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Thread: National Archives Fees

  1. #11
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    I will try to clarify the policy concerning estimating and other charges by the end of the week.

    Bruce
    http://www.filephotoservice.co.uk/
    RESEARCH AT THE NATIONAL ARCHIVES & OTHER UK INSTITUTIONS

  2. #12
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    I sometimes wish it was still called the Public Records Office, then at least we could hit them with a stick and point out the word Public. Jumping into bed with Ancestry and Find My Past has probably not helped, yes it got files digitised, but at what cost?

    Having been able to visit in person on many occasions I have waited until my list of wanted files has grown to the point I could justify a trip on the first train of the day for a visit in person and copy what I wanted in a single day. But the charges for remote research are getting too much for the average researcher, I know that the Ministry of Justice have had their budget cut and cut again but inflating charges to the point where it will put off remote research for all but the well funded (ie by someone else) is just plain silly as they will end up with even less revenue and so beings the vicious circle.

    The same has been happening in regional archives for some time as well, they are charging for people to use their own cameras after realising that the revenue from photocopying had gone down (usually after prices for that went up). Some charge a reasonable amount as a fee which if you are copying several items can be justified but others were just rediculous. The worst was about 30 for a day, the best about 6. The RAFM joined that bandwagon, their charge is 6 (including VAT, that's a whole different rant) which if you can copy a couple of hundred 1180s or 78s is worth it as the printing can be a lot more than that, as I have done on my very irregular visits. At least the staff there are very helpful and seem genuinely interested in what you are researching, I have spent plenty of time chatting about research with their staff.

    PNK, I know what you mean about terrible reflections on photos, now that the preservation team at TNA have been putting photos into plastic sleaves it has got even worse, and you can't even get the photos out of the sleaves (usually the tag has been put in in such as way to prevent it and if it hasn't been then security shout at you). The best I encountered last time I was there was a map which had been folded so the detail was on the inside so all that could be seen in the protective sleave was a slightly yellowed piece of paper, what's the point in that, we can't even see what is on the record anymore (it's in the AVIA 5 report for Liberator AM260 if anyone is interested). When they were wrapped in tissue paper you could use that paper to eliminate the glare from the lights but now I tend to end up trying to use the foam blocks as shades to cut out the worst of the light but still get some glare and enormous shadows instead of the more diffuse light that thin tissue paper was excellent for giving.
    Alan Clark

    Peak District Air Accident Research

    http://www.peakdistrictaircrashes.co.uk/

  3. #13
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    When it comes to governments giving me free archive access I'd prefer they spent the money on our nurses or schools or......
    Dennis Burke
    - Dublin

    Foreign Aircrew and Aircraft Ireland 1939-1945
    www.ww2irishaviation.com

  4. #14
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    Dennis - I agree and some form of charging is inevitable. The trick as any business will tell you is to find the level of charging that produces the most customers. Get it wrong and you lose money by either undercharging and don't cover cost or over charging and lose customers.

    Apologies in advance for the disjointed comments below:

    Some things that would be useful for TNA to have to hand would be black card to put behind thinner documents when photographing so the reverse side does not show through and white card for photographing the tracing paper typed documents that seemed to be in favour for a few years in the 60s. But best of all would be a non reflective perspex sheet or film for those super glossy protective covers. I would prefer they supplied them so they would be of an acceptable material.

    I did photograph those big books of airfield plans and aerial photos (can't recall the reference) and they were all in glossy protective covers. Every single picture I took featured my reflection and you could clearly make out the lens make! 500 virtually useless photos! That was in the map room as well so all hand held in very poor light.

    Just before I retired, early I hasten to add, my company was experimenting with LED light panels as direct replacement for the four tube ceiling panels. Although each panel was fairly expensive it was only as much as the four tube version but at a much lower wattage and no HF flicker. The light could also be daylight equivalent and I think that adding more panels of LED would work out cheaper as each LED panel was 1/8th the wattage of the tubes. Ideal for TNA I would have thought and would prevent the TNA headache that I get after about four hours :)

    One last point is that if copies need to be ordered for whatever reason could a number of people club together and share the cost? I would happily pay 50 for a copy of the airfield plan and aerial photo books but not 500. I would also like to see something similar to the Australian archives where you can order scans of documents currently not online and pay for them but one copied they are available online to all. A brilliant idea for the less popular items and one that would make clubbing together a worthwhile venture.

    Perhaps I should suggest this to TNA?

    P.S. I would like to add that the staff at TNA have always been helpful and especially when I frequently trot up to the desk to ask them to remove a treasury tag so that the vital plan can be removed from the envelope or packet that would otherwise be impossible. Normally these were the reason for getting the file in the first place.
    Last edited by PNK; 6th January 2016 at 13:37.

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