By the Numbers

The holdings of the National Archives are vast. With more than 12 billion pages of textual records alone, it is essential that we continue to explore and employ innovative strategies to provide effective access. By understanding how you currently access our records and better understanding your unique needs, we will be better positioned to ensure your success in using the country’s records.

Women from are getting into vocational schools to learn war work
Analyzing our work.
From Record Group 208: Records of the Office of War Information, 1926 – 1951. National Archives Identifier: 535579


Here’s what some of our data shows:

Physical Visits:

Number of visits to all NARA facilities in FY2014: 4,163,905; up from 4,112,813 in FY13

  • Number of visits to our exhibits in FY2014: 3,451,044; up from 3,204,642 in FY13
  • Number of researcher visits to all NARA facilities in FY2014: 104,366; down from 114,096 in FY13

Number of written requests answered by all NARA offices in FY2014: 1,065,513; down from 1,132,525 in FY13

  • Number of written requests (includes fax, letter, email) received by all NARA archival offices in FY2014: 114,577; down from 122,442 in FY13
  • Number of written requests received by the St. Louis Military Personnel Records Center in FY2014: 950,936; down from 1,010,083 in FY13

Website and Online Catalog:

  • Traffic to We had 31,093,042 visits from 22,869,469 visitors who viewed 86,729,808 pages, up 6% from FY13
  • Percentage of online users visiting via mobile device: 23% (up from 19% in FY2013; 10.6% in FY2012 and only 4.94% in FY2011)
  • Number of visits to the Online Public Access (OPA) catalog: 833,792; up from 734,264 in FY13

Social Media:

Over 200 NARA staff across the country are contributing to and/or managing our external social media platforms. Over 1,300 staff are actively posting content to our internal collaboration network.

Number of views of NARA social media sites:  141,554,462 is up significantly over FY13 (53,349,023)

    • Number of views of NARA’s 14 external blogs: 641,494; down from 761,590 views in FY13
    • Number of followers on Today’s Document :  177,700; up from 128,027 in FY13
    • OurPresidents has 126,550 followers; up from 116,522 in FY13
    • Congress Archives has 109,890 followers; up from 96,255 in FY13
    • Number of downloads of Today’s Document mobile app (IOS and Droid): 103,000 in FY14 for a cumulative total of 218,900 downloads since the app launched in 2011
    • Number of NARA digital copies on our Flickr account: 12,627. Number of views from June 2009 to date: 55,734,997

Over 6,000 digital copies of National Archives records have been used in Wikipedia articles that have garnered over ONE BILLION views in FY14, on par with FY13.


We continue to explore crowdsourcing as a way to increase public participation and collaboration around NARA’s records, while engaging and involving new groups of people to help tell the story of our records. Amara is our newest crowdsourcing platform. It allows citizen archivists to subtitle and translate videos from NARA’s collections. Since our March 2014 launch, our Amara account has:

  • 395 public members
  • Complete transcriptions for 45 of the 93 videos we posted
  • Translations of our videos into at least 11 different languages including English, Spanish, Italian, Serbian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Indonesian, Czech and Chinese.


6 thoughts on “By the Numbers

  1. And the number of views of NARA holdings on our digital partners’ web sites? A huge percentage of NARA researchers use digitized images on and, for example.

  2. And the number of views of NARA holdings on its digital partners’ web sites? A huge percentage of NARA researchers use digitized images on and, for example.

  3. These are important figures for analysis that we at NARA need to pay attention to as we continue our agency’s transformation efforts to be a fully digital agency to meet citizen/Government needs in the years ahead. Although these figures provide only “last year” vs. “this year” numbers, I feel there are some preliminary conclusions we can draw:
    1. Our users are not physically coming to our facilities to do research. I expect this trend will continue as their expectations for finding and using critical records online increase;
    2. Our users are not “writing” requests – they are looking for information on the web (including our website) and if they do not find it, they might either give up or might emailing us asking for help. This supports the view that “if it does not exist online, it does not exist” – it is a coming reality that we as archivists must just accept). We need to think how we can structure our website, our online presence, and our digitization strategy to provide additional help and make our records “exist”;
    3. Our visitors “may” be using our website and our apps (including “Today’s Document”) as the basis for discovery and then may use this information to learn more by then visiting the exhibits (at the Presidential Libraries and Constitution Ave.) We need to continue to find ways to reform our web presence to foster this curiosity. I suspect that those NARA facilities with robust websites also translates to increased visitors looking for a more value-added experience.

  4. Thanks for the update and we all appreciate the comments made by John Powers. I remember when AOTUS first authorized some of his staff to actually possess and use newer technologies like iPads and it made a significant difference in their abilities to reach out to users almost immediately. Most importantly, I appreciate the partnerships and the crowdsourcing – especially in transcribing documents and now videos! It’s the only way to actually make progress toward a much more transparent government that serves the people. Thanks to the leadership at the Archives and every single staff member that makes it all possible.

  5. Thanks for the update and we all appreciate the comments made by John Powers.

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