OLYMPIA — Following news the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) facility in Seattle may be closing, Washington Secretary of State Kim Wyman is urging the Office of Management and Budget find a way to keep federal archival records in the state. She released the following statement:
“Closure of this facility would be a major loss to our state and region, and I am urging the Office of Management and Budget reconsider the removal of these federal archival records from our state.
“As Washington’s Secretary of State, who oversees the Washington State Archives, I know how vital the Seattle facility is to preserving our region’s rich history. Archivists, researchers, historians, reporters, and others must continue to have physical access to these records and files. If the closure is approved, Washington researchers may have to travel as far as 1,200 miles to Riverside, California to access federal archival records. That’s unrealistic and seems out of line with NARA’s mission statement to ensure records be accessible to the public.
“My staff and I are ready and willing to work with our congressional delegation, National Archives, and the historical records community to discuss alternative solutions to the closure of this facility for the continued regional access and storage of these important documents.”
Wyman also sent a letter to Washington state’s congressional delegation Monday, urging lawmakers to help prevent the closure. The letter can be read below.
Washington’s Office of Secretary of State oversees a number of areas within state government, including managing state elections, registering corporations and charities, and governing the use of the state flag and state seal. The office also manages the State Archives and the State Library, documents extraordinary stories in Washington’s history through Legacy Washington, oversees the Combined Fund Drive for charitable giving by state employees, and administers the state’s Address Confidentiality Program to help protect survivors of crime.
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