A friend of mine pointed out that in my Innaugural post, my link to the National Security Archive for information about the Freedom of Information and Privacy Acts (FOIPA) opens a page titled How to Make a FOIA Request. I added some confusion to the discrepancy by calling FOIPA the Freedom of Information and Privacy Act. There are two acts, the Freedom of Information Act and the Privacy Act. When one uses the FOIPA acronym, one is referring to the Freedom of Information and Privacy Acts (in the plural). (This error in my original post will have been corrected by the time you read this.) The Freedom of Information Act allows any person to request any agency record, barring certain exemptions. The Privacy Act allows an individual request only his own record, barring certain exemptions and within certain parameters. (Follow the link for each act to learn about the the exemptions and parameters governing requests under either act.) The two acts overlap, and the procedures for requesting information under these two acts are basically the same. When my mother requested my father's FBI file, it was actually under the Privacy Act, given her status as his widow. Usually when I make requests for documents, I say I am doing so under the Freedom of Information and Privacy Acts, thereby covering all the bases. At some point, I will post some information on the ins and outs of making FOIPA requests. Right now I'm working on follow up posts to Part 1 of From the Delmar Archive to Bombingham, Alabama. It looks like there will be at least two more parts to the story.
Many thanks to everyone who has given me feedback, including proofreading and link checking! (The dead links in my blog list should all work now.)