How to get NARA records that aren't microfilmed or digitized.
NARA hasn't microfilmed most military
service and pension files, but it'll make photocopies for a fee. The
voluminous, fragile collections can complicate the job of locating and
photocopying files. Record fees rose in October 2007, to $25 for
service files predating Oct. 31, 1912. Civil War and later pensions
jumped from $37 to $75 (for up to 100 pages, plus 65 cents for each
additional page). A pre-Civil War pension file now costs $50.
Fortunately, I'd already ordered my ancestors' Civil War service and
pension files — at the current rates, they'd average out to $4.17 and
$2.34 per page, respectively.
If the records you need aren't in
online resources and you can't avoid fees by personally visiting NARA
in Washington, DC, it may be cheaper to hire an onsite researcher — see
for information. Last year, I paid an hourly researcher $81.50 for
copies of two Civil War service files and two Civil War pension files,
which I received within two weeks. The same copies would cost $200 from
NARA, with a two-to-four-month wait.