Brad Meltzer’s NARA Top Ten

Some months ago I attended a book signing at Archives I by author and History Channel star, Brad Meltzer.  It was on the occasion of his new book The Inner Circle, which has at its core an archivist and the National Archives.  Brad is a big fan of NARA, archivists, and the records we keep.  He gets it.  At least he seemed to as I listened to him being introduced by AOTUS and interviewed by Trevor Plante.  I got to thinking that since Brad is such a friend to NARA, maybe I’d reach out and see if he might do a little something for our little blog.  Well, he said yes.  So, today’s post was written by Brad Meltzer.  ~(Alfie)

Top 10 reasons why the National Archives may just be the greatest  place on the Earth:

10. When I wrote my novel, The Inner Circle, they didn’t care when I killed half their staff.

9.  On the first season of Decoded, when we came to the Archives, we accidentally labeled Archivist Trevor Plante as the Archivist of the United States (the title of his boss).  But the best part?  Trevor keeps telling his boss it was an accident.

8. You know what’s the number one question that tourists ask at the National Archives?  ‘Is there a treasure map on the back of the Declaration of Independence?’  Insanity, right?  And though the plot of National Treasure is great, we all know there’s no treasure map on the Declaration.  But y’know what really is on the Declaration of Independence?  A handprint.  And no one knows who it belongs to.  And no one knows who put it there.  That’s a great episode to me.  That’s a great mystery.  Which is why we look at it on Decoded this season (how’s that for a cheap plug)?

7. They gave me my own Archivist coat.  And I love it so much, I wear it to sleep.

6. On Decoded this season, we have Archivist Trevor Plante back on camera.  And if I have my way, he’ll now be identified as First Lady.

5. On Decoded, after we see Trevor on screen, they actually wanted me to say that I didn’t trust him because he worked for the government.  I laughed out loud at that.  (C’mon, there are SO many better reasons not to trust him).  🙂

4. They let me sign the Declaration of Independence (right above Mr. Big-Showoff John Hancock).

3. They have the very first copy of Mad Magazine.

2. They let me sneak up to the hidden area way above the Rotunda and the Constitution (next time you’re there, look up and wave).

1. They’ll be appearing in the sequel to my novel, which I’m working on now.  And I’ll be killing the rest of the staff in there.

Brad Meltzer’s Decoded premieres tonight, Wednesday, October 5th, on the History Channel at 10pm/9c.  And The Inner Circle is now out in paperback.  You can find out more about Brad at and

See more photos of Brad (and Trevor) on NARAs Flickr page.