Frequently Asked Questions about the National Archives at Seattle
Are you open to the public?
Who can benefit from visiting the National Archives?
What type of documents does the Regional Archives in Seattle hold?
Are there computers available to the public at your facility?
Can I bring my own copy equipment with me?
Do you have wireless access for my laptop computer?
Is there anyone there who can help me with my research project?
Can your archivists do research for a fee?
Are there any requirements for viewing original documents?
Do records need to be requested by a certain time of day?
Can I see original records on Saturday?
Should I call in advance?
What is the cost for making copies of original or microfilmed
- Are you open to the public?
We are open from 7:45 AM to 4:15 PM Monday through Friday (except for Federal
holidays) and from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM on the SECOND Saturday of each month.
- Who can benefit from visiting the National
We assist historians, teachers, students,
genealogists, journalists, government officials, the legal community, and
anyone else who has any interest in, or need for, historical
- What type of documents does the Regional Archives in Seattle
We hold 37,000 + cubic
feet of original documents [one-of-a-kind] from Federal Agencies located in Washington,
Oregon, Idaho, and parts of Montana. The records consist of correspondence, forms, maps,
photographs, drawings, blueprints, lists, reports, and much more. Included are
naturalization, census, military, land, immigration, Native American, and many
other types of records. Our microfilm holdings (of over 75,000 rolls) contain copies of
records created by Federal agencies located throughout the United States and U.S. consulates abroad.
- Are there computers available to the public at your facility?
Our microfilm research room has seven public access computers with access to the internet, including the
National Archives website plus free access to several subscription services, including Footnote.com, Ancestry.com,
and Heritage Quest Online.
- Can I bring my own copy equipment with
Yes, with approval from the Regional Archives Director, you can use a laptop computer,
flatbed scanner, or digital camera in the research room. You are required to leave your equipment case in a locker.
- Do you have wireless access for my laptop
No. However, there is internet access available on our public access computers.
- Is there anyone there who can help me with my
Archivists, archives specialists, and knowledgeable
volunteers are here to help you in the research rooms with your research
questions. You can reach us during our regular hours either in
person, by telephone at 206-336-5115, or by e-mail at
- Can your archivists do research for a
No. The archival reference staff will answer your
questions and give direction for your own research but are not able to do your
research for you. We can, however, make copies for you if you know exactly
what you need. We do not charge fees for our reference assistance but there are fees for
making copies of records. The NARA website provides a link to
Independent Researchers Available for Hire that lists professional researchers who
will perform research for a fee.
- Are there any requirements for viewing original
You will need a valid researcher card to
look at original documents, which can be obtained by filling out an application form
and providing us with a current photo ID that includes your correct address
and other information. There is no such requirement for using microfilm or public access
- Do records need to be requested by a
certain time of day?
Yes. Original records must be requested
before 3:00 PM, Monday through Friday.
- Can I see original records on Saturday?
With prior arrangement, original records can be reviewed during research
room hours on the second Saturday of the month. We do not have adequate staffing to pull
records on these Saturdays.
- Should I call in
Yes, if you are planning to look at original records, it is a good
idea to contact an archivist prior to your visit so we can better assist you with your research needs.
For microfilm, if you have a particular publication that you would like to see, it is best to call ahead to
see if we hold the actual roll of film.
- What is the cost for making copies of original or
Please see the attached link for the
NARA Reproduction Fee Schedule
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