I saw in Dick Eastman's Blog today that the National Archives has proposed a major increase in their fees for photocopies of their records. Although many of the increases are substantial, most of them are reasonable, in my opinion. However, they are proposing to increase the fee for a Full Pension File copy (over 75 years old, from the Civil War Period) from $37.00 to $125.00 -- a 338% increase!
I've looked at this from a variety of viewpoints, and I just can't convince myself that this is justified. I realize that some of the Full Pension Files are lengthy, and that the postage costs alone are substantial, but to charge $125 for a Civil War era file regardless of whether it contains a dozen pages or 100 is bad policy.
I'd feel much better if the costs were more closely tied to what you received. Why not charge a reasonable flat fee for the research and then charge so much per page for copies and pass on the actual postage costs?
I understand that NARA is accepting public comment on this proposed change until April 27, 2007. Let's be sure that our voices are heard on this!