About the Library
The library was created in 1987 as part of the legacy Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) History Office. Its mission is to track the agency history and the implementation of federal government immigration policy from 1891—when the federal government first created the Immigration Bureau—through its present organization, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) which is under the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
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- Historical Reference Office staff research, write, and distribute histories, and provide authoritative historical information to USCIS, other government agencies, and public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 customers.
The USCIS History Office and Historical Reference Library is located approximately two blocks from the Union Station Metro Station at:
111 Massachusetts Avenue, NW,
1st Floor - Washington, DC 20529
Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. , excluding federal holidays.
* The library is open to non-USCIS researchers by appointment only.
Visitors must present a valid photo ID and enter through building security. All foreign nationals must submit identification 30 days in advance for security clearance.
We welcome individuals with disabilities and we will ensure that they have equal access to library resources.
Materials are available to individuals with disabilities in a variety of formats and with certain accommodations. Examples of accommodations include physical assistance into our facility. No assistive technology or auxiliary devices have been purchased to date.
Please see the contact information in our Hours of Operation section and make your request known before scheduling your visit with the USCIS History Library.