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Litigation To Stop Plan Moving Pacific NW National Archives

5 Jan 2021 2:38 PM | Anonymous

The following was first published in the IAJGS Records Access Alert mailing list and is republished here with permission:

The IAJGS Records Access Alert previously informed its readers that the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) approved closing its facility in Seattle—without any public input. The sale is  due to the recommendation for sale by the Public Buildings Reform Board (PBRB) and approved the sale by the Office of Management and Budget. See: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic the PBRB will offer the buildings early this year for an expedited sale in a single portfolio. 

As reported by ABC News, Washington, Oregon and two dozen Native American and Alaska Native tribes and cultural groups are suing the federal government to stop the sale of the National Archives building in Seattle. The sale would force the relocation of invaluable historical records thousands of miles away—to Riverside, California and Kansas City, Missouri.

The PBRB is selling the property under a law aimed at unloading excess federal property. The lawsuit disputes that contention saying the building is anything but excess. The documents included in the building are used for research from everything from tribal history to Japanese internment during World War ll and fur seal hunts on remote Alaskan islands.  While the federal government says they will digitize many of the items that could take excessively long periods as these documents are not currently digitized. 

The sale is opposed by all 8 US Senators and many US Representatives from Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington State. 

For more information see:

Thank you to Barbara J. Mathews, CG CG, FASG, President of the Massachusetts Genealogical Council for sharing the article.

To read the previous IAJGS Records Access Alert postings about the Seattle, WA NARA Building pending sale and removal of documents to 1,000 miles and more away, go to the archives of the IAJGS Records Access Alert at:  You must be registered to access the archives. To register for the IAJGS Records Access Alert go to:  You will receive an email response that you have to reply to or the subscription will not be finalized. It is required to include your organization affiliation (genealogy organization, etc.)

Jan Meisels Allen

Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee

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