Unfortunately, all the NARA research rooms remain closed to everyone.
Myra Miller, co-founder of Footsteps Researchers LLC, currently serves on the executive board of Archival Researchers Association (ARA). As researchers, we have not had access to the NARA research rooms since March 2020. Many archival research professionals and organizations have come together through the Association to push for public access.
The Association is a 501(c)3 non-profit, and all board members are unpaid volunteers. The ARA is actively lobbying congress in a bipartisan manner to get the research rooms back open safely and ensure that there is funding for unrestricted access to all records. NARA has indicated that when they do reopen the research rooms that they will restrict access and possibly eliminate access to records that are essential to your case as well as many others. Past temporary restrictions to records and hours of operation have become permanent under the auspices of reduced funding and looming budget cuts. We want to ensure that that is not the case this time.
We need your help! You can help us by emailing or calling your congressional representative and senator and tell them to support any legislation for increased funding for our National Archives. All records of our nation’s history and the patriots who fought to secure and preserve our freedom belong to the American people. These documents do not belong to the government, elected officials, or the National Archives, and all Americans are entitled to access these documents in a timely, efficient manner.
Our best guess is that the rooms may reopen with minimal access as early as May. However, July 2021 is a more realistic opening window. Please rest assured that as soon as these facilities reopen, Footsteps Researchers will be working on your research project. If you have any other questions, please contact us, and we will do my best to answer them to the best of our ability. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org
During the off-time in the pandemic, our Footsteps Researchers team members, Joey van Meesen and Florent Plana have been producing several documentaries through their YouTube project called SNAFU DOCS. With a total of 2 million views in the last three months, their videos have been a HUGE success!