I have stumbled upon yet another great web resource from the National Archives: http://www.ourarchives.wikispaces.net/ This site gives an oversight of the facilities and their use. The Archives at College Park, home of Peace Corps Records, has its own webpage. Please visit the page for complete information, including transportation options: http://www.ourarchives.wikispaces.net/National+Archives+at+College+Park
I have copied here, from that web page, the pertinent specifics about the logistics of a visit there.
“The National Archives in College Park, Maryland, opened for research on January 3, 1994. Records held there include the cartographic and architectural holdings; electronic records; motion picture, sound, and video records; the John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection; still pictures; the Berlin Documents Center microfilm; and textual records from most civilian agencies and military records dating from World War II.
National Archives at College Park
8601 Adelphi Road
College Park, MD 20740-6001
Customer Service Center Telephone Number: 1-866-272-6272
Building Access & What to Expect on Your First Visit
Upon entering the building
* Your possessions will be screened
* You will walk through a magnetometer
* A security officer will check your photo ID
To Obtain a Researcher Card
When you come to a National Archives and Records Administration facility to look at records, you will usually be issued a researcher identification card.
* To obtain a researcher identification card, an applicant must:
* Show official identification that includes a photograph. A driver’s license, passport, school, and employment identification are among the acceptable IDs.
* Complete a short form giving full name, permanent address, telephone number, and a brief description of the proposed research topic.
* In the Washington area only, new researchers will view a short PowerPoint orientation emphasizing the safe handling of records and explaining the most basic research procedures, responsibilities, and rules.
* Research cards are only issued when you are doing research in a secure research room. Please do not come in advance of your research visit solely to get a research card.
Using, renewing, or replacing your research card
* Your research card must be presented during each research visit.
* Your research card will be valid for one year.
* For security reasons, we request that you do not attempt to renew the card until it has actually expired. You can renew or replace your research card on your next research visit. Please do not come in advance of the expiration date solely to renew a research card.
* If you forget or lose your research card, talk to the staff when you arrive on your next research visit. Please do not come in advance of your next research visit solely to replace a lost research card.
* Procedures for replacing your research card vary slightly at different facilities.
The Research Center contains these rooms
* Textual: Floor 2
* Electronic Records: Floor 2
* Cartographic and Architectural: Floor 3
* Library: Floor 3
* Motion Picture, Sound, and Video: Floor 4
* Microfilm: Floor 4
* Still Picture: Floor 5
What’s Allowed in the Research Rooms
* All persons with a valid NARA researcher card
* Sweaters and sweatshirts, with or without hoods. (Only indoor wear; no full length zippers)
* Religious head coverings
* Small silk or similar indoor- type kerchiefs
* Coin purses or small pocket sized wallets
* Clear plastic “sandwich/food storage type” bags for holding small items no larger than 10″ x 10″
* Stamped research notes on loose paper, NARA issued paper and note cards, handouts, and NARA publications
* One approved research-related book at a time
* Pencils and mechanical pencils
* Video and audio recording decks
* Cameras, camcorders and tripods
* Photographic copy stands (with approval)
* Video tapes, audio tapes, and film
* Scanners (only flatbed without autofeed)
* Personal computers
* One CD at a time
Restricted Prohibited Items:
* Food, drink (including water), candy
* Coats, overcoats, jackets or other types of outerwear. This includes sweaters with full length zippers.*
* Hats, caps, or scarves
* Larger purses, fanny packs, briefcases, suitcases, handbags, backpacks, boxes, bags, equipment bags, or containers of any kind
* Clear plastic bags if larger than 10″x10″
* Envelopes, notebooks, pads, binders, folders
* Pens, markers “Post-it” notes (unless stapled to pre-existing notes)
* Flash bulbs
* Personal copiers
* More than one CD at a time
Records are retrieved Monday through Friday for use in the research rooms at:
* 10:00 a.m.
* 11:00 a.m.
* 1:30 p.m.
* 2:30 p.m.
On Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday there is an additional pull at 3:30 p.m. There are no pulls on Saturday.
We encourage Researcher Input to help provide details on how best to get Internet Access & tips regarding the best times & places to get access.
We encourage Researcher Input into identifying the records & information held at this location.”
I will share my experiences at College Park in the next blog.