National Archives and Records

-The National Archives maintains important historical records of the federal government.

-The National Archives is given the tremendous responsibility to decide what documents are important enough to keep, preserve and store. The collections include over 3 billion documents.

- The National Archives has operated in the same location for over 75 years

-The National Archives was created in 1934, and opened in 1935. The National Archives houses records dating back as far as 1775.

- The National Archives displays some of its amazing historical documents for viewing

-The Rotunda displays the original copies of 3 very important documents in U.S. history - the Declaration of Independence, The Constitution and the Bill of Rights. These are viewable by the public and attract many visitors each year.

- Other historically significant documents are exhibited for public viewing

-The National Archives also exhibits the Magna Carta, the Louisiana Purchase and the Emancipation Proclamation.

-The Archives are a genealogist's dream

-Genealogists often start tracing their family roots with historical public records. Records of interest to genealogists held at the National Archives include census records, military records, immigration records, ship passenger lists, naturalization records and land records.

- The National Archives are responsible for the U.S. Presidential Libraries

-The libraries are maintained at separate sites throughout the U.S., and include every President since Herbert Hoover.

- The National Archives maintains more than just paper records

-The collections include audio recordings, film, mapping drawings and materials, and millions of still photographs. The items vary from films of inaugurations, combat footage, congressional hearings, Supreme Court oral arguments and wartime radio propaganda, just to name a few.

- The National Archives Building is an architectural treat

-The building is ornate, with columns and decorative sculptures and engravings that are reminiscent of the many monuments located nearby.

- The National Archives has its own theatre

-The William G. McGowan Theatre has 290 seats and runs a continuous film about the National Archives during the day. At night, there is special programming with documentaries about history and other topics.

- The National Archives has its own gift store

-The store is called the National Archives Shop. Movie buffs may remember the store from the scene in National Treasure in which Ben Gates, played by Nicholas Cage, buys a replica of the Declaration of Independence.

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