Monday, November 3, 2014

New 'pull times' at DC-area Nat'l Archives facilities

The National Archives' facilities in the Washington, DC metropolitan area will be starting a pilot program in December 2014 to amend the pull-times for records requests.  No definitive reason was given for this change, but it may have to do with work-flow and scheduling of federal employees.  Flexible work hours, allowing federal workers to work outside of times when the building is open to the public, teleworking and the use of students & interns instead of permanent staff have all impacted on-site customer service for some time.  It has also been difficult in the past for staff to clear the building after public hours.  But this is just speculation.  It is hoped that these changes will have an overall positive impact on customer service.

For walk-in patrons & clients at the facilities in Washington DC and College Park, Maryland, same day records requests can currently be submitted up to five times per day, Monday through Friday; at 10:00 AM, 11:00 AM, 1:30 PM, 2:30 PM and 3:30 PM.   The pilot program will amend the afternoon pull-times to 1:00 PM, 2:00 PM, and 3:00 PM.  This applies to all types of requests (military & pension, textual, motion & still pictures and cartographic).  The morning pull-times of 10 and 11 AM will not be changing.  It will still take approximately one-hour for records to be retrieved from stack locations and delivered to the research rooms.  Additionally, they are restricting researchers in the later afternoon by eliminating the retrieval of records for any purpose after 4:30 PM, which means that unless a researcher already has records checked out for research prior to 4:30 PM, the researcher will not be able to look at records after that time.

As always - The facilities close at 5:00 PM daily, Monday through Saturdays and are closed on Sundays.  Records requested during the week may be held for researchers and viewed or used on Saturdays prior to 4:30 PM, but not records requests are accepted on Saturdays.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Minnesota Research - Documenting the 1862 Dakota War

We've been hammering away for several days on a research project that has wide-ranging impact not only for the state of Minnesota, but also locally for the counties involved,  as well as having a personal connection for me.  I have ancient roots in Minnesota; my mother's family were Minnesota Pioneers, settling in Goodhue County in 1856.  My great-great-grandfather's brother, Loren Webb, was Sibley's adjutant for two weeks in August 1862.  My ancestors loved living in Minnesota.

More data on the Dakota War of 1862 can be found here -

We are working with representatives of the Brown County, Minnesota Historical Society to research, discover and eventually duplicate (scan) all the records associated with the event.  This means we will be looking in at least a dozen Record Groups at the National Archives.  We may also end up looking at records at the Library of Congress and other libraries and repositories like USMHI in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.

We have even found records accessioned as late as 2001 that are associated with this project.  This work will endeavor to uncover ALL documentation at the federal level that touches on the subject of the Sioux and the militant activity in 1862.

There is more information on Brown County's goals and objectives outlined in this article from the New Ulm Journal. We are looking for volunteers to assist with scanning, transcription and editing of files.  Please contact Gabrielle Spiers for information on how to engage as a soldiersource volunteer.