21 April 2007

Time is running out to comment on proposed NARA fee increases

If you have land entry files or military pension files to order from the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), you’ll want to do it soon before the fees increase. The increases, which are due to go into effect the end of May, will increase the fee for copying a Civil War era pension file from $37 to $125 (338% increase) and a land entry file will go from $17.75 to $40.

Time is running out to comment on the NARA proposed copying fee increases. The deadline for comments is next Friday, 27 April 2007. (Isn’t it ironic that I just reported today a new Colorado law that reduces copying fees making public records more accessible.)

Link to the proposed rule.

It’s not easy to find the links for submitting comments. Thanks to Pam Smith, president of Colorado Genealogical Society for supplying the instructions which were written by Sue Axton.

1. Go to www.regulations.gov. On this page:
2. Under “Search for” select “Documents Open for Public Comment”.
3. Under “Agency” select “National Archives and Records Administration.”
4. Under “Document Type” select “All Document Types.”
5. In the “Keyword or ID” field, type “NARA-07-0001-0001”.
6. Select “Exact Phrase”. This will take you to the “Results” page
7. On the far right side is a “Comments” column. The “Submit” button is the little yellow bubble in this column.

New law reduces public records fees

If there are some public records you need copied, you might want to wait a few months. You could save $1 a copy.

Fees for copying public records will go down soon due to Colorado Senate Bill 45 which was signed by the governor this week. The law states that a custodian of public records may charge a fee “not to exceed twenty-five cents per standard page for a copy of a public record or a fee not to exceed the actual cost of providing a copy, printout, or photograph of a public record in a format other than a standard page.”

The old limit is one dollar and twenty-five cents per page. This is the highest copying costs in the country and will still be in effect until about August 2007. The new limit will apply to fees charged by all city, county and state governments in Colorado. There are a few exceptions to the copying fee limit, such as certified transcripts from colleges.

16 April 2007

Thousands added to State Archives database

Since January, over eighteen thousand new entries have been added to the Historical Records Database at the Colorado State Archives Web site:

  • Bar Admission Files (1899-1950). 7066 names.
  • Mesa County Motor Vehicle Licenses (1913-1917). 3303 names.
  • Spanish-American War Colorado Volunteers (1898-1899). 1439 names.
  • Docked* Horse Register (1899-1907). 59 names, all Arapahoe County.
  • Master and Journeyman Horseshoers (1897-1920). 228 names, all Arapahoe County.
  • Rio Grande County Teacher Certificate Applications (1874 -1893). 187 names.
  • Gilpin County District Court Filings (1874 -1882). 38 names.
  • Dolores County Court Cases (1881 – 1953). 1496 names.
  • Denver War Risk Insurance Applications (1914 -1917). 5134 names.

In addition, new images have been added to the Digital Records collection, including 123 pages of transcripts from the Alfred Packer Supreme Court Case. Click on “Social Concerns.”

* Docking a horse meant to cut short the fleshy part of its tail. When this practice became illegal by Colorado statute in 1898, such horses had to be registered in the local county clerk’s office.

10 April 2007

Debut of Manuscript Collection newsletter

The first installment of Manuscript Collection News (March 2007) is available at the Denver Public Library’s Web site. According to the inaugural issue, the “page will be updated monthly and will include new Manuscript Finding Aids, Hidden Treasures of the Manuscript Collection, Recent Donations and Archivists Notes.”

For instance, in the Hidden Treasures section, there is a description of the 1863 Civil War diary of J. A. Young:

The 1863 Civil War diary of J. A. Young was found in the Frances Melrose papers. The adjunct union soldier wrote descriptions of the events and people he came into contact with while serving under General Ambrose Burnside. He mentions places his unit went, deaths, drills, the weather and other activities. This fragile relic is housed in the vault with catalog number -M1890.

If you would like to be notified when Manuscript Collection News is updated each month, you might want to sign up with one of the free page monitoring services, such as ChangeNotes.com.

Thanks to Roger Dudley for letting us know about this new resource.

7 April 2007

April-May 2007 Events

Here are some important events coming up in the next two months:

See the Colorado Council of Genealogical Societies events calendar for regular society events in Colorado.