Tue, January 21, 2020

Immediate Action Required: Proposed Closure of National Archives in Seattle


The Alaska Historical Society is sounding the alarm.  There is a proposal to close the Seattle National Archives and Records Center.  Please consider speaking up—every comment matters!

The Alaska Historical Society is recommending the National Archives continue to have a branch facility in the Pacific Northwest. 

The Federal Public Buildings Reform Board, created by Congress in 2016 to identify and dispose of high-value Federal real estate, is recommending the sale of the building that houses the National Archives in Seattle.  The report, only submitted December 27, 2019, can be found at   The Office of Management and Budget is expected to approve or reject the recommendations by the end of January 2020.

For over 50 years the National Archives has operated the Seattle archives and records center.  The records from the National Archives center in Anchorage were moved there when it closed in 2014.  If the Seattle facility is closed, the closest NARA facility for Alaskans will be in San Francisco.  The report indicates the archival records at Seattle will be moved near Riverside, California, and the federal agency records will be moved to Kansas City, Missouri.  Alaska materials will not only be farther out of reach for researchers, students, attorneys, and government agencies, but the closure of the Seattle facility likely will delay the digitization of Alaska records promised by NARA when it closed the facility in Anchorage.

The Society is contacting Alaska’s Congressional delegation and those in Washington, Oregon and Idaho.  It is seeking to collaborate with their state historical societies to advocate for continuing to have a National Archives and Records Center in the Pacific Northwest.

It is vital that individuals comment to the Public Buildings Reform Board and to our elected representatives.

Comments on the recommendations can be made to the Public Buildings Reform Board by sending an email to

Comments on the recommendations are encouraged to be sent to Senators Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan and Representative Don Young.  They should be sent by email through their webpages:;;

The Archivist of the United States, David S. Ferriero, also needs to hear there needs to be a National Archives and Records Center in the Pacific Northwest.  Comments can be sent to him at or through the webpage

Please send your comments this week.  Thank you!