National Archives Building and Museum, Washington DC
The National Archives and Records Administration operates the National Archives and the National Archives Museum. Everyone is welcome to explore U.S. history and heritage through the National Archives. In the Rotunda of the National Archives Building, visitors will find the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the Declaration of Independence. NARA was created in 1934, an independent agency of the U.S. government, and is the official repository for all federal records judged to be of enduring value. Its contents date back to the 18th century. The National Archives Building holds several museum galleries that offer exhibits that change throughout the year in addition to the public vaults and the rotunda which holds the Constitution, Bill of Rights, and Declaration of Independence.
Backstory and Context
NARA, established under the administration of Franklin D. Roosevelt, is essentially the nation’s record keeper. In addition to keeping records, the National Archives is also responsible for preserving and maintaining the materials as well as making them available for research. The records are available to anyone and provide help with family genealogy, veteran’s records, teacher resources and much more. The Archives provide great details, resources, photos and more about our nation’s history.
NARA’s mission is to provide public access to Federal Government records in its custody and control to strengthen democracy and hold the government accountable as well as to help citizens understand their history. NARA publishes legally authentic and authoritative copies of acts of Congress, presidential proclamations and executive orders and federal regulations. Also, the organization is responsible for getting votes of the Electoral College to Congress.
NARA and the National Archives Museum also offer exhibitions, public programs, videos and documentaries, genealogy workshops, professional development for educators, field trips for students, special free publications and magazines as well a shop both at the main building and online that offers apparel, prints, books and much more. The NAHA also provides digital access to the Presidential Libraries and has regional locations throughout the United States. It also gives millions of dollars in grant funds annually to projects that help preserve history.