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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).

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111 Massachusetts Ave. NW,
First Floor (Room 1000)
Washington DC 20529-2180.

Monday through Friday
8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. 
excluding federal holidays.


Reference questions can be sent to

*The library is open to non-USCIS researchers by appointment only. More Info.



The Historical Reference Library does not hold or provide access to any genealogical records. This service is provided by the USCIS Genealogy Program, which is a fee-based service that provides family historians and other researchers with timely and accurate access to historical immigration and naturalization records.  For additional information please visit

Last Reviewed/Updated: 09/08/2015