Archives Center

Welcome to the Archives Center

The Archives Center supports the mission of the National Museum of American History by collecting, preserving, and providing access to archival documents that complement the museum's exhibition, research, and collecting programs. The Archives Center holds more than 1,300 collections documenting the history of technology, invention and innovation, business and consumer culture, American music, and popular culture as well as many other topics.

New Reference Hours

The Archives Center's reading room in the National Museum of American History is open Monday through Thursday from 10:00 to 4:00, federal holidays excepted.

The Archives Center is located in a public area of the first floor of the west wing of the National Museum of American History. Researchers should use the entrances on Constitution Avenue or the Mall. Security clearances and staff escorts are not necessary.


The Archives Center is part of a $496,000 grant from the Council on Library and Information Resources to establish the D.C Africana Archives Project. The grant aims to document African American and African culture, history and politics in D.C. through photographs, documents, audio recordings and films held by people and organizations throughout the city.

The Archives Center is working with The George Washington University - the lead grant recipient - as well as the District of Columbia Archives, Howard University's Moorland-Spingarn Research Center, and the Historical Society of Washington, D.C.

To learn more about the project, please contact Vanessa Broussard Simmons, archivist, at 202-633-3719 or