The National Archives
The National Archives is the conscience of the United States Government. The mission statement of the National Archives is very poignant, it reads “...It enables people to inspect for themselves the record of what government has done. It enables officials and agencies to review their actions and helps citizens hold them accountable. It ensures continuing access...” There is no other place in our society, including the internet, that one can find so much useful information about our government and our society.
The National Archives is more than a collection of records. The archivists that manage the records that make up the National Archives are experts in their fields. From the Archivists of the Modern Military Records Branch, who can recall the location and details of documents viewed briefly years before, to the Legislative Archivists who can decipher the mass of Congressional Records, it is rare to find a subject or document that one of these archivist can’t point you down the right path.
The National Archives retains the records of all Federal Government entities. The facilities of the National Archives vary greatly, from regional archives for court records, Presidential libraries, National Park Service Archives such as the one found in the center of Yellowstone National Park, to the main Archives building in Washington D.C. All of these facilities are open to the public. Within them you can find immigration records, environmental records, treaties, personnel records, contracts and any other document generated by or for the United States.
As accessible as the records at the National Archives are, their shear volume makes them terribly inaccessible. Lyon Research can locate and duplicate records from many of these facilities across the U.S. The records of the National Archives are organized in Record Groups. Most agencies have their own Record Group. Within that record group the files may be organized in any number of ways. The Army for instance has records filed in a complicated Decimal filing system, alphabetically, chronologically, by subject, by author, by unit, by location and countless other ways. Lyon Research has the ability to decipher these filing systems, our ability to ask the right questions of the Archivists, and our knowledge of the records themselves make us uniquely qualified to perform most research tasks. If you are looking for government documents, the National Archives and Lyon Research should be your first stops.
We would be happy to discuss your research needs and how we can assist you.