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Notice to NARA Researchers and FOIA Requesters

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and pursuant to guidance received from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), NARA has adjusted its normal operations to balance the need of completing its mission-critical work while also adhering to the recommended social distancing for the safety of our staff. As a result of this re-prioritization of activities, you may experience a delay in receiving an initial acknowledgment as well as a substantive response to your reference or FOIA request or appeal. We apologize for this inconvenience and appreciate your understanding and patience.

Read more on how NARA is addressing COVID-19 (coronavirus).


Do you have a question for one of our reference archivists? If so, we encourage you to review the following tips for requesting textual and audiovisual materials prior to using the online request form provided below.

Tips for Requesting Textual Materials

  • Please search or browse our collections and finding aids (guides), or browse our collections by subject. Once you have identified materials you wish to research, we ask that you provide us with the following information, where known: Name of Collection, Box Number(s), Folder Title(s), and Date(s).
  • If you are unable to identify specific materials of interest, please provide us with any information that may help to facilitate a search: names, dates, events, locations, etc.
  • To submit an online inquiry, please use the research request form provided below. For more information, please contact

Tips for Requesting Audiovisual Materials

  • Please search our collections, browse our finding aids (guides) to audiovisual collections, or browse our collections by subject. Note: Many audiovisual finding aids have yet to go online and so we encourage you to contact the AV Reference staff for more information about the audiovisual collections:
  • Please be as specific as possible when inquiring about audiovisual materials, including dates, events, locations, and/or names, where known; also indicate whether you would like photographs, moving images, or sound recordings. Note: Researchers wishing to use the audiovisual collections are required to schedule appointments in advance. Sound recording research requires at least two weeks' advance notice so that listening copies can be prepared. Researchers requesting access to audio recordings from the John F. Kennedy and Robert F. Kennedy Oral History collections should give several weeks' notice (per interview) so that archivists may review them for potential opening:
  • To submit an online inquiry, please use the research request form provided below.

Online Research Request Form