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Creation of the National Archives

Congress created the National Archives in 1934 to preserve and maintain the records of the federal government, which previously were stashed in various storage spaces without adequate security, organization, or climate control. Archivists surveyed the records of Congress and other federal institutions and in 1936 began transferring them to a new National Archives building on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C. Today the National Archives comprises more than 40 facilities nationwide, including regional archives, records centers, and presidential libraries.

This building holds in trust the records of our national life and symbolizes our faith in the permanency of our national institutions.

Inscription, National Archives Building

1 Image National Archives construction, photograph, 1934 View All Images
1 Image H.R. 8910, A Bill to establish a National Archives of the United... View All Images