7 Replies Latest reply on Jun 29, 2018 2:46 PM by Jason Atkinson

    how many pages is in a folder, compared to a box?


      I am new to researching at the National Archives, and noticed an item that is contained in one folder. I am referring to folders of a textual item.


      Message was edited by: Matthew Williams

        • Re: how many pages is in a folder, compared to a box?

          Dear Mr. Williams,


          Thank you for posting your question to History Hub. The number of pages in a folder can vary quite a bit--anywhere from one to several hundred. Standard archival boxes can hold 1,000-1,500 pages, while larger Records Center boxes can hold 3,000-3,500. If you are interested in requesting copies of records in a specific folder, I would suggest emailing the National Archives facility that holds those records. The staff there can give you a page count when providing a quote for reproduction.


          For more information on getting started with research at the National Archives, you may also want to take a look at https://www.archives.gov/research/start

          Best of luck with your research!


          2 people found this helpful
          • Re: how many pages is in a folder, compared to a box?

            I would suggest being focused and strategic in ordering the records which

            may provide the information. Request the SF135, Record Transmittal and Receipt

            Form which lists the records by Item and Description for the transfer or accession.

            You could also ask for a possible folder name, and request only 1 folder.

            I requested a Vietnam MIA folder, for an MDR, and chose only 1 folder.

            There are more. If the material is classified you may have to submit a FOIA or MDR.

            A Mandatory Declassification Review could be performed on just 1 folder, and

            after 1 year without a response, you may request an ISCAP review, if it is

            within the Inter Service Classification Appeal Panel jurisdiction.


            You could also ask for just the first 50 pages, whereby most reports, may have a

            table of contents or an index of topics.  Most reports emphasize the information in the

            beginning and then provide supporting evidence in the body and in conclusion

            funnel back to the beginning at the end.


            You can also submit a FOIA to the original agency as to ensure they transferred

            the records to the Archives.  If they retained the material, then you should be able

            to obtain 2 hours of search time and 100 pages for free. If the agency responds that

            the records are at the Archives, and they are restricted or classified. Then they

            will be sent to the agency for review.


            These are some methods as to find historical information in a focused and methodical

            manner. I think you can also go to the Archives, and photograph the records in the research

            room at no cost, if a large box is involved?

              • Re: how many pages is in a folder, compared to a box?

                If I have a specific folder (https://catalog.archives.gov/id/1507654) I am interested in, will that SF135 form give me any other information than what is in the catalog (item level list)? Also, how do I get that form?

                  • Re: how many pages is in a folder, compared to a box?
                    J. Andrew Scout

                    Most likely not. 

                    The catalog description for this series already has a list of file units (aka the folders). It is rare that they would list individual documents (items).  If there were an itemized list available for this series, the Catalog would most likely have a finding aid note mentioning it.

                    Just help you get the terminology right.

                    Record Group:  https://catalog.archives.gov/id/389
                    Series:  https://catalog.archives.gov/id/1488779
                    File Unit:  https://catalog.archives.gov/id/1507654

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                    • Re: how many pages is in a folder, compared to a box?

                      Not NARA.  You may be aware that there is a possibility that there are records that are older than 25 years, or even 50 years, that are Not listed in the Online Public Catalog?  There are also cases whereby the records listed in the Online Public Catalog, are Not in the Folder. And there may not be a card toward a withdraw?  I have attempted to order items that were in the catalog, but it did not exist as described in the folder. In some cases the SF 135 may have valuable info. Anything is possible.


                      The DOJ records are RG 60,  an advanced  search can be made for the HMS Entry , P 127.

                      And a search can be made for the NARA ID Numbers 1507653, 1507654, and 1507655, which are

                      all in container 37. An SF 135 could have a couple records or up to hundreds of record descriptions.

                      This is how researchers find and request the records.


                      You could submit a FOIA for the RG 60,  P 127,  SF135 Form as to ensure everything is listed in

                      the Online Public Catalog.  I have seen SF 135's noted that the records were not sent or included during

                      the receipt inventory. If the Archives did not receive them, then the originator or another agency would have

                      retained them.


                      I actually attempted to order the WW1,  1st Gas Regiment, "Medical Detachment"  Reports, listed in the Online Catalog,

                      but they do not exist. Only the 1st Infantry Div. was available?

                        • Re: how many pages is in a folder, compared to a box?
                          J. Andrew Scout

                          Asking for something via the Freedom of Information Act tends to slow down the reference process, as it just creates a bunch of extra hoops for NARA to jump through before the request gets sent to the actual archivists who would be able to answer your questions.  FOIA only needs to be brought in if you've been told you can't have the records because of access restrictions. SF-135s for most non-intelligence agencies aren't restricted.  You should be able to just email the reference unit. Not to mention that if you already know what folder you are interested, ask directly about that.  It is sometimes easier to find the records than it is to find the S-135, as there is no single comprehensive collection of all SF-135s past and present.

                          Also, there wouldn't be a single SF-135 for that series.  It combines records from 060-79-0124 and 060-82-0296.

                          2 people found this helpful
                        • Re: how many pages is in a folder, compared to a box?
                          Jason Atkinson Ranger

                          I took a look at the folder in question, labeled "Freedom of Information Act - Legislative History" in container 37 of the series "Subject Files, 1967 - 1979" (National Archives Identifier 1488779).

                          The contents of the box are as follows:

                          One loose leaf copy of the Freedom of Information Act.


                          One copy each of of three published booklets, all of which can be found online. 


                          1)  Attorney General's Memorandum on the 1974 Amendments to the Freedom of Information Act, February, 1975. which can be found in full online here  https://www.justice.gov/oip/attorney-generals-memorandum-1974-amendments-foia

                          2) The June 1967 Attorney General's Memorandum on the Public Information Section of the Administrative Procedure Act document published here:  https://www.justice.gov/oip/attorney-generals-memorandum-public-information-section-administrative-procedure-act

                          3) Freedom of Information Act and amendments of 1974 (P.L. 93-502) : source book : legislative history, texts, and other documents


                          2 people found this helpful