Do you dream about filling out your records pull slips online?

NARA is in the very early stages of developing a process for electronically requesting records (i.e., an online pull slip). We are currently concentrating on requirements. We invite you to attend one or both of two meetings to discuss what requirements and features you’d like to see for doing records requests electronically.  Project director Rich Tomlinson will brief us about the project and lead the discussion of requirements.

The meeting dates are:
Archives 1, in Washington, DC, Thursday July 7, 2:00-3:00 Room G-24
Archives 2, in College Park, MD, Tuesday July 12, 10:00-11:00 Lecture Room B

Feel free to share some of your ideas here, too, if you cannot attend the meetings.

7 thoughts on “Do you dream about filling out your records pull slips online?

  1. Will a researcher, not at a NARA facility, be able to identify an item from ARC or another finding-aid and generate a pull-request to be submitted ahead of their visit to NARA; or will this only be a paper elimination process and researchers will still be required to submit requests on-site at a NARA facility, but just using a computer instead of a pen?

    There are two obvious problems… (1) if a researcher submits an electronic request from home or the office the day before planning their research trip and then never shows-up, the staff has wasted their time performing the pull, and the record remains unavailable to other researchers for a period of days; and (2) the electronic finding aides, including ARC and its successors, are not yet complete enough to enable identification of box level items without intervention of an archivist or technician.

  2. I am a researcher who lives in Colorado and I have made several trips to the National Archives in both Washington DC as well as College Park, MD. I would LOVE to be able to submit my pulls in advance, as I have had several experiences when I haven’t been able to view all of the files that I wanted because I need to submit my pulls in person and then wait for the files to be delivered, etc. I did try to submit an email request in advance of one of my trips and unfortunately never received a response. I also have been in the DC archives and was hoping to have a file pulled in College Park and have it ready by the time I took the shuttle over, but was very disappointed to learn that I had to actually wait until I arrived in College Park to submit the pull itself. Given the long wait times between when you submit the pull and when you actually receive it, as well as the fact that you are limited in how many files/boxes can be requested at one time from each record group, and that certain files may need to be reviewed before you can view them, this can be very frustrating for those of us who have limited time to spend onsite.

    I agree that it may be difficult to identify the correct boxes without the aid of a qualifed researcher–and I do want to say that the researchers I’ve worked with, especially in College Park, are AMAZINGLY helpful. However, now that the researchers have shown me how to use the online search tool, I do believe I would be able to accurately complete a pull slip on line and receive the appropriate files. This could also be facilitated by an online tutorial of how to search for records in the online system and then which fields to pull from there and enter into the online pull request.

    For those of us researchers who are not local and who have limited time/resources, this would be a GODSEND!!!

    1. This is an old post, but I wonder if anyone did make a tutorial on how to obtain all the information online for our pull slips so we can have them ready the day we come?

  3. One clarification…when I referred to the researchers that I’ve worked with at NARA, I actually was referring to the Archivists. Sorry for any confusion!

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