Why so blue?

Starting on Monday, June 6th if you make copies in our research rooms in the Washington, DC, area you will notice a difference in your copies.  Copies made on the self-service black and white printers in the research rooms or on the public use computers will be printed on Windsor Blue paper.

RG 127 - Records of the U.S. Marine Corps, UD-04D, Entry 1 -- Korean War Air/Ground Units, 1946-1962; File Unit: 7th Marine Historical Diary, April 1951


Why are we making this change?  We are making this change to more easily delineate which papers were copied on NARA equipment or printed out at one of the public use PC printers, and which papers might be actual record material. Since we first discussed this change at the November Researcher Users Group meeting (see item V in the minutes), we have been experimenting with more than a dozen different colors of paper to see which provided the best clarity. The Windsor Blue paper is pale enough to minimize the distortion of the image, but blue enough to be easily detected and to help prevent actual records from getting mixed or confused with photocopies.

Copies made by NARA staff or contractors outside of the research room area will continue to be made on white paper, including copies made for certification.  We will also continue to use white paper in the color copier in the Still Picture reference room on the fifth floor of the National Archives at College Park.

For more information about this change, please read our frequently asked questions at  http://www.archives.gov/dc-metro/blue-paper-copying-faqs.html

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3 Responses to Why so blue?

  1. Alan Walker says:


    To clarify, will the documents will still require stamping?


    • Rebecca says:

      Alan, thanks for the question. The use of the blue paper is just an enhancement to our current procedures. All of the existing copying and stamping procedures continue to remain the same. For those copiers that do not automatically mark the paper, such as those in the microfilm research room, the copies will still need to be stamped.

      – Rebecca


  2. Lisa says:

    Great idea!


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