National Archives Proposes Rule to Restore Research Hours

The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) published an interim final rule in the Federal Register on February 1, 2008, to restore the weekly evening and Saturday hours for the archival research rooms at the National Archives Building in Washington, DC, and the National Archives at College Park, MD that had been reduced in 2006.

At the beginning of fiscal year (FY) 2007, NARA reduced the extended hours that these research rooms were open to the public because of fiscal constraints. In the FY 2008 NARA budget, the Congress provided funding to increase the hours.

This interim final rule is effective April 14, 2008. Comments on the interim final rule must be received by March 17, 2008, at the address shown below. Any changes to the rule resulting from this comment period will be made as soon as practicable after the April 14, 2008, effective date.

Comments may be submitted by any of the following methods:

  • Federal eRulemaking Portal: Click here to be taken directly to the comment page for the interim rule. http:/ Follow the instructions for submitting comments.
  • 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.

Those seeking further information should contact Nancy Allard at 301-837-1477 or Jennifer Davis Heaps at 301-837-1801 or via fax number 301-837-0319.

The FY 2008 NARA Budget in the Consolidation Appropriations Act of 2007 signed by President Bush on December 26, 2007, includes $1.3 million to restore evening and Saturday hours in the research rooms in the National Archives Building and the National Archives at College Park (Archives II). Prior to October 1, 2006, these research rooms were open three evenings per week (Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday) and every Saturday. Under this interim final rule, the research rooms will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday, and Saturday. On Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday they will be open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

NARA stated that they made this adjustment to the previous schedule so that out-of-town researchers will have consecutive evenings along with Saturday to work. The Archives set the effective date of the new hours as April 14, 2008, to allow time to hire and train additional research room staff and to adjust the terms of the security guard contract.

When evening hours are restored researchers will need to have records provided to them late in the afternoon. NARA staff will provide the additional service of pulling records from the stacks at 3:30 p.m. on the three weekdays that the facilities are open in the evening. As was the case prior to October 2006, there will be no records pulled on Saturday.