May 26, 2022

National Archives (NARA) Seattle Facility Approved For Closure

UPDATE February 26 Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson Threatens to Sue if Feds Don’t Reverse ‘Illegal’ Decision to Close National Archives at Seattle (via Seattle Times)  &  AG Bob Ferguson Issues Ultimatum Over ‘Illegal’ Decision to Move Seattle National Archives (via My Northwest.Com)

February 20 Much of Alaska’s history is not here anymore: The National Archives are Moving Again, This Time Even Farther Away (via Alaska Public Radio)

UPDATE January 30  Council of State Archivists (CoSA) and the Society of American Archivists (SAA) Release Statement on Proposed Closure of National Archives Facility in Seattle

UPDATE January 29 Solutions Emerging to Seattle National Archives Debacle (via

UPDATE January 28 Expected Closure of National Archives’ Seattle Office Sparks Backlash (via KING)

–End Update–

From NARA:

The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) facility in Seattle, WA, has been approved for eventual closure and sale. The facility was recommended for sale by the Public Buildings Reform Board (PBRB) and approved for sale by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) through the authorities and process established in the Federal Asset Sales and Transfer Act of 2016, as amended (FASTA).

A specific date has not been set for the closure of our Seattle facility, and we are not taking any immediate actions that will impact our customers. We expect the entire process of sale to take approximately 18 months and we have requested to stay in the building for an additional three years following the sale. We will continue to offer all services and maintain our current operating hours for the immediate future. We will communicate with our customers and stakeholder organizations when we have more information and as we develop our plans. We will also seek to include input from our stakeholders in order to inform our plans and decisions.

When we eventually close our physial presence in Seattle, we will continue to provide public access to our archival records. Some of our most popular records have been digitized and are available online. Members of the public can request copies of any available archival record (digital or analog) by email, telephone, or in writing. These records will also be available for in-person access in the research room at their new location. We are planning to expand our digitization efforts to make more records available free of charge and regardless of location.

We recognize that the closure of our facility will have a negative impact on researchers, Federal agencies, and other customers that use our facility. As we begin planning for the eventual closure of the facility, we will engage with local researchers and other stakeholders to find opportunities to smooth the transition for the public, support Federal agencies and the local researcher community, and ensure continued access to our records after the move.

See Also: ‘Terrible and Disgusting’: Decision to Close National Archives at Seattle a Blow to Tribes, Historians in 4 States (via Seattle Times)

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.