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News Archive - Aug 2006

National Archives to Eliminate Evening and Weekend Hours

Aug 24, 2006: The National Archives has announced plans on its website to change its schedule, eliminating evening and weekend hours.

Comments on this plan, scheduled to take effect on October 2, are accepted until September 8, and the Mary Ferrell Foundation encourages anyone who uses the Archives or this site to register a protest. Visit this page and enter the document id NARA-06-0007, then click Submit. This will allow you to read the proposal and make a comment.

Much of the material available on this website is obtained from trips to the National Archives in College Park, Maryland. We have registered the following comment:

I am Senior Analyst and Archivist at the Mary Ferrell Foundation, which publishes and analyzes government records, many of which are obtained from trips to National Archives II in College Park, MD.

I am writing to register opposition to the new National Archives hours proposed in NARA-06-0007-0001 ("Changes in NARA research room and museum hours").

Removing evening and weekend hours will add hardship to the work of our foundation, requiring additional time and expense for more overnight stays in order to accomplish the same research and photocopying work.

It seems apparent that the hardship will be far greater still for those who are unable to leave their workplace, and have relied upon evening and Saturday hours to make use of this public resource. Changing the Archives' availability to simply "business hours" is in direct opposition to its mission statement, which states: "NARA ensures, for the citizen and the public servant, for the President and for the Congress and the Courts, ready access to essential evidence."

Please reconsider this ill-guided cost-saving measure.

Rex Bradford

Mary Ferrell Foundation

Fidel Castro Transfers Power

Aug 1, 2006: Fidel Castro has temporarily relinquished power after undergoing intestinal surgery. The Washington Post reports today that his brother Raul has become temporary president of Cuba. Castro, who is to turn 80 years old on August 13, has outlived all of his contemporaries on the world stage, though he has been showing signs of ill health in recent years.

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