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U.S. National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) Microfilm: Home

Purpose of this guide is to show how to search for NARA microfilm in our catalog and on the National Archives site.

NARA Microfilm at TCU

Image of microfilm reels

The National Archives has microfilmed over 3,000 series of Federal records that contain a wealth of valuable information for scholars and other researchers. You may gain access to records for research in a wide variety of areas including history, economics, political science & genealogy.

The TCU Library was graciously given thousands of microfilm reels from the National Archives Fort Worth branch.  These reels are housed at our library's off-site facility, but can easily be retrieved weekdays within 24 hours in most cases by online request through our catalog for your viewing pleasure at our library.

This Research Guide details how to explore this valuable collection in our catalog and on the National Archives website.

National Archives

National Archives logo

The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) is the nation's record keeper. Of all documents and materials created in the course of business conducted by the United States Federal government, only 1%-3% are so important for legal or historical reasons that they are kept by them forever.

Those valuable records are preserved and are available to the public, whether people want to see if they contain clues about family history, if there's a need to prove a veteran’s military service, or are researching a historical topic of interest.

NARA keeps only those Federal records that are judged to have continuing value—about 2 to 5 percent of those generated in any given year. By now, they add up to a formidable number, diverse in form as well as in content. There are approximately 10 billion pages of textual records; 12 million maps, charts, and architectural and engineering drawings; 25 million still photographs and graphics; 24 million aerial photographs; 300,000 reels of motion picture film; 400,000 video and sound recordings; and 133 terabytes of electronic data. All of these materials are preserved because they are important to the workings of Government, have long-term research worth, or provide information of value to citizens.


If you have any questions regarding NARA microfilm or suggestions on how we can improve this Research guide please email Beth Callahan.