Skip navigation

Citizen Archivists

1 Post authored by: Huda Dayton Expert

Research at the National Archives


Tagging in the National Archives Online Catalog

Did you know that, as a fellow researcher, you can help enrich our catalog by tagging and adding transcriptions to make the National Archives records more easily found online? By adding keywords, terms, and labels to a record, you will help to make the contents of NARA’s online catalog richer and more discoverable. More information tagged to historical documents, electronic records, photographs, and other records helps to makes them easier to find for the next person who may need the information.



What’s a good tag? Any keywords or labels that are meaningful to you, as well as names you find in the record. Simply type what you see. You can say whatever you wish to say in a tag if it conforms with NARA's Tagging Policy.

To get started with your valuable contributions, create a user name and password in the National Archives Catalog and login to the system.  

You can start a tagging mission by adding tag details and features in selected categories of photographs. Or create your own tagging mission task by doing a keyword search in the catalog for your favorite topics. For example, typing the keyword "Abraham Lincoln” and selecting "President Abraham Lincoln's Pardon of Charles Boland" from the generated list, will open the historical document. It also shows that this document has some blue ribbons tags as an indication of user tagging contributions to this document. You can check their tags, add more tags to the same document, or search and select another record that has not been tagged before. You can review some Tagging Tips as well as Tagging NARA Catalog Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).



For additional information about tagging records see our National Archives Catalog newsletter.


Tagging in Flickr

You can also help tag National Archives images in Flickr. With every tag you add to the image, you help the next person discover that record/image.


Explore our nation's past with our Archives' Photostream on the Flickr Commons. Please share your knowledge, insights, and experience by adding tags, notes, and comments. We also encourage you to clarify and correct information in our descriptions through your comments. To get started, simply create an account in Flickr.


Any tagging method you select to contribute will help make the records of the National Archives more discoverable, accessible, and understandable. All contributions will be greatly valued.