The Library's mission is to make its resources available and useful to the Congress and the American people and to sustain and preserve a universal collection of knowledge and creativity for future generations.
The Smithsonian Institution was established in 1846 with funds bequeathed to the United States by James Smithson. The Institution is as an independent trust instrumentality of the United States holding more than 140 million artifacts and specimens in its trust for "the increase and diffusion of knowledge". The Institution is also a center for research dedicated to public education, national service, and scholarship in the arts, sciences, and history.
The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) is the Federal agency called the collective memory of America. It preserves our nation's history by managing all Federal records. Further, it seeks to ensure access to historic records which document citizens' rights and our national experience.
NARA by Subject - An excellent and detailed index by subject of the NARA website, including links to the Access to Archival Databases and the Archival Research Catalog.
America's Historical Documents - Highlights some of America's most important historical documents, including the Declaration of Independence, Bill of Rights, Emancipation Proclamation and Edison's Light Bulb Patent.
100 Milestone Documents - This list of historic documents was compiled by the National Archives and chronicles United States history from 1776 to 1965. Links to the full-text documents provided. Includes a wide range of titles and time periods, including The Monroe Doctrine, President Jackson's Message to Congress on Indian Removal; Japanese Relocation Executive Order; Tonkin-Gulf Resolution and the Voting Rights Act.
Presidential Libraries - NARA preserves and makes available the records and personal papers of all Presidents since Hoover. Although the Presidential Libraries are built with private funds, NARA operates them and provides reference service for their holdings.