May 20, 2022

NARA: National Archives Connection to U.S. Digital Collections

From the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA):

 In addition to exploring the vast collections of historical records digitized by the National Archives in our Catalog, users can also access millions of documents through the work supported by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) and our partners in the states.

A national network of online resources is available at

Through the work of state archives, historical societies, and others, online collaborations have created digital archives from coast to coast.

The National Archives is a major contributor to the Digital Public Library of America, as are many state collaboratives.

All states also provide access to millions of documents through their own sites—from the Online Archives of California to DigitalNC. In addition, a number of online collections reach across state lines, including databases on slavery records and the Densho archives of the Japanese American experience.

Through the scholarship of editorial teams, scores of digital documentary editions and virtual collections provide access to online collections of leading historical figures and national movements. Transcribed and annotated records collections from America’s Founding Era to the Papers of Eleanor Roosevelt are available for discovery and use. One particularly rich resource is Rotunda, the electronic imprint of the University of Virginia Press, which publishes 18 digital projects funded through the NHPRC.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the University of Virginia Press announced that it had joined with many other university presses to make their ebooks open access to the world through at least the end of academic spring semesters (for UVa Press, until June 30, 2020). Many of their history titles are available. See the Project MUSE page on Free Resources for a full list of participating publishers.

UVA Press has expanded the free-trial period for Rotunda. The standard free trial, available to the general public, will be increased to seven days, and the month-long extended trial (intended for library and university professionals) will be increased to 90 days. These provisions are subject to revision as conditions warrant.

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( 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, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.