NARA Phase 2 Partial reopening of the Vendor System

23 June 2021

We are pleased to announce the Phase 2 partial reopening of the NARA vendor program. During this slow reopening there are several new rules adopted due to a reduced workforce. Below is a copy paste from the email we received from NARA. As of 23 June 2021 they are accepting IARLs but only for “I” items and no more than 12 per order (IARL). Read below.

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Phase Two Notice to Researchers: Moving Image and Sound

Item Approval Requests and Reproduction Order Fulfillment Process


The Moving Image and Sound Branch of the National Archives has revised its order processing

procedures due to the ongoing public health emergency. Orders are currently being filled with

some notable limitations in place. For the most current information on NARA’s Phased

Reopening Plans, and any updates on the status of NARA facilities, please visit the Coronavirus

page on the NARA website.

Please note the following changes that have been made to NARA’s ordering procedures, effective immediately and enforced as of the date of this notification. These changes apply to NARA ordering activities in Phase II.

  • NARA will accept one Item Approval Request List (IARL) Form (NA 14110) per week, per researcher or production group.
  • Each order is not to exceed 12 reels. All IARL forms submitted that exceed this requirement will be returned to the requestor without approval.
  • NARA will only approve Intermediate (I) copies of items from its holdings to be sent out for orders during Phase Two.
  • NARA will only approve items from its holdings that are physically stored at Archives II in College Park, MD. Items that are requested on an IARL that fall outside of the above parameters will not be approved.
  • NARA cannot guarantee specific timelines for approval and filling of orders.
  • NARA will only accept orders from IARLs within 6 months of the approval date, which is noted next to the Order Number.
  • NARA has temporarily extended the timeline for order fulfillment to twenty-five business days from vendor’s receipt of records from NARA.
  • There are no changes to NARA archival handling fees.


If you are receiving an approved IARL, please read the following order guidelines carefully:

The “Approval” column has been completed by NARA staff to indicate that we have reviewed

the IARL form, approved the archival format that NARA has available for each item you wish to

order, and have annotated the Pending Codes column with the appropriate code(s).

After checking that the item numbers in column B.1 Control and reel number are correct, please

Send the IARL Form to a Vendor Chosen from the National Archives Vendor Contact List:

The vendor will provide you with a price quote based on the Archival Format available, the

length (footage/minutes) of each item, and the Order Copy Format you need. The vendor will

also answer your technical questions

The vendor you choose to handle your order may place orders for items off of one IARL on two

separate occasions. Should you need to order more items off of the IARL that were not originally

ordered you can notify NARA directly or ask the vendor to notify NARA and a copy of your

IARL will be sent back to you or the vendor with a new number so that you can order from it

again. [3]

If the Pending Codes column is marked with an “I”:

If the item is a film or video recording marked with an “I” this means that a film or video or

audio Intermediate copy already exists in the National Archives collections, and this copy will be

sent to any approved vendor on the list to make your fee copy. During the current reopening

phase, we are only approving Intermediate copies.

If the Pending Codes column is marked with a “P”:

If the item is a film or video recording marked with a “P” this means that there is no intermediate

copy currently available for the item, and the item will not be approved. The item can not be

ordered during our current status, and will need to resubmitted when NARA is able to expand

out reproduction services.

If the Pending Codes column is marked with the number “2”:

This means that the item you wish to have copied is restricted by donor agreement or Public Law

101 246 (104 Stat. 49), issued February 16, 1990, and permission must be obtained by you from

the donor or copyright holder and they must send the permission release to us before a copy can

be made. Please refer to the “Source and Permission List” on using audiovisual materials

reproduced from our holdings. As a general policy the National Archives cannot guarantee the

status of specific items, and purchasers use them at their own risk. For more information, see

NARA’s Use Statement here.

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We have one designated pickup day per week and only one. Our day is Tuesday so if any orders are placed the only pickup day is a Tuesday. Plan accordingly and we suggest everyone relax and exercise extreme patience while we all work through this prototype workflow. Complaints, hurry up rush, rush, rush is not something anyone want’s to be part of and will not be tolerated. This is a slightly different workflow and it is a very welcome start. We all need to work together with the NARA staff and give POSITIVE input to make things succeed.

Thanks for your understanding and we look forward to filling your orders.


Tim Bono and the BonoLabs crew