Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Bad News for National Archives Users

This is another one of those spread-the-word, let-your-voices-be-heard situations (why is it we genealogists always seem to be on the defensive?). What are we trying to protect this time? Acess to the National Archives on Saturdays and weekends.

I used to live in the D.C. area and know from frequent research at NARA that these time slots are often the most crowded times -- because some of us actually have jobs that don't allow us to research our family trees during conventional business hours. And even the professional genealogists you rely on in the area may have "regular jobs" that only permit them to tackle your research after-hours or on weekends.

Here's the Federal Register notice of a rule that proposes changing research and exhibit hours at the National Archives:

"The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) published today, July 25, 2006, in the Federal Register an interim final rule requesting public comment on a change in the hours for conducting research at the National Archives Building (DC) and National Archives at College Park (MD) and for visiting the Rotunda and National Archives Experience on the Constitution Ave side of the National Archives Building. This rule and the changed hours will go into effect October 2, 2006. Comments on this document must be received by September 8, 2006. See the rule at for information on the ways to submit comments. A public meeting relating to the rule will be held at the Jefferson Room in the National Archives Building at 1 pm on August 3. Please enter through the Special Events entrance on the Constitution Avenue side of the building (between 7th St. and 9th St. NW). Reservations are not required but space may be limited."

Click here to view the actual Federal Register notice.

If you live anywhere close to Washington, D.C., please consider showing up for the meeting on August 3rd and letting them know what you think about this plan. Alternatively, you can contribute your comments by:
  • Federal eRulemaking Portal: Follow the instructions for submitting comments. (note from Megan: I just went there, selected "National Archives and Records Administration" from the dropdown Agency menu, and submitted my comments. It's easy.)
  • Fax: Submit comments by facsimile transmission to 301-837- 0319.
  • Mail: Send comments to Regulations Comments Desk (NPOL), Room 4100, Policy and Planning Staff, National Archives and Records Administration, 8601 Adelphi Road, College Park, MD 20740-6001.
  • Hand Delivery or Courier: Deliver comments to 8601 Adelphi Road, College Park, MD.
So c'mon! Let's clog up their email box and jam up their fax machine! Share your opinion and ask others to, too!


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