administrative district of the United... Federal independent agencies were established through separate statutes passed by Congress. ... This law-related article does not cite its references or sources. ... Seal of the U.S. Congress. ... A proclamation (Lat. ... An executive order is an edict issued by a member of the executive branch of a government, usually the head of that branch. ...

Contents


History

Interior of the National Archives
Interior of the National Archives

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 established the National Archives Establishment in 1934 to centralize federal record keeping, with the Archivist of the United States as its chief administrator. The National Archives was incorporated into the General Services Administration in 1949, but, in 1985, it was made an independent agency as NARA. Image File history File links NationalArchives2. ... Image File history File links NationalArchives2. ... Seal of the U.S. Congress. ... The Archivist of the United States is the chief official overseeing the operation of the National Archives and Records Administration. ... The General Services Administration (GSA) is an independent agency of the United States government, established in 1949 to help manage and support the basic functioning of federal agencies. ...


Most of the documents in the care of NARA are in the public domain, as works of the federal government are excluded from copyright protection. However, some documents that have come into the care of NARA from other sources may still be protected by copyright or donor agreements. [1] NARA also stores classified documents and its Information Security Oversight Office monitors and sets policy for the U.S. government's security classification system. The public domain comprises the body of all creative works and other knowledge—writing, artwork, music, science, inventions, and others—in which no person or organization has any proprietary interest. ... This articles section called History of Copyright does not cite its references or sources. ... A typiclal classified document. ... The Information Security Oversight Office (ISOO) is responsible to the President of the United States for policy and oversight of the Government-wide security classification system and the National Industrial Security Program. ...


NARA's holdings are classified into "record groups" reflecting the governmental department or agency from which they originated. The records including 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. This includes census records from 1790 to 1930 as well as ship passenger lists and naturalization records. Genealogy is the study and tracing of family pedigrees. ... 1870 US Census for New York City A census is the process of obtaining information about every member of a population (not necessarily a human population). ... A passenger is a person using but not operating an airplane, train, bus or other mode of transport. ... Naturalization is the act whereby a person voluntarily and actively acquires a nationality which is not his or her nationality at birth. ...


Facilities and exhibition

National Archives Building

The National Archives Building, known informally as Archives I, located north of the National Mall on Constitution Avenue in Washington, DC, opened as its original headquarters in 1935. It houses the original copies of the three main formative documents of the United States and its government: the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights. These are displayed to the public in the main chamber of the National Archives, which is called the Rotunda for the Charters of Freedom. Flash photography of the documents is prohibited. There are no lines at the National Archives, and visitors are allowed to walk from document to document as they wish. The National Mall is an open-area national park in downtown Washington, D.C., the capital of the United States. ... In Washington, D.C., Constitution Avenue is a major east-west street running just north of the United States Capitol in the citys Northwest and Northeast quadrants. ... Aerial photo (looking NW) of the Washington Monument and the White House in Washington, DC. Washington, D.C., officially the District of Columbia (also known as D.C.; Washington; the Nations Capital; the District; and, historically, the Federal City) is the capital city and administrative district of the United... United States Declaration of Independence The Declaration of Independence is the document in which the 13 states (formerly the Thirteen Colonies) in North America declared themselves independent of the Kingdom of Great Britain and explained their justifications for doing so. ... Image of the United States Bill of Rights from the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration. ... In Mosta, Malta, the Rotunda of Santa Marija Assunta is covered by a saucer dome. ...


The National Archives Building also exhibits other important American historical documents such as the Louisiana Purchase and the Emancipation Proclamation, as well as collections of photography and other historically and culturally significant American artifacts. From Frank Bond, Louisiana and the Louisiana Purchase. ... The Emancipation Proclamation The Emancipation Proclamation was a presidential order in 1863 that freed most (but not all) of the slaves in the United States. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ...


National Archives at College Park

Due to space constraints, NARA opened a second facility, known informally as Archives II, in 1994 on the University of Maryland, College Park campus. The two institutions engage in multiple iniatives[2] The University of Maryland, College Park (also known as UM, UMD, or UMCP) is a public university located in the city of College Park, in Prince Georges County, Maryland, just outside Washington, D.C., USA. Founded in 1856, the University of Maryland is considered to be a Public Ivy...


Regional facilities

There are also twelve (12) Regional Archives facilities across the country and two major facilities in St. Louis, Missouri which comprise the National Personnel Records Center. However, the National Archives Building in downtown Washington still contains such record collections as all existing Federal Census records, Ship Passenger Lists, military unit records from the American Revolution up to the Philippine-American War, records of the Confederate Government, the Freedmen's Bureau records and pension/land records. Nickname: Gateway City, Gateway to the West, or Mound City Location in the state of Missouri Coordinates: Country United States State Missouri County Independent City Mayor Francis G. Slay (D) Area    - City 66. ... The National Personnel Records Center is an agency of the National Archives and Records Administration and is divided into two large Federal Records Centers located in St. ... The American Revolution was a political movement that ended British control of the south-eastern coastal area of North America, resulting in the formation of the United States of America in 1776 and sparking the American Revolutionary War. ... Combatants United States Philippines Commanders Elwell Stephen Otis Emilio Aguinaldo Strength 126,000 soldiers 80,000 soldiers Casualties 4,324 U.S. soldiers dead 2,840 wounded; 2,000 killed, dead, or wounded of the Philippine Constabulary 16,000 soldiers killed est. ...


Presidential Libraries

NARA also maintains the Presidential Library system, a nationwide network of libraries for preserving and making available the documents of U.S. presidents since Herbert Hoover. The Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum is on the campus of the University of Texas at Austin. ... The presidential seal was used by President Hayes in 1880 and last modified in 1959 by adding the 50th star for Hawaii. ... Herbert Clark Hoover (August 10, 1874 – October 20, 1964), the 31st President of the United States (1929-1933), was a successful mining engineer, humanitarian, and administrator. ...


2006 Controversy over Reclassification

main article: The U.S. Reclassification Program

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.[3] The U.S. intelligence communitys secret historical document reclassification program is a project to reclassify certain documents that have already been declassified and released to the public through NARA. The program was started under the Clinton administration in the fall of 1999. ...


Alliance with Google

On February 24, 2006, NARA released a press release announcing a joint venture with Google to digitize and offer NARA video online for free. For the search engine produced by this corporation, see Google search; for the underlying technology, see Google platform; For the number, see Googol; for other uses see Google (disambiguation). ...


See also

The National Security Archive is an independent organization located within the George Washington University. ... The 1973 National Archives Fire, a severe blow to the National Archives and Records Administration of the United States, was a disastrous fire that occurred at the National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) in St. ...

External links


 
 

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