Space Use Guidelines

The primary use of event space in the National Archives Building in Washington, DC, is to conduct official business by the National Archives. These include public programs and other activities in concert with the Foundation for the National Archives (the Foundation), acting as the authorized support organization for the National Archives. On occasion, we allow private events that are co-hosted by the National Archives or the Foundation.


Consistent with the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 36 Part 1280 and the objectives of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, National Archives facilities shall not be made available to any organization that practices or advocates discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age or condition of handicap.

The National Archives Building event space is not available for:

  • Events scheduled during public hours
  • Events of a primarily personal, political or fund-raising nature
  • Events where the co-host organization is planning to:
    • charge admission fees
    • make collections
    • seek contributions
    • give door prizes
    • have auctions or raffles
  • Events that promote commercial enterprises or products
  • Events for partisan political, sectarian, or similar purposes.


Request Procedure

Please submit an Event Request letter including a complete description of the event and the planned agenda, expected audience, funding, and program content to the Center for the National Archives Experience, Special Events and Scheduling staff. The request will be evaluated on the basis of the proposed event's relationship/relevancy to the National Archives' mission, availability of space and time of year.

Event requests must be submitted at least 90 calendar days before the proposed event is to occur.

Confirmation/Approval Procedure

Once approved, the Special Events and Scheduling staff will prepare a Letter of Agreement that confirms the event date and time, overview of the event components, number of guests expected and event scenario. This Letter of Agreement must be signed by the organization's representative and returned to the Special Events and Scheduling staff by date specified in the letter.

National Archives Participation

All private events are co-hosted by the National Archives or the Foundation. The Archivist of the United States or designated representative acts as a co-host of the event and reserves the right to be listed as an additional host on the invitation.

The Archivist or designated representative will have the option to deliver official welcoming remarks during the event.

The Special Events and Scheduling staff is an integral partner in all phases of the event process. A designated event coordinator has final approval over all aspects of the event and will work with a single point of contact from the co-host organization throughout the process and duration of the event.

Event Time Frames

As a matter of National Archives policy, private events should not interfere with the general public access to exhibit spaces and facilities.

The regular operating hours of the National Archives Experience exhibit space are: 10:00 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. daily, Labor Day through March 14, closed Thanksgiving and Christmas; 10:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. daily, March 15 through Labor Day.

The earliest access time for the National Archives Experience exhibit space for event vendors is 30 minutes after closing time.

Private events in the Rotunda Galleries exhibit space may not take place during public hours.

All evening events must conclude by 10:30 p.m.

Speaking Program

Should a guest speaker be included as part of the event, the speaking program and/or topic must be non-partisan in nature. In order to confirm compliance with this requirement, each speaker's name and topic must be submitted in writing to the Special Events and Scheduling staff at least six weeks prior to the event for approval.

No smoking Policy

Smoking is not permitted anywhere in the National Archives Building.


The use of corporate logos is not permitted unless approved in advance by the National Archives.

Invitation/Program Design and Copy

The National Archives reserves the right to review and approve all materials related to the event, including the event invitation or program, use of the National Archives name, seal or image, prior to printing.

Invitation/Guest List Policy

An invitation list may be requested by the National Archives in advance of any mailing.

A list of guests attending the event must be submitted at least three (3) business days prior to the event. An updated list will be necessary for security purposes on the day of the event.

If official government or diplomatic dignitaries are attending the event, the National Archives reserves the right to determine the appropriate protocol for greeting and handling of these guests while in the building. The Special Events and Scheduling staff must be notified as soon as possible if dignitaries, including Members of Congress or Cabinet level officials, are expected to attend the event.


No flash photography is permitted in exhibit spaces.

Permission to photograph and/or videotape a special event at the National Archives Building must be secured in advance. All photographing and/or videotaping shall comply with the National Archives' rules regarding use of the facilities and general conduct of the filming.

Photographs and/or videotapes may be used for archival and non-commercial corporate and institutional purposes only and may not be used for advertising/commercial or promotional purposes. The National Archives shall reserve the right to review and approve the editing of the videotape to assure that there is no reference to the name, image or role of the National Archives in any manner, or through any medium, for any purpose, including advertising, marketing, promotion, or publicity.


If an event is cancelled, such notification must be received by the Special Events and Scheduling staff no less than five working days before the event is scheduled. If an event must be cancelled, the event may be rescheduled for a mutually convenient date.

Event Vendors

The National Archives has final approval of all vendors contracted by co-host organization, see Approved Event Vendors. The selected event vendor is responsible for operating under the National Archives Building Catering and Vendor Policies and Guidelines

The co-host organization is responsible for the actions of any vendors or other agents, including caterers, photographers, entertainers, decor and audio-visual companies contracted for the event.

The co-host organization shall indemnify and hold harmless the United States and the National Archives, their agents and employees, against any and all damages, claims, or other liability due to personal injury or death, or damage to, or loss of, the property of others, arising out of its use of the National Archives facilities.