Did you know the public has free access to Federal archival records?
There are 15 facilities across the country that house historical records that go back to the 1820s and reach up to the 1990s. One of those facilities is in Kansas City, Missouri.
There are tours available for groups with free admission to the special exhibits. For genealogy researchers, there are online subscription services available.
What is the purpose of the archives?
There are so many documents stored in the archives including photographs, maps, and a rotating exhibit gallery. People can go to the archives to study information containing evidence and facts. The documents collected by the U.S. Government help record significant events in our country's history. The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) is the agency of the government that is maintaining as well as preserving documents and materials for research availability.
If you think about it, personal material that you store and take care which may be sitting in a box in your closet is your personal archives and documents your family's history to be passed down from generation to generation.
For example, your family’s archives might contain the final certificate for your great-great-grandfather’s homestead; the National Archives may hold the original applications for the homestead. (Source.)
Basically, the National Archives are considered the nation's keeper. President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed legislation that created the independent agency of the National Archives on June 19, 1934.
Before planning your visit to the National Archives in Kansas City, you might want to visit their Planning Your Research Visit page for information.
The Catalog and web pages contain some content that may be harmful or difficult to view. NARA’s records span the history of the United States, and it is our charge to preserve and make available these historical records. As a result, some of the materials presented here may reflect outdated, biased, offensive, and possibly violent views and opinions. In addition, some of the materials may relate to violent or graphic events and are preserved for their historical significance. (Source.)