What's an Archives?

An archives is a place where people can go to gather firsthand facts, data, and evidence from letters, reports, notes, memos, photographs, and other primary sources.

The National Archives is the Nigeria Government’s collection of documents that records important events in Nigerian history. The Department of National Archives is the Government agency that preserves and maintains these materials and makes them available for research.

Whether or not you realize it, you probably have an archives in your home. It might be in a filing cabinet in your study, a box in the basement, a chest in the attic. It is your personal archives: a collection of material that records important events from your family’s history.

There are ways that your family archives and the National Archives, together, tell your family’s story. For example, your family’s archives might contain the final certificate for your great-great-grandfather’s homestead; the National Archives may hold the original applications for the homestead.

Personal Archives Versus Federal Archives
Every day Government agencies create new records that might be transferred to the National Archives. Holdings are created either by or for the Federal Government. The material comes from the legislative, executive, and judicial branches. Whereas your family’s archives is personal, those held by the National Archives are official. Your family’s archives might include your birth certificate. The National Archives holds the original, signed “birth certificate” for our nation—the Declaration of Independence.

Your family’s archives are available only to your and family members. The holdings in the National Archives are available to almost everyone.



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