Instructions for Writing to NARA

 By Sue Axton

The 7 March 2007 issue of the Review discusses the U.S. [[National Archives and Records Administration]] (NARA) proposal to increase its fees for photocopying records; notably, it mentions their proposal to increase fees for copies of Civil War pension files from $37 to $125.

I went to the NARA site to find a place to make a comment on the fee increase, but the site is almost impossible to figure out. Maybe you could give step-by-step instructions in a future newsletter. Also, maybe you could encourage people to write their representatives. I am not against a reasonable fee to cover the cost of paper and ink, but $125 for Civil War pension records is way out of line. That puts the cost out of reach for most researchers.

I would pay an extra fee if the records I request would be put online for everyone to access. As long as they are going to the trouble of copying them once, how hard would it be to put them on the website?

[Editor's Note: Comments on the NARA proposal for a photocopying fee increase must be made by 27 April, so if you have comments submit them soon.

The following are step-by-step instructions for submitting your comments:

1. Go to 2. Under "Search for," select "Documents Open for Public Comment." 3. Under "Agency," select "National Archives and Records Administration*." 4. Under "Document Type," select "All Document Types." 5. In the "Keyword or ID" field, type "NARA-07-0001-0001". 6. Select "Exact Phrase." 7. Click the "Submit" button.

You can read the proposed rule by clicking the PDF icon in the "Views" column. You can add your comments by clicking the yellow balloon icon in the "Comments" column.

Also, you can e-mail comments to your government representative at:]

To view the 7 March 2007 Review announcement about the proposed NARA fee increase, visit:

(Previously published in RootsWeb Review: 18 April 2007, Vol. 10, No. 16.)

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