« 이전계속 »
Recently, staff of the Center for Legislative Archives
worked closely with both the Clerk's office and the
Historian in producing the Guide to the Records of the
United States House of Representatives at the National
That volume was
publication of the 100th Congress and was issued as House
In the production of that volume we
enjoyed the enthusiastic cooperation of both the clerk and
the House Historian.
I have been asked to comment on public access to House
records since the enactment of the 30/50 year rule.
in regard to the shift from the 50 to the 30/50 year rule,
the Archives' position has not changed since the testimony
of Michael McReynolds, my predecessor, in September, 1986;
and that of Don Wilson, Archivist of the United States, in
I have attached copies of this prior testimony
to my comments.
In summary, the National Archives supported
the change to the 30/50 year rule, and continues to do so.
Under the provisions of the 30/50 year rule, access to House
records that have been made public prior to their transfer
to the National Archives are immediately open for research
upon their transfer.
Records that contain personal privacy
information on living individuals, records of executive
sessions, and national security information remain closed
for fifty years.
Most other records are available for
research unless the Clerk determines that access "would be
detrimental to the public interest or inconsistent with the
rights and privileges of the House."
In practice, access is
determined by the Clerk on a case by case basis.
Researchers wanting to use House records at the National
Archives make their requests in writing, by telephone, or in
in all three cases researchers are advised that
they must obtain permission from the Clerk's Office before
the National Archives can grant access to the records.
visitors come to the Archives without making prior contact,
we assist them in telephoning the Clerk.
A description of
how researchers obtain access to
puse records at the
National Archives is attached to my comments.
Since the implementation of the 30/50 year rule, a number of
researchers have made use of House records to which
previously they would not have been given access.
Obviously, their research has benefited greatly from the
Because researchers interact directly with the Clerk's
Office on access questions, we are unable to say with
certainty how often permission to use records has been
Only if researchers inform us that their request
has been denied, do we become aware of the denial.
say that I am aware of only two instances where access has
been denied to records eligible for public use under the new
House rules, and both instances involved the records of the
House Unamerican Activities Committee.
The Clerk's Office
has encouraged the Archives to survey, arrange, and describe
the HUAC records, so that at least a portion of the files
can be opened for research.
I anticipate that this work
will be completed by the end of FY 1990.
In closing, I would like to paraphrase comments of the
Archivist of the United States before this body a little
over a year ago.
Our work during the last 4 years with the
staff of the Clerk's Office, the House Historian, and your
HOW RESEARCHERS OBTAIN ACCESS TO HOUSE RECORDS
Researchers request access to records by writing, telephoning, or appearing in person.
Written requests are normally answered by mail. Form paragraphs are used by the Center for Legislative Archives to advise researchers of the restrictions on the records and whom to write for authorization to use unrestricted records.
Occasionally, requests for loans of records for exhibit purposes come to us, normally through the NARA Office of Public Programs. If we determine the records are appropriate for exhibition, we write to the Clerk requesting permission to loan the records. This is done only after the NARA document conservation lab has determined under what conditions the document can be exhibited and what preservation steps are required to assure its safe handling.
Telephone requests may be answered by phone or mail.
When researchers appear in person, often without prior notice, we ask the researcher to call the Clerk's Office from our office or we place the call ourselves. The Clerk's Office usually provides authorization over the phone. We record this information on an in-house form, "Record of Telephone Authorization to View Records of the United States House of Representatives". In conformance with the Clerk's policies, we instruct researchers of the requirement to follow up their telephone request with a written request. If the Clerk's Office cannot authorize the request over the phone, the Clerk's staff will ask the researcher to write the Clerk's Office to more fully explain or clarify the request. On rare occasions, we have loaned records to the clerk's staff at their request so that they could make their determination.
The Clerk's Office notifies the researcher of the access determination by letter. When access has been authorized, a copy of the letter is routinely sent to NNLR. Once we have received either oral or written permission from the Clerk's Office to provide House records, we take records to the National Archives Central Research Room or provide copies as requested.