National Archives at Kansas City

National Archives at Kansas City Calendar of Events

All activities are free and open to the public unless noted.

Reservations are requested for all programs and workshops by calling 816-268-8010 or emailing

January 7 – Exhibit Closing
Say It With Snap! in the Regional Gallery.

January 15 – 10:00 a.m. Genealogy Workshop
Coming to America: Passenger Arrival Lists
Ship passenger arrival lists have been created for different purposes throughout history, but can provide useful information about your immigrant ancestors. This course will cover types of ship passenger arrival lists, dates, forms, and search techniques.

January 22 – 10:00 a.m. Genealogy Workshop
Becoming a U.S. Citizen: A Look at Naturalizations Records
Throughout U.S. history, immigration and naturalization laws have changed with the political climate. As a result researching historic naturalization records can be challenging. Learn about the paper trail left by those seeking citizenship.

January 27 – 6:00 reception, 6:30 p.m. program Author Discussion/Signing
Kansas Forts and Bases: Sentinels on the Prairie by Debra Goodrich Bisel
The relationship between Kansas and the science of war is ingrained, consistent and evident, yet it seems antithetical to the quiet, conservative farmer who is the quintessential image of the state. It is not. The same values created both, and both created Kansas. From early exploration of America, Bleeding Kansas, the Civil War and the Plains Indian wars to the world wars and the modern era, the forts and bases of the Sunflower State have been central to America's defense. Beginning with Fort de Cavagnial in 1744 through to the defunct fields of Cold War missile silos, Kansas Forts and Bases: Sentinels on the Prairie provides a guide to the forts and posts throughout Kansas.

January 29 – 10:00 a.m. Genealogy Workshop
Alien Case Files (A-Files)
Learn about the Alien Files (A-Files), and how to complete a successful request. The A-Files contain U.S. immigration documents generated and collected since the mid-20th century with a wealth of data, including visas, photographs, applications, affidavits, correspondence, and more.

February 5 - 10:00 a.m. Genealogy Workshop
Preserving Your Digital Heritage: Methods to Preserve Your Digitally Born Files
In the past, your family’s photographic collection probably consisted of prints made with a single family camera. In the 21st century, we’ve gone digital with our phones, tablets, computers, and cameras. Technology has made it easier to capture memories, but has complicated the process of storing them. Keeping track of and preserving your digital files on multiple devices can be overwhelming. This session will show you how to organize, centralize, and protect your collections for yourself and those to come.

February 5 – 6:00 reception, 6:30 p.m. program Film Screening/Discussion
The Civil Rights Century: Milestones in Black History
Continuation of the ASALH joint program series as a part of the Greater Kansas City Black History Study Group. Film screening of Malcolm X: Make it Plain, followed by a brief video chat with Professor Garret Felber of the University of Michigan and Malcolm X Project.

February 18 - 6:00 reception, 6:30 p.m. program Author Discussion/Signing
Cold War Kids: Politics and Childhood in Postwar America, 1945-1960 by Marilyn Irvin Holt
Today we take it for granted that political leaders and presidential administrations will address issues related to children and teenagers. But in the not-so-distant past, politicians had little to say, and federal programs less to do with children-except those of very specific populations. This book shows how the Cold War changed all that. Against the backdrop of the postwar baby boom, and the rise of a distinct teen culture, Cold War Kids unfolds the little-known story of how politics and federal policy expanded their influence in shaping children's lives and experiences-making way for the youth attuned political culture that we've come to expect.

March 5 - 10:00 a.m. Genealogy Workshop
Township, Section, Range: Looking at Land Records
Township 1, Range 43 West, Section 2. Does this make sense to you? Have you always been curious about the “secret language” of legal land descriptions? Come learn about Federal land records and the difference between what you will discover at the National Archives versus the county or state archives. Topics include locating information about bounty land warrants, homestead files, land tract books, and other great land.

March 19 – 6:00 reception, 6:30 p.m. program Film Screening/Discussion
The Civil Rights Century: Milestones in Black History
Continuation of the ASALH joint program series as a part of the Greater Kansas City Black History Study Group. Screening of the film Eyes on the Prize followed by discussion.

April 2 - 10:00 a.m. Genealogy Workshop
Order in the Court: Finding Your Family in Federal Court Records
Did your ancestor file for bankruptcy? Get tied up in a Federal civil suit? Were they a defendant in a criminal case? Federal court documents are an underutilized set of records that help provide a snapshot of an individual or family at a particular juncture in life. Depending upon the type of case, documents can include lists of property, family members, testimony, and other insightful glimpses at events that may not be documented elsewhere. Come learn about the types of cases you can find at the National Archives and how to begin your research.

April 9 - 6:00 reception, 6:30 p.m. program Lecture
Co-presented with the University of Missouri – Kansas City Truman Center and Truman Presidential Library
Truman’s Decision to Use the Atomic Bomb and Its Legacy presented by Sam Walker
Walker will discuss President Truman’s decision around deploying the atomic bomb at the end of World War I. Walker’s lecture will be based upon his research presented in his book Prompt and Utter Destruction: Truman and the Use of Atomic Bombs against Japan.

April 29 - 6:00 reception, 6:30 p.m. program Lecture
Co-presented with Park University and Hauptmann School of Public Affairs, Dr. Jerzy Hauptmann Memorial Lecture
The Struggle to Implement Obamacare: Some Lessons for Public Administration with Dr. Frank Thompson, Distinguished Professor, School of Public Affairs and Administration, Rutgers-Newark, and Rutgers Center for State Health Policy Dr. Frank J. Thompson is a nationally renowned scholar of politics and administration, implementation, public management, and health policy. In 2007, he received a Robert Wood Johnson Investigator Award to study the evolution of Medicaid during the Clinton, G.W. Bush, and Obama administrations. The research led to Thompson’s forthcoming book, Medicaid Politics: Federalism, Policy Durability, and Health Reform, which is a thorough examination of the genesis and expansion of Medicaid and its impact on the American health care system. Thompson is a fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration, a past president of the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration, and the former executive director of the National Commission on State and Local Public Service. In 2008, Thompson joined the School of Public Affairs and Administration at Rutgers University in Newark and concurrently became an affiliated faculty member of the Rutgers Center for State Health Policy in New Brunswick. Prior to his tenure at Rutgers, he served as dean of the Rockefeller College of Public Affairs & Policy at the University at Albany, State University of New York. Thompson is an alumnus of the University of Chicago where he earned his bachelor’s degree in political science and the University of California, Berkley, where he received his doctoral and master’s degrees in the same discipline.

May 7 - 10:00 a.m. Genealogy Workshop
All Wet! Responding to Floods, Leaks, and Other Damp Disasters
It’s bound to happen. A pipe will burst or a leaky roof will drip, and family papers, books, and photos will be awash in water. Learn quick response tips to salvage sodden heirlooms, and stop or prevent mold damage. Pick up practical advice on spotting disasters just waiting to happen.

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The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration
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