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Citizen Archivists

6 Posts authored by: Meredith Doviak Expert

The National Archives recently launched a new pathway to view and explore our records: the Record Group Explorer. This data visualization allows you to browse NARA’s holdings by Record Group. You can use it to get a sense of the scale and organization of records at the National Archives and to explore what is available online via the National Archives Catalog.


We now invite you to give the Record Group Explorer a try while contributing as a citizen archivist. To celebrate the launch of the Record Group Explorer, we’ve created special missions for each Record Group. Our first set of missions invite you to help tag and transcribe Records from the U.S. Secret Service and the Records of the Government of the District of Columbia. We’ll feature additional Record Groups for future missions.


Each of your contributions to these records will help unlock history and make them easier to find in our Catalog for other users.


Record Group Explorer Missions for Citizen Archivists


Have questions about the Record Group Explorer? Ask questions and contribute to the conversation here on History Hub. We’d also love to hear your input on how this new tool might be beneficial to you in your research, and your ideas about how we could further refine this data visualization for future projects.


The data powering the Record Group Explorer will be updated monthly, so check back to see what we have added and what changes have been made.

You did it! During last week’s Citizen Archivist Week of Service, more than 430 citizen archivists helped tag and transcribe more than 3,500 pages! Thanks to all of you for helping us reach (and surpass) our goal.


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Didn’t get a chance to participate last week? Not to worry. Our Citizen Archivist Dashboard is updated regularly with new missions and featured records to tag and transcribe. Check back often to see what’s new, and keep up the great work!

At the National Archives, we are committed to making the citizen archivist program a great experience for our virtual volunteers. That’s why today we are introducing our new Resources page on our Citizen Archivist Dashboard. Whether you are a new transcriber, or looking for ways to become more involved, our resource page is designed to provide helpful information, tips and tricks, instructional videos and more.

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We created this resource page based on feedback and frequently asked questions we receive from our citizen archivists, and we hope you find it useful.


Check it out and let us know what you think! Do you have ideas for further instructional videos? What else would you like to see on our Dashboard? Let us know at

April 6, 2017 marked the 100th anniversary of the U.S. entry into World War I. As we commemorate this event, we're asking for help from our Citizen Archivists to make records from World War I more discoverable.


We're creating special tagging and transcription missions and challenges using World War I content. Throughout the two year commemoration, we’ll be rotating missions to focus on different aspects of World War I both on the battlefield and on the homefront.  We hope you’ll join us in this special project.

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We’ve also launched a World War I research portal with the goal of creating a central space for all National Archives resources and content related to World War I for use by researchers, students and educators, and those curious about the War. Here you will find World War I records organized by subject and topic area. Throughout the portal you can find links to more information such as articles, blog posts, genealogy resources, and online exhibits. Read more about our our WWI portal in our newsletter.


With more than 110,000 newly digitized photographs, you’re sure to find something you’ve never seen before! Have you found a unique photo or an interesting record? Please share with us! Email us at

In commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, we invite you to tag selected records and photographs in the National Archives Catalog related to the attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on December 7, 1941.


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The records in this mission include photographs of the attack, the aftermath, the USS Arizona memorial, and ceremonies. Tagging details found in the photographs such as names, locations, types or names of planes and ships, or other details not found in the title or caption, will help make this content more discoverable in the Catalog.


New to Tagging? Learn how to get started. You can register for an account in the National Archives Catalog and begin tagging right away.


Looking for more? Browse more tagging missions from the National Archives. Select a mission that interests you and get tagging.


Learn more about Pearl Harbor and the 75th Anniversary from the National Archives.

Help us transcribe the millions of digitized pages of records in the National Archives Catalog. Transcription helps us improve search results and increase accessibility to our historical records.

New to transcribing? Our newly designed Transcription Tips webpage shows you how to get started with transcription, and includes some helpful examples of documents so you can see transcription in action.

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Teachers can download and print a PDF version for use in their classrooms.

By transcribing, you are helping unlock history and discover hidden details of records and the stories they contain.

Check out our transcription missions! We’ve curated groups of records on particular subjects to help you get started transcribing. Take a look at our missions page to start transcribing documents related to exploring space, African American history, and more! If this is your first time participating - read the Transcription Tips and begin with the getting started instructions.

Happy transcribing!