The Impact of the U.S. Government Shutdown to Genealogists

The news media is full of reports about the impact of the U.S. government shutdown, both to government employees and to private citizens alike. I see no point in repeating those stories here. However, I will say that genealogists should be aware of the impact to their research efforts.

If you were planning a genealogy research trip in the near future, you need to be aware that:

  • The National Archives and Records Administration buildings in the Washington, D.C., area are closed to researchers.
  • The National Archives and Records Administration Regional Branches all are closed.
  • All the document research areas overseen by the National Archives at presidential libraries are closed.
  • Until the shutdown ends, there will be no updates to government websites or social media.
  • The government offices typically used by genealogists and historians cannot respond to inquiries, conduct research, process inter-library loan (ILL) or material requests. All government-sponsored activities, workshops, and events are cancelled.
  • And it doesn’t stop there – other federal depositories, libraries, and facilities are closed as well.

Summation: Your tax dollars (not) at work!


Thanks for the news, altho unpleasant to hear. An outrageous situation on so many levels.

Liked by 1 person

The NSDAR Museum in Washington is open as it is non-governmental and it has tons of genealogy information. People could check the web site or call them,

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A correction – The Library of Congress is NOT closed due to the shutdown. It is closed today (January 14th) because of a snow storm, but otherwise is open as normal.


I was trying to locate an old homestead claim and that website is completely gone now! Not sure if that’s part of the current shutdown or something that happened prior, but I loved that site, it was very useful!


    The BLM GLO records is part of the Bureau of Land Management. A Federal organization. Whenever this rubbish is finally ended it will be back up again.


twistedtwigsgenealogy January 16, 2019 at 3:46 am

NARA-STL is closed but NRPC is still working on their backlog orders (both are located in the same building). Our St. Louis office has received 6 huge Korean War files through the mail (Over 1400 pages) since the shutdown.
Personally, I practically lived at Archive I & Archive II for the last few years and this shutdown has been torture. On Monday, I visited the US Army Heritage and Education Center in Pennsylvania. It was delightful to dig through WWI Veteran service questionnaires.


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