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Join us on a Virtual Vacation

Summer is officially upon us, and while many of us may have put our vacation plans on hold this year, we invite you to explore the country with us -- through the National Archives Catalog!

Image of man driving a car a low pollution power systems development exhibit

Exhibit at the first symposium on low pollution power systems development, 10/1973. National Archives Identifier 552788

Some of our favorite records of life in the United States include the Environmental Protection Agency’s Project DOCUMERICA collection held in the Still Pictures branch of the National Archives at College Park. 
Image of 4 young girls embracing
Image of people and cars overlooking water

L: Black youngsters cool off with fire hydrant water on Chicago's South Side in the Woodlawn Community, 6/1973. National Archives Identifier 556136

R: At Bahia Honda State Park, on Bahia Honda Key , 6/1973. National Archives Identifier 548804

From 1971 to 1977, the EPA hired freelance photographers to capture images documenting subjects of environmental concern and everyday life in America in the 1970s.
Photgraph of Brooklyn street with people and cars
Photograph of people at the beach

L: Inner city life on Bond Street in Brooklyn, New York City,  National Archives Identifier 555944
R Sunning, splashing, swimming at Sandy Point State Park, 6/1973. National Archives Identifier 546874

Women swimming in pool
Residents take part in organized daily exercises in one of the public pools at Century Village Retirement Community, 6/1973. National Archives Identifier 548550

The National Archives digitized more than 15,000 photographs from the series. Some of the subjects are beach and mountain scenes; urban areas including junk yards, streets, buildings traffic control; air and water pollution; waterfronts; mining scenes; and people. 

Child enjoying a snow cone
Man resting on bench with tree in foreground
L: Child savors a snow cone just received from a sidewalk vendor on Chicago's West Side, 6/1973. National Archives Identifier 556213
R: Siesta at South Beach, 6/1973. National Archives Identifier 548645
Young camper holding an inner tube
Campers in Garner State Park, 7/1972. National Archives Identifier 546194

Explore more DOCUMERICA resources from the National Archives:

America’s Scenic Byways

This series of digital photographs was accumulated and maintained by the National Scenic Byways Program (NSBP)and consists of photographs of 150 roads located throughout the United States.

Alaska's Marine Highway - Coastal Kodiak
Alaska's Marine Highway - Coastal Kodiak. National Archives Identifier 7716894

These images served as a visual record of roads designated as National Scenic Byways or All-American Roads by the United States Department of Transportation based on archaeological, cultural, historic, natural, recreational, and scenic qualities. 

St. Augustine Lighthouse in Florida
Death Valley Scenic Byway

L: A1A Scenic and Historic Coastal Byway - St. Augustine Lighthouse Standing Guard Over St. Augustine, FL. National Archives Identifier 7716749
R: Death Valley Scenic Byway - Ripples on the Sand Dune Surface. National Archives Identifier 7717954

View from bridge overlooking water
View of lighthouse on rock overlooking ocean

L: Old Canada Road Scenic Byway - South View in Moscow. National Archives Identifier 7720821 
R: North Shore Scenic Drive - The Split Rock Lighthouse. National Archives Identifier 7720702 

El Camino Real

El Camino Real - Socorro Mission Under a Desert Sky. National Archives Identifier 7718311

Have you visited any of these beautiful places?

Bureau of Public Roads

It wouldn’t be summer without a little road construction!

Construction asphalt mix on turnpike

Bituminous Asphalt Mix on Newburyport Turnpike, 6/1952. National Archives Identifier 169136966

This series of photographs documents the role of the Bureau of Public Roads in federally supported highway construction projects, planning, road material and construction research, and highway safety and maintenance. 

Campsite on a stream bank

A Campsite on a Stream Bank. National Archives Identifier 169136828

Have you tried our Bureau of Public Roads tagging mission yet? 

Help us tag details and features you find in these photographs, such as vehicles (can you identify the model and make?), highway structures, buildings, tourist cabins and motels, car washes, shopping centers, bus terminals, and parking garages.

City Market in the District of Columbia

City Market in the District of Columbia. National Archives Identifier 169135811

New to the citizen archivist program? Learn how to register and get started.
Citizen Archivist Missions

New Citizen Archivist Mission: African American History

The National Archives holds a wealth of material documenting the African American experience. Explore our records documenting African American History and help transcribe these records to help make them more searchable and discoverable in the Catalog. 

World War I. Drafted men from Galesburg, Illinois
Colored Troops - Drafted Men from Galseburg, Illinois. National Archives Identifier 26431536

New to the citizen archivist program? Learn how to register and get started

For more information, tools, and resources that can be used to conduct research relating to African American History at the National Archives, please visit our Guide to Black History.

July 4 Virtual Celebration!
Join us for our first-ever virtual ceremony! The National Archives will host a virtual Independence Day celebration on July 4, 2020, in partnership with the nonprofit National Archives Foundation. The event will take place at 4 p.m. on @USNatArchives Facebook page and YouTube channel
July 4 Celebration at the National Archives in Washington DC, 2019

The National Archives celebrates Independence Day with musical performances, a dramatic reading of the Declaration of Independence, and history-related family activities on July 4th, 2019 in Washington, DC. NARA Photo by Ted Chaffman. 

Several hours of additional educational programming will be offered throughout the day.

For 50 years, the National Archives has hosted a reading of the Declaration of Independence at its iconic home in Washington, DC, to celebrate the founding of the United States. This year, the National Archives will lift the words of the Declaration of Independence off of its well-worn and much-loved parchment and bring them to homes across the country through this virtual program.

Host and narrator Soledad O’Brien will capture the patriotic spirit of the occasion and allow Americans across the country to take part in the Archives celebration. For the full schedule of programs from June 11 through August 2, visit

History Hub

Have a question? Find your answer on History Hub! 

History Hub is our support community for researchers, genealogists, history enthusiasts, and citizen archivists. Ask questions, share information, work together, and find help based on experience and interests. Researchers can ask—or answer—questions on History Hub, or search to see if a question has been asked before.

History Hub welcome image
Citizen Archivists, there's a group just for you! You can share tips and strategies, find new challenges, and get support for your work. Get started with our poll: What kinds of records do you like to transcribe?

COVID-19 Update

The National Archives is committed to the health and safety of our visitors and staff. We are closely monitoring the situation regarding COVID-19, and we are working with public health officials and our counterpart agencies to monitor and respond to the evolving conditions and following CDC guidelines. 

For more information, visit

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