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Meetup at the National Archives
Who should come? You should. Really.


David Ferriero speaks at WikiXDC
Who and what

Please join Archivist of the United States David Ferriero (!) for the next US National Archives backstage pass and scanathon, hosted at their College Park, Maryland facility.

This event will be a larger, repeat performance of our first NARA backstage pass (Wikipedia:Meetup/NARA 1). (For more details, please see the write-up about the event on NARA's blog.) It will consist of a talk by David about the National Archives' perspective on the Wikimedia projects, a discussion with Dominic about WP:NARA, a behind-the-scenes tour of the building and into the stacks by NARA staff, and then a scanning party in the research rooms. Lunch will be provided, so don't be afraid to stay the whole day! ;-) Let us know if you have any special dietary needs when signing up.

Attendees will be able to get NARA researcher cards and then in the afternoon we will invade the research rooms to scan documents or edit. Please request documents for scanning by Friday afternoon, the day before the event. NARA staff will also be invited and may participate in scanning/editing with us. You can stay for the whole day, or just come for some of the day's activities. People of all ages are welcome. There will be swag and more NARA chocolate.

Some scanners and other equipment will be provided, so do not worry if you can't bring one; however, if you happen to have a scanner, laptop, or camera, please do! (More details below.) Building security has asked us to try to have an accurate list of the attendees beforehand. If you are planning on coming, please send us an e-mail with your name to socialmedia; this will remain private. (Note: no one will be turned away for not having RSVPed.)

The National archives building in College Park.

Saturday, October 8, 11 am to 5 pm.

Tentative schedule:
Time Activity
11:00 - 11:30 Arrival, security check, research card signups, socializing (snacks!)
11:30 - 12:00 Talk by the AOTUS; Q&A from Wikimedians
12:00 - 12:45 Discussion with Dominic about WP:NARA
12:45 - 1:30 Lunch and socializing
1:30 - 2:00 Tours of the building
2:00 - 5:00 Editathon, scanathon, uploadathon, transcribathon, categorizathon, etc. in the NARA research rooms and/or library

National Archives at College Park, 8601 Adelphi Road, College Park, Maryland. College Park is about 25 minutes from central DC, 35 minutes from Arlington, Virginia and 45 minutes from Baltimore.

The building is not within walking distance of the College Park Metro station. If you are planning on taking public transportation, see the instructions below.

Getting there
Driving Directions (Approximate)
  1. From Virginia, take I95 where it becomes part of the Capitol Beltway, take I95 towards Baltimore. Get off at Exit 23, Kenilworth Avenue, MD 201. Turn Left (South or West, I think), go about 1 mile to Greenbelt Road, MD 193, turn right. See item 3.
  2. From New York through Baltimore, take I95 or the Baltimore-Washington Parkway to the Capitol Beltway in the direction of Alexandria. Get off at Exit 23, Kenilworth Avenue, MD 201. Turn Right (South or West, I think), go about 1 mile to Greenbelt Road, MD 193, turn right. See next item.
  3. At Greenbelt Road, stay on MD 193 as it becomes University Blvd, about 5 miles, turn right onto Adelphi Road, go about 2 miles.
Public Transportation
If you're in the Washington Area: get to the University of Maryland-College Park Metro station. Then see the instructions once you're there. On the note below mentioning the free shuttle bus it states there is no bus service on Saturday. This is incorrect. While the R3 does not run on Saturday, the C8 does run on Saturday.

There is also a free shuttle bus from the Prince George's Plaza Metro station. It leaves15 minutes after every hour, which means you'd either be a little early or late.

Metro requires you buy a farecard in advance to ride metrorail so you may want to put enough on the card for a round-trip. You'll need to have cash for fares unless you want to spend $5 to buy a SmarTrip Card (it's $10 for the card which includes $5 in fare value), in which case you can pay for bus and rail fares by credit card. But you can generally only buy a SmarTrip card at a train station. If coming from BWI or Dulles, you could pay $6 cash for the inbound trip, then buy a SmarTrip card at the train station for $10 on your credit card, then use your credit card to add about $10 more value. The trip will cost about $8 each way if paying cash, less if using a SmarTrip card.

If arriving from out of town:
  • If coming from New York, there is a BoltBus route to the Greenbelt Metro station, only one stop away on the Green Line from College Park.
  • by Greyhound bus, walk to the New York Avenue Metro Station, take the red line toward Glenmont, and transfer to the green line at Fort Totten toward Greenbelt. Get off at University of Maryland-College Park Station.
  • by Amtrak, VRE or MARC, there is a Metro station in the same building as where your train arrives. From Union Station Metro Station, take the Red Line toward Glenmont, get off at Fort Totten, transfer to the Green Line toward Greenbelt, and get off at University of Maryland-College Park Station.
  • by Air from Ronald Reagan National Airport, take Metro Yellow Line to the end of the line where the train goes out of service, either at Mt. Vernon Square or Fort Totten. On the same side of the same platform, take the Green Line toward Greenbelt, and get off at College Park-University of Maryland station.
  • by Air from BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport, take the B30 Metrobus to Greenbelt Station (this will cost $6 cash or SmarTrip), from Greenbelt Station, take the Green Line toward Branch Avenue, get off at University of Maryland-College Park Station
  • by Air from Dulles Airport, take the 5A Metrobus to L'Enfant Plaza (this will cost $6 cash or SmarTrip), then go to the L'Enfant Plaza Metro station, on the upper level take the Green Line toward Greenbelt, get off at University of Maryland-College Park Station

