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Develop your love of history, learn about archival work, and help the public uncover the past by becoming a volunteer at the National Archives at New York City.
Our volunteers are our most valuable resource-they help researchers uncover their family histories, preserve and describe our original documents for increased access, share the stories of our documents with visitors, and support the creation of educational programs and exhibits. Our diverse group of volunteers ranges from college students to retired seniors. They value being actively engaged in the learning, researching, and teaching about the National Archives.
The National Archives serves American democracy by safeguarding and preserving the records of our Government, ensuring that the people can discover, use, and learn from this documentary heritage.We ensure continuing access to the essential documentation of the rights of American citizens and the actions of their government.We support democracy, promote civic education, and facilitate historical understanding of our national experience.
As the nation’s record keeper, it is our vision that all Americans will understand the vital role records play in a democracy, and their own personal stake in the National Archives. Our holdings and diverse programs will be available to more people than ever before through modern technology and dynamic partnerships. The stories of our nation and our people are told in the records and artifacts cared for in NARA facilities around the country.We want all Americans to be inspired to explore the records of their country.
The National Archives at New York City has more than 100,000 cubic feet of archival holdings dating from 1685 to the 1980s, including textual documents, photographs, maps, and architectural drawings. These archival holdings were created or received by the Federal courts and over 90 Federal agencies in New Jersey, New York, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Federal law requires that agencies transfer permanently valuable records to the National Archives.
Subjects covered include early politics, the evolution of Federal courts, Constitutional rights, sectional conflict, the Civil War, immigration through Castle Garden and Ellis Island, Chinese exclusion, economic development, business, organized crime, invention, the arts, censorship, World Wars I and II, the New Deal, and the Cold War. Historic names in the files include Alexander Hamilton, Aaron Burr, Samuel Colt, Susan B. Anthony, Charles Goodyear, Alexander Graham Bell, Thomas Alva Edison, the Lusitania, the Titanic, Emma Goldman, Marcus Garvey, Adam Clayton Powell, Dutch Schultz, Jimmy Hoffa, the Rosenbergs, and Alger Hiss.
In addition to unique original records, the New York facility has microfilm records and access to online subscription services such as Ancestry, Fold3, and HeritageQuest. These publications reproduce basic documentation for the study of history, economics, public administration, political science, law, ethnology, genealogy, and other subjects. Included are records relating to U.S. diplomacy, the Revolutionary War, the Civil War and Reconstruction, Native American-Government relations, westward expansion, and World War II.