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Question: How would you like to see ordering copies of archival records work?

by on September 30, 2009

As much as we love to sit in NARA’s research rooms and experience the look and feel of original records, it’s just not always convenient (or possible) to take a cross-country trip in the name of research. In those cases, the next best thing is to order reproductions, either through mail-order forms or online.

Readers unfamiliar with the process can check out NARA’s ordering page at What are your initial reactions? And for those of you who have ordered copies in the past, how do you like the current system? Have you seen other archival institutions handle their order requests differently? How can we improve our methods to make the process as intuitive and streamlined as possible?


Jason October 1, 2009 at 8:54 am

On ARC you should, on digital copies of records, be able to order a copy.

Maybe like a shopping cart of sorts for digital copies, somehow integrated into ARC.

Mary (admin) October 1, 2009 at 11:51 am

Jason that’s a great idea! An interface that allowed researchers to print full-size copies or place orders for copies directly from the ARC digital image window would be definitely be more intuitive and streamlined. Thanks for the feedback!

Mary October 16, 2009 at 3:23 pm

You should be able to order items without having to create a login and password. Many web sites give you the option of creating a profile or shopping as a “guest.”

Mary (admin) October 19, 2009 at 10:33 am

Hi Mary, Thanks for the great suggestion. We appreciate your feedback!

Marcia Zeigler October 26, 2009 at 12:49 pm

In Oregon, they have the option of getting the copy by e mail–for a reduced cost. They scanned it and e mailed it to me. I much preferred this. I got my copies quickly and could store them on my computer.

Mary (admin) October 26, 2009 at 3:12 pm

Marcia, We appreciate hearing about your experience in receiving digital copies by email. Thanks!

Dave October 17, 2010 at 4:28 pm

It appears that the eservices site no longer
allows you to submit a Reference Request for items other than the seven defined reproduction categories. For example, I have used eservices in the past to order operations’ reports from WW II. That no longer seems to be possible.

Katherine October 18, 2010 at 4:24 pm

Hi Dave,

We’ve been updating our website and changing things around in preparation for our new website which should go live soon. The “Find and Request” feature, which you used to submit reference requests, has been disabled. We’ll find out if this is temporary or permanent, and post an update. In the meantime, you can always send us an email with your request at

– Katherine

Dave October 18, 2010 at 4:28 pm

Thanks, Katherine. I was very puzzled
by its absence.

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