June 13, 2021

Milestones: 95% of Holdings in NARA’s Online Catalog Now Contains Descriptions at Series Level

From a Blog Post by David Ferriero, Archivist of the United States:

The National Archives Catalog has reached a milestone: we now have 95% of our holdings completely described at the series level in our online catalog. This is a monumental achievement. Why? Because the National Archives holds over 14 billion pages of records, and we are adding hundreds of millions of pages to that total every year.

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We’ve come a long way since our first online catalog was released in 2001. By 2003, only 19% of our holdings were described online for the public to view. This means that without coming to an archives facility or contacting reference staff, the public could only be aware of 19% of our records. We know how difficult this made archival research.

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The credit for describing our records goes to the over 500 archival staff at National Archives locations across the country. These locations include 13 Presidential Libraries, the Center for Legislative Archives, and 20 other archival units from our Washington, DC-area and regional facilities. The hard work and archival expertise of these staff were indispensable to the effort to describe to 95%, and we would not be here without them! Thank you all for your hard work and for your public service describing the primary sources for America’s history.

Read the Complete Blog Post, View Charts

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.

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