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Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

e-CFR data is current as of December 11, 2019

Title 36Chapter XIISubchapter CPart 1254 → Subpart A


Title 36: Parks, Forests, and Public Property
PART 1254—USING RECORDS AND DONATED HISTORICAL MATERIALS


Subpart A—General Information


Contents
§1254.1   What kinds of archival materials may I use for research?
§1254.2   Does NARA provide information about documents?
§1254.4   Where and when are documents available to me for research?
§1254.6   Do I need a researcher identification card to use archival materials at a NARA facility?
§1254.8   What information do I need to provide when applying for a researcher identification card?
§1254.10   For how long and where is my researcher identification card valid?
§1254.12   Will NARA log or inspect my computer, other equipment, and notes?
§1254.14   Are some procedures in regional archives and Presidential libraries different from those in the Washington, DC, area?

§1254.1   What kinds of archival materials may I use for research?

(a) The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) preserves records of all three branches (Executive, Legislative, and Judicial) of the Federal Government in record groups that reflect how government agencies created and maintained them. Most of these records are of Executive Branch agencies. We also have individual documents and collections of donated historical materials that significantly supplement existing records in our custody or provide information not available elsewhere in our holdings. Descriptions of many of our records are available through our Web site, http://www.archives.gov.

(b) We provide information about records and we make them available to the public for research unless they have access restrictions. Some records may be exempt from release by law. Donors may apply restrictions on access to historical materials that they donate to NARA. Access restrictions are further explained in part 1256 of this chapter. We explain procedures for obtaining information about records in §1254.2.

(c) In addition to traditional paper (textual) materials, our holdings also include special media materials such as microfilm, still pictures, motion pictures, sound and video recordings, cartographic and architectural records, and electronic records. The majority of these materials are housed at the National Archives at College Park, 8601 Adelphi Road, College Park, MD 20740-6001. Many of these types of materials also are represented in the holdings of our Presidential libraries and our regional archives facilities listed in part 1253 of this chapter.

(d) The majority of our archival materials are 30 years old or older.

(e) Records creating agencies hold the legal title and control access to records housed in NARA records centers. Our procedures to obtain access to these records are in §1256.2.

§1254.2   Does NARA provide information about documents?

(a) Upon request, we provide overall information about our holdings or about specific documents, if the time required to furnish the information is not excessive and if the information is not restricted (see part 1256 of this chapter). For anyone unable to visit, we may provide information contained in specific documents by offering copies of the documents for a fee (see §1254.60).

(b) Requests must be on designated forms when we require them. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approves these forms as information collections and the forms bear the approved control number.

(c) If requests that we receive in the normal course of reference service do not specifically cite the Freedom of Information Act (5 U.S.C. 552, as amended), we do not consider those requests made under the Act. To make a request under the Act, follow the procedures in part 1250 of this chapter.

§1254.4   Where and when are documents available to me for research?

(a) You may obtain general information about the location of records by visiting the NARA Web site at www.archives.gov; writing to the National Archives and Records Administration (NWCC2), 8601 Adelphi Road, College Park, MD 20740-6001; completing our Inquire form at http://www.archives.gov/global__pages/inquire__form.html; sending a fax request to (301) 837-0483; or calling (202) 501-5400, (301) 837-2000, or toll free (866) 272-6272.

(b) The locations of NARA's research rooms are shown in part 1253 of this chapter. Hours for research rooms are posted at http://www.archives.gov. Contact our facilities directly for information about their particular holdings. A facility or unit director may authorize that documents be made available at times other than the times specified.

(c) Before planning a visit, contact the facility holding materials of potential interest to determine whether the documents are available, whether there are enough documents to warrant a visit, or whether ordering copies would be more practical.

(d) In addition to the procedures in this part, researchers who wish to use archival materials that contain national security classified information must follow procedures in part 1256 of this chapter.

[69 FR 39314, June 30, 2004, as amended at 75 FR 71547, Nov. 24, 2010]

§1254.6   Do I need a researcher identification card to use archival materials at a NARA facility?

