The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) recently proposed a reduction in the number of hours that the agency's research facilities are open to the general public. Weekend and evening hours would be especially curtailed. The result will be a major hardship on genealogists, especially those who cannot visit during normal business hours.
This will result in a major limitation of genealogy research.
The response to the proposal reportedly has been weak. Reportedly, only a few comments had been received as of last week. A number of people who attended the annual conference of the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) last week decided to start a petition. We want to gather signatures to show that genealogists really are concerned and that we strongly oppose this proposal. Comments must be filed no later than September 8, this Friday. Given the short timeframe, we decided to use an online petition. I uploaded the petition and have asked newsletter readers to sign it “electronically.” Similar pleas have been posted elsewhere in the genealogy newsgroups, message boards and in newsletters.
As of this moment, more than 8,500 genealogists have signed the petition! However, we still need more. We need your signature!
While the official cut-off date for comments is September 8, I have to print out the petition and signatures (that should require a ream of paper or more!) and deliver it to the Regulations Comments Desk on the eighth. To make that happen, I need to obtain as many signatures as possible by 2:00 PM Eastern Daylight Time on Thursday, September 7. The next several hours will be used to print the petition, stuff it into a box and deliver it to the overnight delivery service in time for the evening's shipment. If you plan to sign the petition, you need to do so now.
You can read more about the petition at http://blog.eogn.com/eastmans_online_genealogy/2006/09/quick_please_jo.html.
To read the petition and to sign it, go to http://www.petitiononline.com/FGS2006.
Please ask your friends to do the same before 2:00 PM Eastern time on Thursday.