National Archives Supports Efforts to Digitize Important Records from Puerto Rico

By Kristin Phillips 


The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) will help provide access to important records related to Puerto Rican history. NARA will work together with the Instituto de Cultura Puertorriqueña (ICP/Institute of Puerto Rican Culture) to increase access by digitizing pertinent records in the National Archives’ holdings. 

Deputy Archivist of the United States William J. Bosanko signed a Memorandum of Understanding with ICP Executive Director Carlos Ruiz Cortés on January 30, 2024, outlining the National Archives’ intent to support the ICP’s digital archiving efforts. The ICP is part of the government of Puerto Rico and has the mission of researching, preserving, promoting, and disseminating Puerto Rican history and culture.

“This significant agreement with the National Archives will allow us to delve deeper into our history through direct access to thousands of historical documents, thanks to the technological resources we have today,” said Ruiz Cortés. “It aligns with the public policy we have been implementing for the past few years, which focuses on expanding collaborations in benefit of the Puerto Rican communities and those interested in Puerto Rican history anywhere in the world.” 

The first digitization project of the collaboration, which has already started, includes the digitization of approximately 167,000 pages from Records of the Office of Territories, 1881–1976, and Records of the Work Projects Administration, 1922–1944.

"The National Archives looks forward to working closely with the ICP during the digitization process,” Bosanko said. “Online access to historical documents will provide important access to the people of Puerto Rico, and all American citizens."

When completed, the records will be available online in both the National Archives Catalog and in the ICP’s online digital repository .