The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) is giving public notice of a proposal to enter into a non-exclusive agreement with the Genealogical Society of Utah (doing business as FamilySearch) to digitize and further expand public access to archival holdings in NARA's custody. Your comments on the terms of the proposed agreement are invited.
A summary of the proposed agreement is shown below and the complete agreement itself is available at http://www.archives.gov/comment/digitization-agreement.html.
Comments must be received by September 4, 2007. Send comments to Vision@nara.gov or FAX them to 301-837-0319.
Summary of the proposal:
The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) is pursuing partnerships with organizations from a variety of sectors (private, public, non-profit, educational, government) as part of our strategy to digitize and make more accessible the historic holdings from the National Archives of the United States. These partnerships, under which the partner digitizes and hosts certain holdings at its expense, will enable the public to have electronic access to textual and microfilm records sooner than NARA itself can provide. The terms of each agreement may vary, particularly with respect to fees that may be charged by the partner for access on its website and restrictions that may apply in obtaining downloads of the digital compilations created by the partner. The original holdings will always remain in the public domain, and access to digitized records will always be freely available in NARA's research rooms. Copying will continue to be available in accordance with NARA's fee schedule.
NARA is giving public notice that we propose to enter into a non-exclusive agreement with the Genealogical Society of Utah (doing business as FamilySearch) to digitize and further expand public access to archival holdings in NARA's custody. Your comments on the terms of the proposed agreement are invited. Comments must be received by September 4, 2007.
The highlights of this proposed agreement are:
- The records to be digitized will be mutually agreed to, with NARA having final approval.
- The partner in this proposed agreement, FamilySearch, is a non-profit organization. However, in some circumstances, and with NARA's approval, there may be limited involvement of for-profit organizations (to assist in the digitizing and hosting of the materials).
- NARA will receive digital copies of all holdings that are digitized as part of this agreement. FamilySearch has agreed that in most circumstances researchers will have free access to the digitized holdings hosted on the FamilySearch website. However, in some instances, where there is the need for cost recovery by FamilySearch, there will be a subscription fee for access for a maximum of five years. As with all of NARA's digitization agreements, there will be no charge for researchers at any time to access the digital copies in any of NARA's research rooms.
- Benefits to researchers included in this agreement are: free access to the digitized images and indexes in NARA's research rooms nationwide, and in many cases, free access online from any computer through the internet; free access to indexes that describe the records to the folder or file unit and, often, to the document level; links to and from NARA's online Archival Research Catalog; and the opportunity to purchase copies of the documents in digital format.
- Individual project plans will be established that identify the specific records to be digitized and specify metadata and other details that will apply to those records.
- The first project plan will be a pilot to research the optimal production methods to digitize and index records, so that the best methods and practices can be selected for subsequent projects.
- NARA's agreement with FamilySearch is non-exclusive. NARA has already reached digitizing agreements with other entities and will continue to consider additional agreements.
- FamilySearch will pay all costs for conservation, metadata creation, pulling and refiling records, and digitizing the records.