The Storage Areas
Usage levels and patterns
Records are maintained at the Archives because they have enduring value. And because they are valuable to researchers they are used frequently. This usage is reflected in statistics maintained over the years. From 1990 to 2000, the total number of research requests per year increased from 4,355 to 13,625. This remarkable growth in the number of people using the Archives came both in spite of and because of the expansion of information offered on the Archives Web site:
A large percentage of the requests received from researchers in 1990 related to obtaining copies of legislative minutes and tracings. Since legislative records dating back to 1991 are now available of the Archives Web site, many people no longer need to call or write for copies. This reduces the potential number of research requests.
On the other hand, the Archives Web site features several searchable databases allowing genealogists to find names of interest in many of the records in the holdings. They can then e-mail the reference archivists with requests for copies of specific records. This increases the number of research requests.
Thus, requests tripled over a ten year
period while use of the Archives Web site increased from zero hits when it started in 1994 to
approximately six million hits in 2000. The usage has grown at a slower rate in subsequent years but the Internet continues to revolutionize the way business is conducted. It truly has had a profound effect on the way the
Archives promotes and provides access to the
records in its holdings.