(a) Yes, you need a researcher identification card to use original archival materials at a NARA facility. See §§1254.8 and 1254.10 for information on obtaining a card.

(b) You also need a researcher identification card if you wish to use only microfilm copies of documents at NARA's Washington, DC, area facilities and in any NARA facility where the microfilm research room is not separate from the textual research room.

(c) If you are using only microfilm copies of records in some regional archives where the microfilm research room is separate from the textual room, you do not need an identification card but you must register as described in §1254.22.

[69 FR 39314, June 30, 2004, as amended at 75 FR 10415, Mar. 8, 2010]

§1254.8   What information do I need to provide when applying for a researcher identification card?

(a) You must apply in person and show identification containing your picture or physical description, such as a driver's license or school identification card. You also must provide proof of your current address, such as a bank statement, utility bill, or department of motor vehicles change of address card, if the address on your driver's license or other identification is not current. Students who consider the home of their parents as their permanent address, but who do not live there during the academic session, must provide their current student address. If you travel long distance to conduct research in original archival materials at a NARA facility, we may ask you how we can contact you locally. In special circumstances, the director of a facility or unit has the authority to grant exceptions to these requirements.

(b) If you apply for access to large quantities of documents or to documents that are especially fragile or valuable, we may require you to furnish additional information about reasons why you require access. Some materials are too fragile or valuable for direct handling or viewing. Preservation concerns (see §§1254.20(b) and 1254.36(e)) and availability of resources (see §1254.20(c)) may limit our ability to accommodate certain requests.

(c) If you are younger than 14, you must follow the procedures in §1254.24 to seek permission to conduct research.

(d) We do not issue you a researcher identification card if the appropriate supervisor or director of the NARA facility determines that the documents that you wish to use are not in the legal custody of NARA and you do not present appropriate written authorization from the legal title holder to examine the documents.

(e) The collection of information contained in this section has been approved by the Office of Management and Budget with the control number 3095-0016.

§1254.10   For how long and where is my researcher identification card valid?

(a) Your card is valid for 1 year and may be renewed. Cards we issue at one NARA facility are valid at each facility, except as described in paragraph (b) of this section. Cards are not transferable and you must present your card if a guard or research room attendant requests to see it.

(b) At NARA facilities in the Washington, DC, area and other NARA facilities that issue and use plastic researcher identification cards as part of their security systems, we issue a plastic card to replace the paper card issued at some NARA facilities at no charge. The plastic card is valid at all NARA facilities.

[69 FR 39314, June 30, 2004, as amended at 75 FR 10415, Mar. 8, 2010]

§1254.12   Will NARA log or inspect my computer, other equipment, and notes?

(a) If you bring personal computers, scanners, tape recorders, cameras, and other equipment into our facilities, we will inspect the equipment.

(1) In the Washington, DC, area, you must complete the Equipment Log at the guard's desk. The guard checks the log for proof of your personal ownership before you remove your equipment from the building.

(2) In the regional archives and Presidential libraries, we may tag your equipment after inspection and approval.

(b) Not all NARA facilities permit you to take your personal notes into the research room. In research rooms that permit taking in your notes, a NARA or contractor employee may stamp, initial, and date notes and other research materials we approve for admission to indicate that they are your personal property.

(c) We inspect your personal property, including notes, electrostatic copies, equipment cases, tape recorders, cameras, personal computers, and other property, before you may remove them from our research rooms or facilities.

§1254.14   Are some procedures in regional archives and Presidential libraries different from those in the Washington, DC, area?

Yes, the variety of facilities, locations of research rooms, room sizes, and other factors contribute to differences in some, but not all, practices from the Washington, DC, area. When the appropriate regional director of archival operations or Presidential library director indicates, you must follow the procedures in regional archives and Presidential library archival research rooms where researchers use original documents. These procedures are in addition to the procedures we specify elsewhere in this part. The procedures are either posted in the facility or the staff gives copies of them to researchers.

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