At the last DC-Area Researchers Group meeting, a researcher asked which records from the Washington, DC, and College Park Textual Services Division had been sent to off-site storage. We have posted a list of the records sent to off-site storage online at http://www.archives.gov/research/order/textual-records-dc.html (look for the link to the list on the right side of the page). You can down the PDF of the list at http://www.archives.gov/dc-metro/records-in-offsite-storage.pdf
The following is a guest post from Ann Cummings of Textual Services Division about these records.
For the past several years, the Office of Record Services in Washington D.C. (NW) has been creating additional space for permanent records at the Archives 2 (National Archives at College Park) facility by shipping seldom used records to off-site archival bays located in Lee’s Summit, Missouri, and Lenexa, Kansas. These archival bays are run by the Central Plains Region of NARA.
We determined that the cost of shipping and storing records in the Central Plains Region was significantly cheaper than storing the materials at an off-site location in the Washington, D.C. area.
We define seldom used records as materials that have had no use by researchers, or have had less than five (5) requests made by researchers per year. However, we are very aware that research trends change. What is a seldom used record today may be the key to the new and exciting research topic of tomorrow. Because of this, our staff created box lists for the materials that were shipped to off-site storage, in an effort to assist researchers in retrieving specific materials.
Also, after several years of shipping records off-site, we determined that it was much easier and safer to retrieve a specific case file than it was to reference whole boxes of records. Therefore, we shipped various types of case files from the Patent and Trademark Office to off-site storage. While patent case files may not meet the above definition of “seldom used” records, since researchers request on average about eight (8) to ten (10) specific case files per month, we determined that these records are used far less than most other types of case files at Archives 1 and Archives 2.
If you need to have specific boxes or case files returned from off-site storage, we are happy to recall the records for you. The materials will be available within 48 to 72 hours of the initial request. Please send your requests to firstname.lastname@example.org.
More information about some of the records on the list can be found in the Online Public Access search by searching either the title or ARC ID number provided on the list.
Learn more about all of the records held by the Textual Services Division on their blog, The Text Message.