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

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?

9 thoughts on “Question: How would you like to see ordering copies of archival records work?

  1. 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.

    1. 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!

  2. 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.”

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

    1. 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

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