We need your help digitizing the records of the National Archives!

At the National Archives Building, in Washington, DC, the public can scan our archival records in the Innovation Hub Scanning Room. Currently, the Scanning Room services are only available at our Washington, DC facility and only for records that are located within the building. 

 

The Innovation Hub Scanning Room, which opened in July 2015, provides a space for the public to scan select records in our holdings. Whether you are new to scanning or have years of experience, our staff provides one-on-one instruction on handling historical records and using our flatbed scanners. When you finish scanning your records in the Hub, you receive digital copies of your scans, free of charge. We encourage you to bring your own personal USB/flash drive to save the images. Your scans will be uploaded into the National Archives Catalog, where anyone can view them without going through a paywall.

 

Currently, you can scan four series of records in the Hub: compiled military service records, pension application files, bounty land warrant applications, and carded medical records. You can only scan these files if they are not already online through one of the National Archives’ partners, such as Ancestry or Fold3. If you decide to scan, we ask that you commit to scanning a complete file. Compiled military service records, bounty land warrant applications, and carded medical records are fairly small and can take between 30 minutes and an hour to complete. Pension files can include hundreds of pages and take anywhere from an hour to several days to finish.

While you are waiting for your records to arrive in the Hub, or if you are just visiting and would like to contribute to our digitization efforts, we have a “Box of the Month” available for you to scan. Currently, we are scanning compiled military service records from the War of 1812.

If you would like to scan other series of records, you will need advance approval to ensure that these records are in good condition for scanning on flatbed scanners. Contact innovationhub@nara.gov to learn more.

 

We will give you credit by name for your image contributions in the National Archives Catalog, or you can choose to remain anonymous. You can view the records that have already been scanned in the Hub by visiting our Catalog, at http://go.usa.gov/xkF8N.

Once your records are available on our catalog, you can register to become a Citizen Archivist and tag and transcribe your scans. More information about this project can be found at our Citizen Archivist Dashboard.

 

We hope you will come visit us at the Innovation Hub Scanning Room soon!

The Innovation Hub Scanning Room is open from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.