Although a bill to create the office of the US Archivist was first submitted in 1930, Congress did not establish the National Archives as an independent executive agency until 1934 and Dr. R.D.W. Conner was appointed Archivist by President Roosevelt. The Archives building, occupied in 1935, is the repository of the more valuable and rare documents of the United States and also serves as a reference library. On display in the Exhibition Hall are the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, and the Bill of Rights.
The seventh building to be constructed in the Federal Triangle from 1931-1937, the Archives Building is a monumental structure designed in the 20th century Neo-Classical manner by John Russell Pope. The Archives Building occupies a dominant position in the Federal Triangle as a focal point on the 8th Street axis between the National Portrait Gallery and the National Collection (Old Patent Office) to the north, and the Hirshhorn Gallery to the south.
DC designation: November 8, 1964
National Register listing: May 27, 1971