About the Library

The History Office and Library are temporarily closed to visitors. Staff will continue to respond to emailed reference requests: cishistory.library@uscis.dhs.gov.

The library was created in 1987 as part of the legacy Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) History Office. Its collection focuses on  agency history and the implementation of federal government immigration policy.  For more about our collection, please visit our Historical Library page.

About Our Services


The USCIS History Office and Library program preserves and promotes understanding of the history of USCIS and its predecessor agencies and programs.

  • Historical Reference Office staff research, write, and distribute histories, and provide authoritative historical information to USCIS, other government agencies, and public researchers.
  • The History Reference Library acquires, organizes, and provides access to library resources supporting the history of USCIS, its predecessor agencies, and US Immigration and Nationality law; and provides professional library services to both  government and public researchers.

Services for the Public

The History Office and  Library  offers  a  variety  of  services  to public researchers.

  • The library is open to the public by appointment only. No materials are lent to public patrons, but a copy machine is available.
  • Historical Reference Library staff can answer researcher questions by letter, telephone, or email.
  • Images from the History Office and Library photo collection are made available to authors and publishers.
  • Historians will consult with researchers regarding research problems, records availability, and access procedures.

Services for DHS and other Government Agencies

As a DHS and federal library, the Historical Reference Library is available to DHS and other federal staff who need information to perform their official duties. Among the services offered by the History Office and Library are:

  • Reference assistance to identify and locate materials. Reference questions can be submitted via the DHS “Ask a Librarian” service or directly by calling the library.
  • Research help to duplicate, mail, or fax information to federal requesters.
  • Inter-Library Loan to share library materials via another DHS library.
  • Library access and limited borrowing privileges.

E-mail a Librarian

For help with research questions, e-mail our reference library staff at cishistory.library@uscis.dhs.gov.


The USCIS History Office and Historical Reference Library is located approximately two blocks from the Branch Avenue Metro Station.

Mailing address:

5900 Capital Gateway Dr., Mail Stop 2180, Camp Springs, MD 20588-0009

Physical address:

5900 Capital Gateway Dr., Suite 1S100, 1st Floor, Suitland, MD 20746

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Hours of Operation

The History Office and Library is temporarily closed to visitors. Staff will continue to respond to e-mailed reference requests:  cishistory.library@uscis.dhs.gov.  


We welcome individuals with disabilities and to ensure that they have access to the USCIS History Library and its services, please see the contact information in our Hours of Operation section to make disability accommodation requests known before scheduling a visit. Wheelchair users, please contact us in advance of your visit.


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