The Vault - Fallout Wiki

We've Moved! Just as Gamepedia has joined forces with Fandom, this wiki had joined forces with our Fandom equivalent. The wiki has been archived and we ask that readers and editors move to the now combined wiki on Fandom. Click to go to the new wiki.


The Vault - Fallout Wiki
Fallout 3 locations project.png
Fallout 3 locations project
This article is within the scope of the Fallout 3 locations project. This project is dedicated to standardizing Fallout 3 location articles. If you want to participate, please check the project page.
National Archives
Fo3 Nat Arch.png
Icon building.png
The National Archives loc.jpg
Map MarkerThe National Archives
Part ofThe Mall
metro exitsPenn. Ave/The Mall Metro
QuestsStealing Independence
Cell NameTheMallNtnlArchives (exterior)
NtnlArchives01 (int. entr.)
NtnlArchives02 (sub-basement)
NtnlArchives03 (sec. wg east)
NtnlArchives04 (strongroom)
ref id0001f666 (exterior)
00018523 (int. entr.)
00018522 (sub-basement)
00003b85 (sec. wg east)
00003b72 (strongroom)
TerminalsNational Archives terminals

The National Archives Building is a pre-War building that housed the agency charged with preserving and documenting government and historical records.


The National Archives Building, known informally as Archives I, is the original headquarters of the National Archives and Records Administration. It is located north of the National Mall at 700 Pennsylvania Avenue, Northwest, Washington, D.C.. The Rotunda entrance is on Constitution Avenue, while the research entrance is on Pennsylvania Avenue.

It holds the original copies of the three main formative documents of the United States and its government: the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights. It also hosts a copy of the 1297 Magna Carta confirmed by Edward I. These were displayed to the public in the main chamber of the National Archives, which is called the Rotunda for the Charters of Freedom.

The building is relatively undamaged, but the documents and records have mostly been destroyed or ruined. It has also become home to super mutants, centaurs, and robots; some of which have personality programs. The 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, Button Gwinnett.


The National Archives is 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.


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 SMG (but you may want to keep her alive, as later on there is a way for you to receive infinite copies of Sydney's 10mm "Ultra" SMG when she's in Underworld if you have the holodisk A note from Little Moonbeam's father from the Statesman Hotel midlevel and deliver it to Sydney in Underworld). 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, 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 microfusion 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 triggered 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.
  • 5 pre-War books. One 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. Four are located downstairs from that one in northern part of the map, near the back door to the archives, in the center of the room around a bookshelf that’s leaning over.
  • 1 Duck and Cover! is located near the northwest corner of the northwest room. The skill book is lying atop a school desk near two missiles. The room contains plenty of empty bookshelves and frag mines. (This room also contains 4 pre-War books.)

Archives sub-basement

  • It should be noted that there are many cash registers scattered in different rooms in the Sub-Basement, many of which hold Pre-War money, which can be then sold for caps.
  • 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 Lockpick 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. If explosives go off in the room before you claim it, and it's likely, then you will have to search carefully on the floor or under bodies to find it (or reload from the "auto" at the door upstairs).

Archival Secure Wing East

  • 1 Lying, Congressional Style is located near an archives security safe in the western room. The skill book is lying next to the archive security safe, 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).

Archival Strongroom

  • The Declaration of Independence is located in an Archives security safe. The safe is behind a locked door that may be unlocked by accessing the Strongroom security terminal. This room also contains 1 Tales of a Junktown Jerky Vendor.
  • Button's wig, a unique headwear, is lying atop Button's supply desk.
  • Button's supply desk and wardrobe can contain a small amount of Stealth Boys.


  • The National Archives has Mag-Sealed doors.[1]



The National Archives only appear in Fallout 3.