You are here
 

Accessing CFA Records

CFA staff is available to help with research requests. Please review the information available here and contact the CFA Records Officer for further information or to make an appointment at (202) 504-2200 or cfastaff@cfa.gov.

Meeting Records

Minutes and Appendices

Meeting minutes and appendices of staff recommendations are the official record of Commission of Fine Arts meetings. They are produced for every CFA meeting and become public record after they are approved by the Commission at the subsequent meeting.

  • Minutes from 1910 to the present are available in hard copy in the CFA office.
  • Minutes from January 2003 to the present are also available online.
  • Appendices from 1910 to the present are available in hard copy in the CFA office.
  • Appendices from October 2002 to the present are also available online.

Please note: minutes are not produced for Old Georgetown Board meetings; the Old Georgetown Appendix, once it is approved by the Commission, is the official record of action.

Transcripts

A transcript is produced for every CFA meeting in order to prepare the meeting minutes. Excerpts from the transcript can be made available to the public for reference approximately one month after the meeting. Transcripts are not considered official records of the meetings as they often contain transcription errors.

  • Transcripts from the 1960s to the present are available in hard copy in the CFA office; please note that the older portion of the transcript collection is incomplete.
  • Excerpts from hard copies or electronic versions of the transcripts may be obtained by researchers following the approval of the corresponding meeting's minutes.
  • Transcripts are released unedited and may contain errors.

Please note: transcripts are not produced for Old Georgetown Board meetings; however, audio recordings of the OGB meetings are available in MP3 format. These recordings may serve as a reference, but not as an official record.

Audio Recordings

Public meetings of the Old Georgetown Board and the Commission of Fine Arts are recorded digitally and are made available to researchers in MP3 format. Researchers may have access to the recordings no sooner than two business days after meetings. Recordings may be reproduced if the researcher provides a writable CD, or reimburses the Commission $5.00 for the cost the media. Large file sizes of recordings prohibit their being sent by email.

Project Records

Materials submitted by applicants for CFA review are available for reference as part of the public record. These project files are kept at the CFA office at 401 F Street, NW, Suite 312, Washington, DC for approximately five years, after which they are transferred to the Washington National Records Center (WNRC) in Suitland, MD for ten years. Project files are then permanently disposed to the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) and are kept at two NARA facilities, in Washington, DC and in College Park, MD.

Project Files at the CFA Office

Researchers may review these files by appointment. Please contact the CFA Records Officer to make an appointment at (202) 504-2200 or cfastaff@cfa.gov. For more information about CFA research policies, costs, and hours of operation, see the Research Policies page.

Certain files under active review by the Commission or Board may not be available on the day of a Commission of Fine Arts or Old Georgetown Board meeting, nor on the day prior, as staff may require access to them for meeting preparation. Please consult the CFA and OGB meeting schedules before making an appointment.

Project Files at the Washington National Records Center, Suitland

Once files are transferred to the Washington National Records Center (WNRC), researchers must go the Suitland, MD location to review them. The Commission of Fine Arts retains legal custody of project files while they are located at the WNRC. To access files stored at the WNRC:

  • Contact the CFA Records Officer at cfastaff@cfa.gov or (202) 504-2200; the WNRC cannot make CFA files available to researchers without authorization from the CFA Records Officer.
  • The WRNC requires at least 48 hours notice to access files for researchers; please keep this in mind when planning your research.

For more information about WNRC procedures, directions, and hours of operation, go to the WNRC website.

Project Files at the National Archives, Pennsylvania Avenue

Once project files are transferred to the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), the CFA no longer has legal custody of them. Requests to review the files must be made to NARA staff at the National Archives Building in Washington, DC. The CFA files are in Record Group 66. Files are pulled five times daily and researchers must have a NARA research card to view the files.

For more information about NARA's procedures, directions, and hours of operation, go to the NARA website.

Project Files at the National Archives, College Park

The National Archives at College Park, MD holds the CFA archive of graphic material, such as maps and large-scale images, in Record Group 66. Requests to review these files must be made to NARA staff at College Park.

For more information about NARA College Park's procedures, directions, and hours of operation, go to the NARA website.