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Up to date as of February 01, 2010

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The National Archives

inside: The Mall
map marker: The National Archives
The Mall Northeast
metro: Penn. Ave/The Mall Metro
quests: Stealing Independence
cell name: NtnlArchives01
ref id: 00018523
00018522 (Sub-Basement)
00003B85 (Secure Wing East)
00003B72 (Strongroom)

The National Archives is a pre-war building that houses an agency that was charged with preserving and documenting government and historical records. The building is relatively undamaged, but the documents and records have mostly been destroyed or ruined. It has also become home to a patrol of super mutants, centaurs and robots, some of which have personalities. The patrol of Super Mutants have placed many traps around to keep out unwanted visitors.

It also houses the Declaration of Independence, the Magna Carta and the Bill of Rights. The Declaration of Independence is in a small room behind a robot who claims to be the second signatory of the Declaration.



The National Archives are in the northeast part of The Mall. It's east of Museum of History and north of Museum of Technology (and their corresponding Museum Station exits), across the Mall battlefield.

The Mall Northeast station is across the street from the back door of the National Archives. You can get in that way, but you will not get credit for having "discovered" it and thus will not be able to fast travel back to it, so it is probably best to walk around to the front door.

The Building

Upon entering the building, there is a terminal mounted on the wall facing the Rotunda labeled as National Archives Guess and Win! featuring a mini-game related to American history. The mini-game consists of 8 questions. Answering all 8 questions correctly awards you an Archives Prize Voucher, which may be redeemed at the Prize Redemption Terminal mounted on the same wall. For promotional reasons, your choice of prize involves 3 unique Mentats: Glamorously Grape, Brilliantly Berry, and Observantly Orange. Answering a question incorrectly will reset all questions, but you may reattempt with no apparent penalty. When reattempting the mini-game, previously selected answers will appear highlighted. The correct answers, in order, are: The Second Continental Congress, Thirteen, John Hancock, 56, Ratification, King George III, Happiness, and Thomas Jefferson. There are also 6 Archives Prize Voucher in a locked Safe (Average) in the Archives Administrators Office.

Opposite the previously mentioned terminals is the Rotunda. Sydney, a relic-hunter, will be waiting in the Rotunda, surrounded by many Frag Mines. She hails you down for help in fighting off a variety of Super Mutants, and to avoid the many Frag Mines. Upon reaching her location, Super Mutants will spawn outside the Rotunda, and begin their assault. After exterminating the first group of Super Mutants, another group will appear possibly wielding Miniguns or Missile Launchers. If Sydney is killed during the assault, you are able to loot Sydney's 10mm "Ultra" SMG, a unique 10mm Submachine Gun. You will also have to open the Secret Elevator manually by accessing Sydney's Remote Terminal nearby.

After the assault, you have the option to partner up with Sydney to find the Declaration of Independence. If selected, she will open the Secret Elevator, taking you directly to the Archival Secure Wing East, or you may choose to open the Secret Elevator manually by accessing Sydney's Remote Terminal nearby yourself. If you retrieve the Declaration of Independence without speaking with her, she will disappear and you will be unable to trade with her in Underworld. If you wish to keep Sydney alive, in hopes of obtaining Sydney's 10mm "Ultra" SMG, a unique 10mm Submachine Gun, it may be in your best interest to have her wait in the Rotunda until you have successfully exterminated Super Mutants and Sentry Bots.


In the ladies restroom on the ground floor of the West wing, a burned corpse is face-down in a toilet with a battery and wires attached to it, apparently electrocuted. If you attempt to activate (drink) the toilet, the character will be shocked and take 25 points of damage. You may retrieve 35 Microfusion Cells without taking any harm if your repair skill is 20 or higher. The trap itself is fitted inside the toilet tank; walk right up to the tank and activate the MF cells.

In the room with the door to the Archival Strongroom, there is a terminal that has been rigged with a grenade. It's very easy to see since the back is pried off and there is an antenna sticking out of the top.

There are also numerous physical traps with swinging engines, battering rams, and lumps of meat. These traps are also sometimes combined with explosives, particularly on staircases. A particularly nasty one is on the East stairs up from the lower level, especially if you have Light Step and are trying to keep Sydney alive. First, when you go up the stairs, you will release a swinging bull's head which will hit Sydney, then if you get by that, when Sydney starts up the stairs, she sets off a Grenade Bouquet which is above the stairs beyond the next landing. (The tripwire for this is located at the base of the stairs and can be trigger by Dogmeat). You can have Sydney wait while you move ahead and disarm them (again, assuming you have Light Step). If you approach these stairs by going East from the entry lobby, they are probably easier to disarm.

Mines are littered throughout the site and are worth collecting either to sell or to use to defend Sydney by placing them in the entrance way before walking up to her.

Notable Loot


The National Archives

  • 6 Archives Prize Vouchers are located in a locked Safe (Average) of the upstairs room. The locked Safe (Average) may be unlocked by accessing the Administrator Berkeley's Terminal.
  • 1 Duck and Cover! is located near the northwest corner of the northwest room. The Skill Book is laying atop a desk near several Missiles. The room contains plenty of empty bookshelves and Frag Mines. This room also contains 4 Pre-War Books .
  • 4 Pre-War Books are located near the middle of the northwest room. They will be on the top shelf of an empty bookshelf, or may have fallen on the floor if a Frag Mine has been detonated. This room also contains 1 Duck and Cover! .
  • 1 Pre-War Book is located near the east wall of the southwest room. It will be on the top shelf of the southernmost bookshelf in the row. The room contains a Vending Machine.

Archives Sub-Basement

  • Duck and Cover!, Metal Armor, Metal Helmet, Mini Nuke, and a Stealth Boy at the broken generator behind a Very Hard locked gate in the Sub-Basement. It is located immediately before you enter the Archives Secure Wing East.
    • If you do not have a lock pick skill of 100, you can simply shoot Duck and Cover! with a pistol until it gets close enough to grab through the fence, another option is to chuck grenades at it getting you the mini nuke as well (save before you do either of these).
  • One Sheet Music Book is located near the west wall of the first room. It will be on the bottom shelf of an empty metal rack.

Archival Secure Wing East

  • The Bill of Rights is located in an Archives Security Safe in the western room. The Archives Security Safe is behind two locked doors (Average). This room also contains 1 Lying, Congressional Style.
  • 1 Lying, Congressional Style is located near an Archives Security Safe in the western room. The Skill Book is laying upon the floor, behind two locked doors (Average). This room also contains the Bill of Rights.
  • The Magna Carta is located in an Archives Security Safe in the eastern room. The Archives Security Safe is behind two locked doors (Average).

Note: after completing your business with Button, you can proceed to a room with eight Protectron pods. The last one on the right can be activated, but instead of talking it plays the Galaxy News Radio station. A terminal that is accessed earlier in The National Archives refers to an employee replacing the Protectron's voice box as a prank.

Archival Strongroom

See also

This article uses material from the "National Archives" article on the Fallout wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.


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