Notice for Researchers

  • In the Research Rooms in Washington, DC and in College Park, MD, beginning December 27, 2010 all researchers will be required to use locking bags for removing reproductions, personal notes, and other papers.
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What's Allowed in Research Rooms

People, Food, and Drink

Not Allowed

  • Persons without a valid research card *
  • Children under 14 years old
  • Food, drink (including water), candy

* Please note: This applies only to the research room. You do not need a valid research card to enter a NARA building, only a photo id.


  • All persons with a valid NARA researcher card

Clothing and Apparel

Not Allowed

  • Coats, overcoats, jackets or other types of outerwear. This includes sweaters with full length zippers.*
  • Hats, caps, or scarves
  • Larger purses, fanny packs, briefcases, suitcases, handbags, backpacks, boxes, bags, equipment bags, or containers of any kind
  • Clear plastic bags if larger than 10"x10"

* NARA has the right to determine whether sweaters or other garments are considered outerwear. "Outerwear" are outer layers of garments, such as jackets, ponchos, caps, etc. that are often worn outside and are typically subject to the elements. Outerwear is not allowed.


  • Sweaters and sweatshirts, with or without hoods. (Only indoor wear; no full length zippers)
  • Religious head coverings
  • Small silk or similar indoor- type kerchiefs
  • Coin purses or small pocket sized wallets
  • Clear plastic "sandwich/food storage type" bags for holding small items no larger than 10" x 10"

Notes and Related Materials

Not Allowed

  • Envelopes, notebooks, pads, binders, folders
  • Pens, markers "Post-it" notes (unless stapled to pre-existing notes)


  • Stamped research notes on loose paper, NARA issued paper and note cards, handouts, and NARA publications
  • One approved research-related book at a time
  • Pencils and mechanical pencils

Special Equipment

Not Allowed

  • Flash bulbs
  • Personal copiers
  • More than one CD at a time


  • Video and audio recording decks
  • Cameras, camcorders and tripods
  • Photographic copy stands (with approval)
  • Video tapes, audio tapes, and film
  • Scanners (only flatbed without autofeed)
  • Personal computers
  • One CD at a time

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The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration
1-86-NARA-NARA or 1-866-272-6272