National Archives at New York City

  • NY

About Us

Mission: The National Archives and Records Administration serves American democracy by safeguarding and preserving the records of our Government, ensuring that the people can discover, use, and learn from this documentary heritage. We ensure continuing access to the essential documentation of the rights of American citizens and the actions of their government. We support democracy, promote civic education, and facilitate historical understanding of our national experience.

Vision: As the nation’s record keeper, it is our vision that all Americans will understand the vital role records play in a democracy, and their own personal stake in the National Archives. Our holdings and diverse programs will be available to more people than ever before through modern technology and dynamic partnerships. The stories of our nation and our people are told in the records and artifacts cared for in NARA facilities around the country. We want all Americans to be inspired to explore the records of their country.


Anyone who has cleaned out a family attic knows the importance of keeping family records. You may have military records from relatives who served in one of the World Wars—or even the Civil War. Or pictures of your great-great grandparents on the day they became American citizens. Or the canceled check that paid for your first home.

Now imagine the task of the National Archives and Records Administration—the nation’s record keeper.

Many people know the National Archives as the keeper of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights. But we also hold in trust for the public the records of ordinary citizens—for example, military records of the brave men and women who have fought for our country, naturalization records of the immigrants whose dreams have shaped our nation, and even the canceled check from the purchase of Alaska.

In a democracy, records belong to the people, and for over 75 years, NARA has preserved and provided access to the records of the United States of America. Records help us claim our rights and entitlements, hold our elected officials accountable for their actions, and document our history as a nation. In short, NARA ensures continuing access to the essential documentation of the rights of American citizens and the actions of their Government.

The National Archives is the nation's record keeper.

We preserve and provide access to the records of the Federal government. Our collection includes over 12 billion pages of text, billions of digital files, 20 million photographs, 9 millions maps, drawings, charts, 365,000 reels of film, and 110,000 videotapes.

Among our records are documents of the founding of our country--including the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. We also maintain records that serve as the building blocks to family history research--Census, Passenger Arrival and Naturalization documents.

The National Archives at New York City maintains the permanently valuable records of Federal agencies in New York, New Jersey, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. These records have continuing value for assisting in the necessary processes of government, for protecting public and private rights, and for providing scholars, students, and the general public with basic historical sources.

The National Archives at New York City also has subscriptions to resources such as Ancestry, Fold3, and HeritageQuest. In addition, we have many microfilmed records of high research value available for use.

The National Archives at New York City shares the stories of our records through exhibits, workshops, field trips, and other public programs.