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National Archives Records Administration (NARA) National Personnel Records Center

National Archives Records Administration (NARA) National Personnel Records Center | St. Louis, Missouri

The state-of-the-art, 507,274-sq-ft. National Archives and Records Administration’s (NARA) National Personnel Records Center was built for the U.S. General Services Administration St. Louis under a design-build contract with HKS, Inc. The $112 million project was developed by The Molasky Group of Companies, which leases the building to the General Services Administration (GSA).


Situated on a 29.5-acre parcel, the new three-story archives facility serves as the central repository of personnel-related records for both the military and civil service employees of the U.S. government, making it the largest national archives facility outside of greater Washington, D.C. Its mission is to provide service to government agencies, military veterans, former civilian federal employees, family members as well as researchers and historians.

Project Features

Shelving/Storage: To maximize space, the shelving was increased from 10-14 feet high in previous facilities, to the current 29-foot high shelving units (385,000 shelves). The staff uses a network of catwalks to move throughout the area. Other features:

  • Strict temperature/humidity, based on types of files stored in each of the 15 bays
  • Equipped with particulate and ultraviolet filtration
  • Special paint, sealants, caulking, and the finishes for the shelving have been certified for minimal off-gassing of volatile organic compounds, which are harmful to documents over time, in accordance with NARA 1571 standards.

Preservation Lab: Almost 30,000 sq. ft. of the office building is a dedicated pressurized laboratory. The primary purpose of this laboratory is the restoration of almost 6 million American files burned in a 1973 fire. The laboratory also has capabilities of working with records damaged by fire, water, stains, and simply age. Specialized equipment includes control vacuums, specialized sinks, dark rooms, fume hoods, chemical control, and specialized digital equipment.

Research Rooms: The Archival Research Room is dedicated to providing the public full and open access to the National Personnel Records Center’s (NPRC) archival records holdings. Researcher stations accommodate laptops, scanners, and other approved equipment.

Multipurpose Room: For exhibits featuring special collections with full audio-visual capabilities. Features specially coated exterior glazing and light fixtures to minimize exposure to harmful ultraviolet light.

Interior shot of facility with boxes lining the walls
Interior shot of facility with boxes lining the walls
Interior shot of facility with boxes lining the walls
Interior shot of facility with boxes lining the walls
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