Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)

NARA Privacy Act Systems: NARA 2

SYSTEM NAME: Reference Request Files

SYSTEM LOCATION: Reference request files are maintained in the following locations in the Washington, DC, area and other geographical regions. The addresses for these locations are listed in Appendix B following the NARA Notices:

  1. Office of Records Services - Washington,DC;
  2. National Historical Publications and Records Commission;
  3. Presidential Libraries, Projects, and Staffs; and
  4. Regional Records Services Facilities.

CATEGORIES OF INDIVIDUALS COVERED BY THE SYSTEM: Individuals covered by this system include persons who request information from or access to accessioned, inactive, congressional, presidential records, presidential materials, and/or donated historical materials in the custody of organizational units located in the Washington, DC, area; Presidential Libraries, Projects, and Staffs; and Regional Records Services Facilities.

CATEGORIES OF RECORDS IN THE SYSTEM: Reference request files may include: reference service slips; reference service databases; correspondence control registers and databases; and correspondence, including administrative forms used for routine inquiries and replies, between NARA staff and researchers. These files may contain some or all of the following information about an individual: name, address, telephone number, position title, name of employer/institutional affiliation, educational background, research topic(s), field(s) of interest, identification of requested records, credit card or purchase order information, and other information furnished by the researcher.

AUTHORITY FOR MAINTENANCE OF THE SYSTEM: 44 U.S.C. 2108, 2111 note, 2203(f)(2), and 2907.

ROUTINE USES OF RECORDS MAINTAINED IN THE SYSTEM, INCLUDING CATEGORIES OF USERS AND THE PURPOSES OF SUCH USES: NARA maintains reference request files on individuals to: maintain control of records being used in a research room; establish researcher accountability for records; prepare replies to researchers' reference questions; record the status of researchers' requests and NARA replies to those requests; enable future contact with researchers, if necessary; and facilitate the preparation of statistical and other aggregate reports on researcher use of records.

The routine use statements A, C, E, F, and G, described in Appendix A following the NARA Notices, also apply to this system of records.

POLICIES AND PRACTICES FOR STORING, RETRIEVING, ACCESSING, RETAINING, AND DISPOSING OF RECORDS IN THE SYSTEM:

STORAGE: Paper and electronic records.

RETRIEVABILITY: Information in reference request files may be retrieved by: the name of the individual; the Record Group number; or the name, social security number, or military service number of the former civilian employee/veteran whose record was the subject of the request at the National Personnel Records Center.

SAFEGUARDS: During business hours, paper records are maintained in areas accessible only to authorized NARA personnel. Electronic records are accessible via passwords from terminals located in attended offices. After business hours, buildings have security guards and/or secured doors, and all entrances are monitored by electronic surveillance equipment.

RETENTION AND DISPOSAL: Reference request files are temporary records and are destroyed in accordance with the disposition instructions in the NARA records schedule contained in FILES 203, the NARA Files Maintenance and Records Disposition Manual. Individuals may request a copy of the disposition instructions from the NARA Privacy Act Officer.

SYSTEM MANAGER(S) AND ADDRESS: For reference request files located in organizational units in the Office of Records Services-Washington, DC, the system manager is the Assistant Archivist for Records Services-Washington, DC. For reference request files located in the National Historical Publications and Records Commission, the system manager is the Executive Director, National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC). For reference request files located in the following locations, the system manager is the director: Presidential Libraries, Projects, and Staffs; and Regional Records Services Facilities. The addresses for these locations are listed in Appendix B following the NARA Notices.

NOTIFICATION PROCEDURE: Individuals interested in inquiring about their records should notify the NARA Privacy Act Officer at the address given in Appendix B.

RECORD ACCESS PROCEDURES: Individuals who wish to gain access to their records should submit their request in writing to the NARA Privacy Act Officer at the address given in Appendix B.

CONTESTING RECORD PROCEDURES: NARA rules for contesting the contents and appealing initial determinations are found in 36 CFR part 1202.

RECORD SOURCE CATEGORIES: Information in reference request files is obtained from researchers and from NARA employees who maintain the files.

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