Operational Archives Branch Reference Policy

With its small staff, the Operational Archives Branch can only reply to written requests for information, sent by mail or fax. This Branch cannot respond to phone or email requests. Because of the overwhelming number of letters that the Operational Archives receives each week, the Archives has had to limit the amount of research which can be undertaken for any one individual. For extensive research projects involving many documents, an individual should plan to visit or arrange for a representative to visit the Archives on his/her behalf.

In Operational Archives' research room, archivists can help a researcher select indices and record collections that may contain pertinent documentation on a topic. The research room contains a small reference library; individual desks; outlets for electric typewriters, personal computers, or tape recorders; and a microfilm/fiche reader/printer. Visitors can use their own cameras to photograph documents, after checking with an archivist and signing the Branch's policy statement on use of cameras. The Operational Archives can only provide limited photoduplication, for the cost listed on the fee schedule. Only checks or money orders, made payable to the Department of the Navy, can be accepted as payment.

Because of the special nature of the records, the Operational Archives Branch has special rules for the researchers visiting the Archives. Those that a visitor might want to know about before visiting are:

  1. Researchers are required to leave coats, books, briefcases and other items at the front desk. Paper and pencils will be provided. The use of pens is prohibited.
  2. Personal copiers are prohibited, however flatbed scanners.will be evaluated on a case-by- case basis. Researchers using scanners will be required to sign a copy of the Branch's Policy on scanning and Digitization indicating they have read and understand the conditions under which the privilege is granted.
  3. If the records being used are unbound, only one file can be viewed at a time. Special care should be taken to keep the documents in the order which they are found in the folders.
  4. Visitors can arrange with archivists to have records held for their use for several days. When the researcher is finished with the records, staff members or the receptionist are to be informed so the records can be refiled or made available to other researchers.
  5. Eating, drinking, and smoking are not permitted in the Research Room.
  6. All notes, photocopies, and purses must to presented to the receptionist for inspection before leaving.

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