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The U.S. National Archives

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The National Archives and Records Administration is the United States’ official record keeper and is responsible for preserving, organizing, and making accessible to the public legally- and historically-important materials and documents. The National Archives mission is a lofty one: to “drive openness, cultivate public participation, and strengthen [the] nation’s democracy” by providing civilian access to Federal Government records. Through this organization and its services, Americans can claim rightful citizenship, hold elected officials accountable, and better understand their history.

Esteemed Digital teamed up with the National Archives to build, strengthen, and deliver a Drupal website to serve the American people and all those looking to view archived documents online.

The Challenge

The National Archives is responsible for “extraordinary volumes of government information,” and needed a powerful CMS that could handle “cutting-edge access […] and unprecedented engagement.” Their organization collaborates with Federal agencies, private corporations, and members of the public, handling sensitive data and seemingly limitless records. The National Archives, therefore, required a forward-thinking solution that could creatively (and securely) organize their digital archives.

To further complicate matters, the National Archives website needed to present resources and information for archivists, genealogists, Federal employees, records managers, the Press, members of Congress, and preservation specialists. As a result, not only did the National Archives website intend to hold an unfathomable volume of data and records, but their website visitors ranged from curious family members to heads of State, all of whom would come to the National Archives site for different reasons.

In addition to allowing users to obtain records, the National Archives needed their website to showcase curated online exhibits, assist visitors with grant applications, help users plan upcoming research visits, and more.

The Solution

Esteemed Digital provided the National Archives team (and D.C.-based professional services company Viderity Inc.) with a Senior Drupal Consultant who acted as the Primary Architect for the duration of the project. Esteemed Digital supplied the client with Cloud Hosting expertise and consulting services, as well.

Esteemed Digital’s Senior Drupal Architect created a comprehensive migration and test plan to provide a road map for relocating the agency’s flagship website to Amazon’s Cloud Hosting platform (AWS). A second migration and test plan was designed for the National Archives’ intranet site. The Architect designed these all with redundant backups to ensure that in the event of network failure, the sites would not go down. Lastly, Esteemed Digital consulted on upgrade procedures for the National Archives website to seamlessly migrate to Drupal 7 as community support for Drupal 6 ended.

Final Thoughts

A key goal of the operation was to ensure that the National Archives’ website adheres to the agency’s 100 percent uptime standards. Meticulous planning and built-in security features (like redundant backups) gave the agency the solution they were looking for.

With this project, as with all others, Esteemed Digital has proven that we are your trusted name in Drupal development services, including design, development, cloud, data, staffing, and support elements. We’re well-known in the government sector (and across a host of industries) for our professionalism, dependability, and depth of knowledge – all of which allow us to build web and mobile flagship platforms that help organizations of all shapes and sizes succeed in the digital landscape.

Find out what makes Drupal the go-to choice for the National Archives and more than a million other websites (including Tesla, NASA, Harvard, The Economist,, and more) by reaching out to us today.