National Archives at St. Louis

The Archival Research Room

Our Research Room:

The Archival Research Room is dedicated to providing the public full and open access to the National Personnel Records Center's (NPRC) archival records holdings. In our Research Room, patrons have the opportunity to view records previously unavailable to the general public. Such access makes possible a fuller understanding of our nation's cultural heritage and allows genealogists, researchers and the general public a unique look into the individual histories of those who have served their country, whether in a military or civilian capacity.

What records are open to the public?

Scheduling an Appointment:

Hours of Operation: Tuesday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. Central Time
(Closed Mondays, weekends, and Federal holidays)

E-mail: stlarr.archives@nara.gov, or
Telephone: 314-801-0850

Please Note: While the NPRC's Archival Research Room is open to the public; individuals wishing to review records need to schedule an appointment in advance of their arrival. Appointments are required, due to limited seating capacity (see also Availability of Records). When scheduling an appointment please have the following information available when you call:

  • Your full name;

  • Your daytime telephone number;

  • The date and time of the desired appointment (tentative, pending confirmation of space and record availability - see Availability of Records);

  • Whether or not you want to bring electronic equipment (see Archival Research Room, Policies and Procedures if you plan to bring a computer, scanner or camera);

  • The specifics of the records you are requesting. For example, if you are requesting an Official Military Personnel File (OMPF), you will need to include in your message: the veteran's complete name as used in service; service number; branch of service; date and place of birth; and dates of service - or as much information as possible. See Archival Records for a listing of records open to the public.

Researchers must coordinate with the Research Room to submit requests and forms needed for the visit. First time researchers are required to provide additional information and forms (see Archival Research Room, Policies and Procedures). Researchers are encouraged to submit these forms in advance.

Appointments provide the Archival Research Room staff with the time needed to search, verify and pull the requested materials, allowing researchers to maximize their scheduled visit time.

Visitors who arrive without advance coordination may not be able to receive requested information promptly. Some records, such as Federal civilian Official Personnel Folders (OPF), are located offsite and require time to process. Also, research space is limited and may not be available without prior notice. Please plan your visit in advance so that we may accommodate your needs.

Archival and Federal (non-archival) records are accessed in separate Research Rooms. If you want to view both archival and non-archival records, you must schedule an appointment with each Research Room. See Visitors and On-Site Researchers for policies, procedures and hours.

Availability of Records:

Several factors must be considered before an individual can view a record. These include:

  1. Determination that the requested record actually exists (see 1973 Fire).

  2. Records that were damaged in the 1973 Fire may not be immediately available for review. All fire-related records must be examined by our Preservation staff and, when necessary, be treated to mitigate mold contamination or other damage. In some cases, the requested record may not be available for review due to the severity of damage. In these instances, where possible, photocopies will be provided to researchers.

  3. Extremely fragile or severely damaged records may require extensive and time consuming conservation treatment from our Preservation Staff before they can be handled and/or photocopied.

  4. Verification that the record is archival and accessible to the public (see Archival Records).

    • The general public is not allowed direct access to non-archival records. Limited information from these records is made available (via postal mail or fax) to the public under the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). See Records Center Program for additional information.

    • Veterans, or their next-of-kin (NOK) , may request copies of information from non-archival records online, or via postal mail or fax (see Access to non-archival OMPFs). Veterans, or their next-of-kin, who have a strong interest in viewing their own files in person, rather than receiving document copies by mail, may request an appointment to view non-archival records with the Federal Records Center Research Room .

  5. It may take considerable time to identify and locate the requested record. The efficiency of available finding aids varies.

The record reviews and preservation actions cited above could take several weeks (or months) to complete based upon various factors. Scheduling Research Room appointments in advance of visits is imperative.

Copy Fees:

The NARA fee schedule authorizes the Agency to collect fees from the public for copies of archived records (44 USC 2116c and 44 USC 2307).

There is no fee to request and review an archival record in the Archival Research Room. So too, any number of pages may be copied for a per page fee.

  • Paper to paper copy made by Attendant: $ .80 per page and $3.50 per microform to paper copy

  • Self-service copies are $ .25 per paper to paper copy and $ .60 per microform to paper copy

The Research Room Attendant will determine if the condition of the requested record allows for self-service copying.

Payment by Visa, MasterCard, Discover or American Express Card is preferred, though cash or personal check is accepted. Photocopy fees must be paid at the end of each day's research.

Hiring an Independent Local Researcher:

Patrons in locations remote to St. Louis may consider hiring an independent researcher to conduct research on their behalf. History departments at some of the local universities may also have graduate students available to conduct research:

  • St. Louis University: 314-977-2910

  • University of Missouri, St. Louis: 314-516-5681

  • Lindenwood University: 636-949-4415

Hours | Address | Directions

Hours of Operation:
Tuesday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. Central Time
(Closed Mondays, weekends, and Federal holidays)

Address:
National Personnel Records Center
1 Archives Drive
St. Louis, MO 63138

Telephone: 314-801-0850
E-mail: stlarr.archives@nara.gov
Status Check: mprstatus@nara.gov
Fax: 314-801-0608

Please note: The contact numbers and the stlarr.archives@nara.gov e-mail address listed above are for Archival Research Room and Archival Fee Desk purposes only, such as: scheduling appointments, requesting to view an archival record in the Archival Research Room, and returning invoices (with payment) for archival requests. All other inquiries will not be forwarded. See NPRC Homepage for additional points of contact, or call 314-801-0800.

Directions: (Printable version)
The National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) and the National Archives at St. Louis are located in suburban north St. Louis County, near the intersection of MO-367 and I-270.

1 ARCHIVES DRIVE
ST. LOUIS, MO 63138

From Lambert St. Louis International Airport:
Take I-70 East toward St. Louis, merge onto I-170 North (Exit 238B) on the left, merge onto I-270 East (Exit 10B), exit to Bellefontaine Road (Exit 32) and turn left, take the first left onto Dunn Road. The building will be on the right.

From the West:
Take I-270 North/East toward Chicago, exit to Bellefontaine Road (Exit 32) and turn left, take the first left (after the bridge) onto Dunn Road. The building will be on the right.

From the East
Take I-270 West toward St. Charles, exit to Bellefontaine Road (Exit 32) and stay straight to go onto Dunn Road. The building will be on the right.

From the North:
Take US-67/MO-367 South, merge onto I-270 East toward Chicago, exit to Bellefontaine Road (Exit 32) and turn left, take the first left (after the bridge) onto Dunn Road. The building will be on the right.

From the South:
Take I-270 North (which becomes I-270 East), exit to Bellefontaine Road (Exit 32) and turn left, take the first left onto Dunn Road. The building will be on the right.

The Guard at the gate will provide further information about parking and building entry. Our Research Rooms are located on the first floor.

*Please see our Privacy Statement

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