Once you're at College Park station:

From the College Park Metro station, take the C8 Metrobus, which is at the end of the line so the only place you can go is in the direction of White Flint (it runs about every 1/2 hour on Saturday from 6:10 in the morning until 8:45 at night), the PDF of the schedule can be retrieved here: Get off at Adelphi Road and Archives II building; it's about a 12 minute bus ride You'll be let off across the street from the main entrance, and will need to walk about a block up to the building.

For all of the options listed above to get to the College Park Metro station, you could also go instead to the Prince George's Plaza Metro station (one stop south of College Park on the Green Line) and take the free shuttle bus. It leaves15 minutes after every hour, which means you'd either be a little early or late.

Once you get here

The National Archives is a large building with its own campus and free on-site parking. You will drive into the main entrance and there will be a security checkpoint. The guard will ask for ID and inquire about your reason for visiting; you may tell them that you are here for a public event and/or research. If coming by bus, you will be dropped off within this first checkpoint. There is one entrance to the building, where you will again have to show ID and go through an X-ray machine. After going through security, you will need to go straight ahead to the front desk to get your visitor pass for the tour and register any equipment you have brought. We are meeting in Lecture Room B, which is down the stairs to your right. There will be a sign and/or someone to point the way.

What to bring
  • In order to get inside the building, you must bring a current photo ID.
  • Laptops, if you have them. There are public computers, but laptops make it easier to sit together, and are necessary to work with scanners.
  • Scanners, if you have them. (Do not bring a scanner with any type of auto-feeder. You will not be able to take it into the research rooms.)
  • Cameras, if you have them.

Sign upEdit


  1. Dominic·t 21:38, 8 September 2011 (UTC)
  2. --Aude (talk) 01:42, 9 September 2011 (UTC)
  3. I would focus more on typing up the contents of stuff to WP, as I don't have laptop nor scanner, but I can certainly identify important ones for scanning anyway! --TheBlueWizard (talk) 03:40, 10 September 2011 (UTC)
  4. Newyorkbrad (talk) 00:34, 17 September 2011 (UTC)
  5. Kirill [talk] [prof] 01:51, 18 September 2011 (UTC)

# GcSwRhIc (talk) 15:03, 21 September 2011 (UTC) Unexpected transportation problems. GcSwRhIc (talk) 13:49, 8 October 2011 (UTC)

  1. It's a go. Daniel Case (talk) 16:26, 22 September 2011 (UTC)
  2. hare j 20:33, 23 September 2011 (UTC)
  3. Looking good now; planning to be there. Carl Lindberg (talk) 20:56, 23 September 2011 (UTC)
  4. planning to be there --Jurisdr1975 (talk) 08:54, 24 September 2011 (UTC)
  5. Laptop but no scanner, how can I help? Dicirnah (talk) 11:24, 25 September 2011 (UTC)
    There are five DVD duplicators there already... you can help with WP:FedFlix and get the videos copied and then they will be uploaded to Internet Archive and eventually to Wikimedia Commons. Cheers. --Aude (talk) 21:46, 25 September 2011 (UTC)
  6. Most likely, I will attend (with laptop, camera(s)). Thanks to all involved for arranging this. -- Gyrofrog (talk) 23:05, 30 September 2011 (UTC)
  7. Am new to this site. Looking forward to coming with family. Hope this went through - Thanks! - Fanipa2011 (talk) 01:40, 4 October 2011 (UTC)

#Probably, happen to be coming up to NOVA for the weekend anyway, Sadads (talk) 19:56, 5 October 2011 (UTC)

  1. MoniqueP (talk) 13:22, 5 October 2011 (UTC)
  2. Let's do it. SchuminWeb (Talk) 02:04, 7 October 2011 (UTC)
  3. Plus one! Metabrarian (talk) 15:20, 7 October 2011 (UTC)
  4. Last minutey, but sure, I think I can make it. Will bring laptop + camera. One question though: Why do the Metro directions keep suggesting that you travel west on the Red Line (from Union Station / New York Ave)? Wouldn't it be faster and more obvious to travel north and transfer at Fort Totten to the Green Line? I've done that myself before when visiting College Park... SnowFire (talk) 00:24, 8 October 2011 (UTC)


