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Research Guides

Archival Research

Government Archives

Government archives, whether national, state, or municipal are quite massive, often holding millions of items.  They usually have their own search tools, so when you are looking for digitized and/or analog government records, you can usually go straight to the website of an agency to search there.

Government records will also turn up in portals like the Digital Public Library of America and the Internet Archive, and in subscription databases like Ancestry Library Edition (NYPL).

On government agency websites, look for guides that explain how to use the collections.  There may also be subject guides that show how to find materials on a particular topics in various formats from multiple collections or record groups.  These research tools will speed your search and make it much easier to navigate the available resources.

Following are links to selected government archives and research tools.  For further information and links to additional resources for finding government information, see the Gov't Info page in our Beyond Wikipedia research guide.