Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

NARA wants to raise reproduction fees

The US National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) is proposing to raise its reproduction fees.  (Thanks to Klaus Graf.)  Excerpt:

NARA is revising its fees for reproduction of records and other materials in the custody of the Archivist of the United States....The fees are being changed to reflect current costs of providing the reproductions. This proposed rule will affect the public and Federal agencies....

NARA does not receive appropriated funds to provide copies of our records to the public....[US law] requires that, to the extent possible, NARA recover the actual cost of making copies of records....As a result of a cost study conducted in 2006, fees for copying records must increase to recover NARA's costs. This is the first proposed fee increase in almost seven years....

Public comments are due by April 27, 2007.

Comment. The reproduction fees only apply when NARA staffers have to copy paper or microfilm originals.  Hence, you might think that digital records would be OA.  But some are and some aren't.  NARA is sometimes willing to let private for-profit companies do the digitizing and charge for access.