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.



Featured Collection


Faris & Yamna Naff Arab American Collection


Beyond the Label

The 2014 Arab American Studies Association Conference honored Alixa Naff (1919-2013), donor and former Archives Center volunteer. Naff conducted ground-breaking research to record and promote understanding  and development of the Arab American experience. Foremost among her many contributions is the significant collection of oral history interviews (1962 - 1994), archival documents, photographs and artifacts documenting Arab American history she created and donated to the Archives Center, National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C. Her preeminent publication, Becoming American: The Early Arab-American Experience, remains a pioneering and influential history of Arab Americans.