There’s no question- the National Archives holds a LOT of stuff. That breadth can be a challenge to explain to new researchers and casual website visitors, whose understanding of NARA collections may be as broad as “all the records made in the U.S.” or as dismissive as “boxes and boxes of boring government paperwork.”
One of our strategies for combating these misconceptions is the creation of topical subject galleries on ARC. By highlighting some of NARA’s lesser-known records, as well as classic research staples, we’re able to introduce users to a much richer spectrum of American history than they may have expected. Would you guess, for instance, that the National Archives at Denver’s collections include records from Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show? Or that the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library has a photo of the first couple with Michael Jackson (sequins, white glove and all!)
As the pages continue to evolve, we’d love to hear your input on what new topics should be included, as well as which of the current ones you’d like to see get some more attention. What do you think?