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Thread: Confused by N.A Uk

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    Default Confused by N.A Uk

    Hi,
    Just had an estimate back from NA for some files from 3 different ORB's, and am slightly confused with what they've sent.
    AIR27/797 (100sqdn) cannot copy as file lost in transit!
    AIR272143, (625sqdn Jan-Dec 44) requested Oct and Nov pages.
    AIR272052 (582sqdn) requested Jan,Feb and March pages.
    Apart from the first file, which puzzles me as to how they have not got another copy, the other two have been worked out for paper copies instead of the digital copies that i normally request. Phoned NA to ask why this is, answer... paper copies work out cheaper than digital!!!! hang on a minute, i've always asked for digital ever since i found that it worked out cheaper, the last seven files ordered from them, were all for a full year of ORB pages for each squadron needed, each of these cost me between £30-£40 which includes price of disc and postage, the estimate for the 582sqdn files is £69 and the other £59, they tell me that paper is cheaper at 45p per copy rather than £2 per digital image. Now, am i going round the bend or has the NA got it wrong. Tried to explain to the person who answered the phone but no luck. Anyone having same sort of problem?
    Alan.

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    I don’t think you are loosing your favourite marbles. There are changes afoot at Kew, centred on cost-cutting, and many of the practices in reprographics section have been reviewed. Elsewhere, it is now policy to refer many of the requests for in-house research to independent researchers, and there are links on their website to the approved list. I am working on getting my name on that list, and am glad to say that the standards are high.

    Please see PM for further information.

    Regards,
    Bruce

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    Default ORBs on cd

    Hello Alan and Bruce,

    I ordered the digitised 1944 ORBs for 76 Sqn many moons ago and the cd finaly arrived the end of May. Unfortunately it was largely unreadable so regretfully - as I think they are a good bunch - I had to complain. To date even after two reminders I havent heard a word from them. Are they still producing cds of ORBs? Do you have a extention or direct line number for the reprographics section?
    Last edited by namrondooh; 24th July 2009 at 16:16. Reason: adding last word

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    Bruce,

    I'm a little confused (nothing unusual), but could you explain what is meant by "referring requests for in-house research to independent researchers"? Is that meant to imply that in the past NA staff have undertaken research on behalf of inquirers? Although I've used the NA both in person and by post (requesting specific documents) I was unaware that such a facility existed.

    Norman,

    I think that if you phone the number given at the bottom of each web page and ask for the document copying section you should be put through - worked for me.

    Brian
    Last edited by Lyffe; 24th July 2009 at 16:32.

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    Hi ,
    Brian, the NA staff would search for approx 20 mins (i think) for files which might not be exactly known by the requestee (is that a proper word) they have now stopped this practice due to the fact that its not cost effective, one reason being that on many occasions, staff have done searches only for the estimate not to be taken up by whoever asked for it. This is why they are now thinking (probably doing it by now) of passing you on to proffessional researchers.
    Norman, the number is 02088763444, when prompted, go for the final option and ask to be put through to the copying department.
    Bruce, Let me get hold of the person i'm doing the search for, and see what he says.
    Thanks all............Alan.

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    Lyffe,
    Yes, it is a facility that has been around for a long time, and many people weren’t aware of it. The service was good in most cases, but there was no way of guaranteeing that the researcher assigned was the person with the best knowledge of the subject. As I am sure you know, there are some people there with phenomenal knowledge of the file subject structures, and the process is truly impressive when watching one of these senior people pull a rabbit out of a hat. The research for external readers, ie someone saying ‘can you look in XXXX files and find the parts about XXXXXX’, or an even broader request such as ‘I need to know what happened about XXXXXX’ icannot always be handed to senior staff, and the very nature of the requests leaves room for dissatisfaction with the results if the customer then finds further information. It is unlikely that the inhouse service will continue except in carefully selected areas.

    Our particular area of interest is a good example of how an independent researcher can build on previous knowledge, by knowing where to start and occasionally jumping straight to the key document that will shed light on a subject (I am not talking about the straightforward ORB request, but the more common commission of ‘what happened to my father/uncle/husband’).

    Regards,
    Bruce

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    Default

    Thank you both gentlemen for your responses, much appreciated.

    Regards
    Brian

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    Hi all,

    just few notes about my experiences.

    First of all I would like to note that friend of mine was ordering copies of some ORBs on a CD few months ago and everything was OK but than he informed me that the NA is going to make some cuts so for example if you want just pre-research how many pages it will be etc. you need to pay for it...

    @Alan - I have been in the NA in March for a week - I have ordered one file for Hugh with some awards with the result "the file was lost on transit". They were not able to find it during the whole week and I have no idea if they found it already or not.

    Pavel
    Czechoslovak Airmen in the RAF 1940-1945
    http://cz-raf.webnode.cz

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    Does "the file was lost on transit" mean the file when moved around National Archives or, like in the case for No. 603 Sqdn RAF over the summer of 1942, the ORBs were despatched (from Malta with respect to 603 Sdqn) but failed to arrive at Air Headquarters (or whatever it was called)?
    Interests include Spitfires in Malta 1942 and 460 Sqdn 1943-44 (including Black Thursday)

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    Adrian, almost certainly it means that the file was either lost during the move to Kew, years ago, or possibly (but not as common) it was lost while in transit back from a government department such as the Ministry of Defence. Air/Naval/Army files can be sent to the departments that originated them to be studied, and I know of at least two irreplacable Admiralty WW2 file that went missing about two years ago under these conditions.

    Bruce

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