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National Archives,

official depository for records of the U.S. federal government, established in 1934 by an act of Congress. Although displeasure concerning the method of keeping national records was voiced in Congress as early as 1810, the United States continued to entrust the records to the various agencies that had accumulated them. That practice resulted in much loss, confusion, deterioration, and destruction of documents. It was not until 1926 that Congress provided for the construction of a national archives building where federal government records could be stored, assembled, and preserved. The congressional act of 1934 organized the National Archives Establishment, to be administered by the archivist of the United States. The archivist was charged with accepting and preserving the records of the three branches of the federal government. The National Archives was incorporated into the General Services Administration in 1949, but in 1985 it was made an independent agency, the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA).

Located in Washington, D.C., the building to house these records was completed in 1935. Some of the country's most important documents, including the Declaration of Independence, Constitution, and Bill of Rights are housed in the National Archives Building, and a version of the English Magna CartaMagna Carta
or Magna Charta
[Lat., = great charter], the most famous document of British constitutional history, issued by King John at Runnymede under compulsion from the barons and the church in June, 1215.
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 dating to 1297 is also on display. The overflow accumulation of millions of documents and other materials necessitated the creation of a second archives facility in College Park, Md., which was occupied in 1994, and NARA is now headquartered there. Nine regional records facilities are spread throughout the country, and the agency also manages the presidential records of all presidents since Herbert Hoover (by law since 1981). NARA is reponsible as well for publishing acts of Congress; presidential proclamations, executive orders, and federal regulations (in the Federal Register); and The United States Government Manual, among others. Since the early 1990s, the agency has offered some of its materials and services on line. The National Archives has proved invaluable in facilitating the research of scholars, particularly in the field of American history.


See M. MacCloskey, Our National Attic (1968); H. G. Jones, The Records of a Nation (1969).

References in periodicals archive ?
abu dhabi -- A national initiative aimed at collecting, archiving and protecting the personal documents of people residing in the UAE with the intention of making them part of the national archive was launched in the Capital on Monday.
Muscat, Feb 13 (ONA) A session of talks was held today between the National Records and Archives Authority (NR) in the Sultanate and the National Archive of Japan.
Summary: The National Archive has released the latest instalment of Britain's UFO files.
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Web users can visit the National Archive site and zoom in on images of the documents, which provide an insight into the reign of one of Britain's most infamous monarchs.
ProQuest Information and Learning (Ann Arbor, MI), formerly Bell + Howell Information & Learning, has sold three business operating units to National Archive Publishing Company (NAPC; Ann Arbor, MI), a new company formed by four former ProQuest executives.
IT is obvious that the National Archive does not want to look after Welsh materials - out of over 400 workers, based at the National Archive in Kew, there are 'only about three with pure knowledge of Wales and the Welsh' .
Muscat, Feb 10 (ONA) A delegation from the National Archive of Japan will start tomorrow (Tuesday) a 3-day visit to the National Record and Archive Authority (NR) to learn about the Sultanate's experience in the area of documentation and archives.
The Senior Head of Private Records, Hamood Salim Al Hinai, told the Times of Oman in an exclusive interview that the exhibition would display reproductions of some documents the National Archive of Brazil presented to the Omani delegation during their visit to Brazil last month.
Shaikh Khalid bin Khalifa Al Khalifa the CEO and Deputy Chairman of Isa Cultural Centre (ICC)'s board of trustees reaffirmed the remarkable fruitful cooperation between the Centre and the UAE National Archives in the UAE Ministry of Presidential Affairs, lauding the joint efforts between the Centre and the UAE Archives in consolidation of identical databases and historic documentation to boost the place of scientific research in the region.
A LECTURE on the crucial role of national archives will be held on Tuesday by the Isa Cultural Centre (ICC).

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