October 28, 2022
Debra Steidel Wall
Acting Archivist of the United States
At the National Archives and Records Administration, our goal is not only to preserve government records but to open up access to them.
Recently, we marked a major milestone in our efforts to increase this access. Our goal for fiscal year 2022 was to reach 190 million digitized pages in the National Archives Catalog. We not only met that goal but exceeded it. The Catalog now contains more than 205 million digitized pages and 3½ million audiovisual and born-digital records.
Some recently uploaded highlights include photographs of the National Archives Building in Washington, DC, U.S. Marshal Criminal Bookings for 1961–78, Utility Patent Drawings, and logbooks of U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey ships. You can keep up with the latest additions on What’s New in the Catalog.
We were able to achieve this impressive feat through the hard work and dedication of National Archives staff across the agency as well as our partners such as Ancestry.com and FamilySearch. Partner-provided images amounted to more than 153 million pages.
Just over a decade ago, the National Archives Catalog contained about 300,000 digital copies of records. Today, we confidently have our eyes set on reaching 500 million pages by fiscal year 2026.
To realize this goal, NARA must make continual improvements to the National Archives Catalog. Our Office of Innovation is deploying new technologies such as the International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) and cloud-to-cloud delivery of images and metadata by digitization partners to ensure the Catalog can make this content available.
While we’ve been adding digitized pages to the Catalog, we’ve also been working on redesigning the Catalog itself. This new and improved Catalog maximizes our ability to make the records of the National Archives even more accessible.
New features include faster search performance, improved mobile experience, enhanced image viewing, and a more user-friendly display of archival descriptions and authority records. Over the next several months, we will be introducing new features, including improved advanced search, bulk records export, Citizen Archivist contribution enhancements, and much more. Our legacy Catalog will be available until March 2023, giving you the chance to try out the new Catalog alongside the existing one.
You can see a sneak preview of the redesigned Catalog, test out the new features, and let us know what you think.
We are committed to expanding our connection with the public, and our work toward adding digitized pages and improving how the Catalog functions are important parts of that effort. We are proud that the National Archives staff continues to make access happen across the country and online in a meaningful, responsive way.