Regional Archives - Central Plains RegionCentral Region Main Page | Record Groups Held | Contact Information

The Regional Archives at NARA's Central Plains Region is:

  • Part of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), the Federal agency that, by law, preserves and provides access to permanently valuable, noncurrent Federal records with historical, legal, or fiscal value.
  • One of 14 NARA facilities where the public has access to Federal archival records.
  • A depository and center for research in historical records From Federal agencies and courts in Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota.
  • A center for genealogical research.
  • A sponsor of programs that educate the public about archives, history, genealogy, and related subjects.
  • A partner with colleges and universities, historical and genealogical societies, veterans organizations, museums, and other archives.
  • A host for student interns, school groups, and others who want to learn more about archives.
  • A national resource in a local setting.
We have:
  • More than 42,000 cubic feet of historical records dating from the 1820s to the 1990s, among them photographs, maps, and architectural drawings, created or received by nearly 100 Federal agencies, including Federal courts.
Letter from motion picture company to Pine Ridge Indian Agency, South Dakota, on the portrayal of historical events, 1914. RG 75We serve:
  • Anyone who needs historical information created or received by the Federal Government—historians, genealogists, lawyers, scholars, Government officials, environmentalists, students, veterans, and others.
Our records are:
  • Diverse in form and content, including correspondence, name lists, reports, contracts, case files, photographs, maps, posters, and drawings which document the actions and reactions of the Government and the American people as they dealt with issues and events such as immigration and naturalization, the environment, technological change, the Great Depression, war, and the evolution of a multicultural nation.
  • Filled with the names of notable events, places, and people, including the 1890 tragedy at Wounded Knee, S.D.; the 1933 gangland slaying at Kansas City's Union Station; the milestone Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka decision to desegregate public schools; Robert "Birdman of Alcatraz" Stroud; William "Buffalo Bill" Cody; U.S. Marshals Bat Masterson and "Wild Bill" Hickok; President Ulysses S. Grant; Walt Disney; singer Chuck Berry; Russian revolutionary Leon Trotsky; anti-war agitator Kate Richards O'Hare; Missouri night-riding outlaws the "Baldknobbers"—and more!
  • Unique evidence of the impact of Federal policies and programs on the States of the northern Midwest.
Prisoner, Leavenworth Federal Penitentiary, Kansas, 1900-09. RG 129If you plan to do research in original records:
  • Call before visiting to assure that records are available - (816) 268-8000
  • Bring identification such as a driver's license, passport, or student I D so that we can issue you a researcher's card.
  • Plan on leaving your personal belongings in a locker.
  • Laptop computers are permitted.
Our microfilm holdings are:
  • Of genealogical interest—Federal population censuses for all States. 1790–1930; censuses of Northern Plains Native Americans and the Five Civilized Tribes Choctaw, Cherokee, Chickasaw, Seminole, and Creek; selected military service, pension, passenger arrival, and naturalization records.
  • Of general historical interest—Territorial papers; the Mathew Brady Collection of Civil War photographs; German records captured at the end of World War II; records of U.S. diplomatic missions, the Revolutionary and Civil Wars, the Government's administration of Indian affairs, and the U.S. Supreme Court; records documenting the unexplained loss of Navy flight 19 in the Bermuda Triangle, 1945; documentation of the Axis Powers' looting of assets, 1933-45; and studies of UFOs undertaken by Project Blue Book.

Andrew Knife, Oglala Lakota (Sioux), Pine Ridge Agency, South Dakota, ca. 1942. RG 75If you plan to do microfilm research:

  • Expect to use our self-service microfilm research room with the aid of volunteers and staff.
  • Because research is time-consuming, you may need to visit more than once.

Prepare for your visit by reviewing our web sites:

If you need photocopies:

  • For a fee, our staff will make or arrange for copies of records and provide certified copies for legal use.
  • You can use self-service copiers for a fee to make paper copies from microfilm.
  • Self-service copying of original records may be allowed, depending on the condition of the records.

We encourage you to volunteer:

  • To assist genealogical researchers.
  • To work on archival preservation and other historical records projects.