This is a weblog about genealogy in and about the State of Ohio. It will feature news and views (mostly mine) about developments of interest to genealogists doing research in Ohio, no matter where they reside.--Wally Huskonen

Friday, February 01, 2008

NARA To Restore Evening, Weekend Hours

If you are planning a research trip to the National Archives in Washington, DC, you'll be pleased to learn that it will again be open in the evening and on weekend. Yesterday, January 31, 2008, Allen Weinstein, Archivist of the United States, issued the following announcement:

I am pleased to inform NARA staff that we will restore the evening and weekend hours in the archival research rooms in the National Archives Building and the National Archives at College Park. Effective the week of April 14, 2008, the extended hours will be 9 A.M. to 9 P.M. Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, and 9 A.M. to 5 P.M. Saturday. Hours on Monday and Tuesday will continue to be 9 A.M. to 5 P.M. When we restore evening hours we will provide the additional service of pulling records from the stacks at 3:30 P.M. on the three weekdays that we are open in the evening. As was the case prior to October 2006, there will be no records pulled on Saturday.

We are publishing an interim final rule in the Federal Register on February 1 to make the change to our regulations. Congress and the President provided a one-time appropriation of $1.3 million in the NARA FY 2008 budget to restore these hours. The funds will be used to hire new archival research room staff and to cover the costs of utilities, maintenance, and security during the extended hours. We set the effective date of the new hours as April 14, 2008 to allow time to hire and train the additional research room staff and to adjust the terms of the security guard contract.

Research room hours at the National Archives Building in Washington DC and at the College Park facility were reduced in October 2006 as a cost-savings measure. Since then, the National Archives has had extended hours only once a month-on Thursday and Friday evenings and on Saturdays. Prior to October 2006, the National Archives extended hours were Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. The change from Tuesday to Wednesday evening late hours was implemented to make it more convenient and cost-effective for out-of-town researchers who travel to the National Archives for research.

I appreciate the efforts our research room staff have made since the beginning of FY 2007 to serve our researchers well despite the reduced hours and staffing constraints. I'm pleased that we are able to provide the additional access.