  1. SarahStierch (talk) 23:22, 8 September 2011 (UTC)
  2. MyNameWasTaken (talk) 06:39, 17 September 2011 (UTC)
  3. Still TBD on this one. Will know a little closer in. SchuminWeb (Talk) 16:40, 17 September 2011 (UTC) Going. SchuminWeb (Talk) 02:04, 7 October 2011 (UTC)
  4. Hoping no extenuating circumstances will prevent me from attending this time around. Blurpeace 06:13, 19 September 2011 (UTC)
  5. Will see if schedule works out and transportation not too much of a problem. Daniel Case (talk) 21:28, 19 September 2011 (UTC)
  6. Not sure yet. Need to rearrange some other plans, and that may or may not work out. Looks like it will. Carl Lindberg (talk) 02:05, 20 September 2011 (UTC)
  7. I want to and hope to -- last time I couldn't get in the building because of an expired ID, but that won't happen this time. So this time should be OK. -- BRG (talk) 17:53, 25 September 2011 (UTC)
  8. Certainly interested, if schedule allows. Thanks to all involved for arranging this. -- Gyrofrog (talk) 16:20, 29 September 2011 (UTC)
  9. Definitely interested; however, I do not have a laptop or scanner. I am a librarian and have some archival background, so perhaps I can help people in that context? (Also, I would certainly like to hear Dr. Ferreiro speak). Also, is anyone driving to College Park from downtown Silver Spring? If so, I would be grateful for a ride; I would certainly reimburse for gas. I have found that Metro on the weekends is really awful to use; but I may do it if no one is driving. I hope this is not too much of an imposition; but if I don't ask, I don't get... ; ) --FeanorStar7 (talk) 00:54, 30 September 2011 (UTC)
    There is absolutely no requirement that anyone bring equipment. I've seen an couple of concerns a long those lines; hopefully this is clearer. Which is to say, please do come, especially if you are a librarian with some archival background. :-) Dominic·t 20:50, 30 September 2011 (UTC)
    I live in Silver Spring and could give you a ride. I'll make it there by the start of the event but will have to return somewhat early in the middle of the scanning session at around 2-3 (need to make it home for Yom Kippur). --Cyde Weys 02:51, 5 October 2011 (UTC)
  10. Slowking4: 7@1|x 21:05, 30 September 2011 (UTC)
  11. Sounds like fun! --Cyde Weys 17:50, 3 October 2011 (UTC)
  12. Not quite sure yet. Nadsozinc (talk) 23:14, 4 October 2011 (UTC)

Unable to attend, but wish to be informed about future meetupsEdit

  1. Shearonink (talk) 15:05, 17 September 2011 (UTC) Can't make this one either! Sounds like it will be a lot of fun.
  2. Yom Kippur, isn't it?--Wehwalt (talk) 16:51, 17 September 2011 (UTC)
  3. me! me! Cramyourspam (talk) 20:38, 19 September 2011 (UTC)
  4. Unfortunately! Kat Walsh (spill your mind?) 23:00, 25 September 2011 (UTC)
  5. Bummed, can't, traveling. -- Econterms (talk) 17:26, 28 September 2011 (UTC)
  6. ezpass To busy with Stuff to attend 17:20, 28 september 2011 (UTC)
  7. Nope, sorry. Der Wohltemperierte Fuchs(talk) 16:09, 29 September 2011 (UTC)
  8. Maybe someday, but no-can-do this time.--JayJasper (talk) 17:21, 29 September 2011 (UTC)
  9. Would love to, but I'll be out of town. -- John Broughton (♫♫) 19:49, 29 September 2011 (UTC
  10. Mheart (talk) 23:15, 29 September 2011 (UTC) Currently out of town.
  11. I am quite flattered to be invited, but I can not make it. User:Twozenhauer 1 October 2011
  12. Would love to come, but I'm out of town. Djembayz
  13. Didn't find out in time. Will try for a future one Hbrackett (talk) 22:24, 13 October 2011 (UTC)

Not wishing to be informed about future meetupsEdit

Note: the best way to stop notifications is to remove your name from this page: Wikipedia:Meetup/DC/Invite/List.

Items for scanningEdit

There will be an opportunity to digitize new documents for Commons. Please search the online catalog and request any items would like to have pulled so they will be ready for us when we visit. Check the catalog record to be sure the documents you want are housed in the College Park facility (many of them are). Keep in mind that textual documents may consist of many pages, so try not to request something that will be unmanageable for the short time we have. Items digitized by Wikimedians will be cataloged and added to the National Archives online catalog by NARA staff! (See [1] for a discussion of how this was done in the past.)


Sound recordingsEdit

Moving imagesEdit

I found a number of items of interest that are on VHS or 3/4" videotape (and even one silent film). Would it be practical to try and digitize these? Many laptops (and digital cameras) have video inputs, but I don't know whether the Archive's equipment will have RCA outputs, S-Video or what. Also, I have no idea how long some of these videos are, and I can imagine even one video eating up most or all of the available time. Does this seem practical? Thanks, -- Gyrofrog (talk) 23:27, 29 September 2011 (UTC)

Other requestsEdit