American Indian Research in the National Archives of the United States

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The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) is responsible for the preservation of the records of historical importance created by federal offices in the United States of America. The oldest facility under this federal office is the National Archives Building in Washington, DC.

NARA also oversees a system of Regional Archives throughout the United States, as well as Presidential Libraries, records centers, affiliated archives, and other records keeping functions.

Most of the records of the Bureau of Indian Affairs (formerly Office of Indian Affairs) are in the NARA system under Record Group 75 -- Records of the Bureau of Indian Affairs [BIA]. Many of the American Indian records in Record Group 75 have been inventoried by the National Archives and a brief description of those records is available online. Some other Records Groups also include records of the American Indian.

Some of the extensive holdings of the National Archives relating to the American Indian have been microfilmed. Copies of those records have been widely distributed to the regional archives of NARA and to many other research facilities.