Mission of the Archives & Records Center
The mission of the Archives & Records Center is to identify, preserve, and make available to the public records of the City of Alexandria government that have been appraised and selected for historic value.
Museum Closures and Covid-19 Operational Guidelines
Many of the museums are closed and public programs are cancelled until further notice. Check the Historic Alexandria homepage to see the latest on which museums are now open.
The Office of Historic Alexandria established the following guidelines to ensure consistent operations during the COVID-19 pandemic. Staff will regularly re-evaluate them based on safety and available staffing levels and as the region moves through Phase 3 of the Forward Virginia plan. Includes guidelines for guided tours, volunteers, rentals, public programs and events, and on-site research and collections use by the public.
Regulations Applying to City of Alexandria Public Records
City of Alexandria records are available to the public under the Virginia Public Records Act, Virginia Freedom of Information Act and City Administrative Regulations unless prohibited by law due to confidentiality. However, ALL requests for City documents at the Archives and Records Center require submitting a FOIA request, either to the City Attorney’s Office in Room 1300, City Hall, 301 King Street (703-746-3750) or by email to FOIArequests@alexandriava.gov. To ensure that your FOIA request is received directly by Archives and Records Center staff, please indicate that is where you wish your request to go.
What Records are Available for Research?
The collection begins with the late 19th century and continues to the present. A partial listing of the collection includes:
- City Council Minutes - 1922 through 1985
- Annual Financial Statements - 1876 to the present (some gaps)
- Papers of Former Mayors - 1950s to the present
- Stocks and Bonds - circa 1850s through 1900
- Approved Annual Budgets - 1930 to the present
- Annual Reports - 1955 to the present (some gaps)
- Planning Commission Minutes - 1939 through 1998
- Board of Architectural Review Minutes
- Board of Zoning Appeals Minutes
- New Construction Permits - 1930 through 1960
- Building Alteration Permits - 1930 through 1950
- Demolition Permits
- Sign Permits
- Architectural Plans
- Papers of the Bicentennial Commission
- City Directories - 1950 through 1979 (some gaps)
- City Contracts - 1945 to the present
- Auditor’s Reports - 1876 through 1923 (some gaps)
- Site Plans – 1962 through 2000
The Archives and Records Center sometimes accepts gifts or donations of records, but only those created by the City of Alexandria government agencies. Acceptance of any such records is at the discretion of the Records Administrator and Archivist.
- Library of Virginia
- Alexandria Library, Special Collections
- Virginia Historical Society
- Alexandria Clerk of Circuit Court
- Virginia Office of Vital Records and Health Statistics
- Virtual Library of Virginia
- U.S. Census Bureau*
- National Archives and Records Administration*
- The Library of Congress*
*Sites not exclusively devoted to Virginia and/or Alexandria history
Public Records Advisory Commission
The Public Records Advisory Commission is a seven-member body made up of citizens of the City of Alexandria. It provides guidance to the Records Administrator & Archivist on matters pertaining to archives and records management as well as the implementation of the City’s records management program.
The Archives & Records Center accepts volunteers who are interested in assisting the staff with the preservation, processing, and production of finding aids for archival collections. Please contact the Records Administrator by telephone or email, or submit a volunteer application.
Internships are available on a limited basis to graduate students who are currently studying or have completed course work in Archives and/or Records Management. Students who need to fulfill requirements for a practicum are also welcome. Please contact the Records Administrator & Archivist for information.
Monday - Friday
By Appointment Only