May 14, 2021

Report: “Dozens of Groups Sue U.S. Government Over Seattle National Archives Closure”

April 12, 2021

Seattle Times Editorial: National Archives Scare Shows Why Congress Needs to Act

—End Update 2 —

April 8, 2021

Biden Halts Sale of National Archives Center in Seattle (via AP) & Biden Administration Halts Sale Of National Archives in Seattle (via Seattle Times)

and STATEMENT: Sen. Maria Cantwell Applauds Biden Administration Withdrawal of Approval for Sale of Seattle Archives Facility

—End Update 1 —

From Reuters:

The U.S. states of Washington and Oregon, along with dozens of Native American tribes and cultural groups, sued the federal government on Monday to stop the sale of the National Archives building in the city of Seattle.

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After the planned sale of the facility by the government, the records would be moved to National Archives facilities in Kansas City and in Riverside, California.

Learn More, Read the Complete Article

From a Statement by Bob Ferguson, Attorney General, State of Washington

The National Archives building in Seattle hosts exclusive and un-digitized tribal and treaty records, as well as Chinese Exclusion Act case files and records regarding the internmen

Dt of Japanese Americans during World War II. The records are invaluable resources for researchers, historians and individuals seeking information about their family history or heritage. For instance, tribal members use federal archive records to establish tribal membership, demonstrate and enforce tribal rights to fishing and other activities, trace their lineage and ancestry and access native school records. According NARA’s Seattle director, only “.001% of the facility’s 56,000 cubic feet of records are digitized and available online.”

The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington, asserts the sale violates the conditions Congress placed on agencies’ ability to sell federal properties on an expedited basis and fails to appropriately account for the records’ importance to the Pacific Northwest region. Further, the federal government refused to consult or cooperate with local stakeholders, including tribal governments, in making the decision to sell the property.

Talmage Hocker, a Kentucky commercial real estate developer appointed to the Public Buildings Reform Board (PBRB) by President Donald Trump, said in a December 2020 interview with the L.A. Times that his agency’s recommendation to sell the property would allow it to “become a part of the community, as opposed to what it is today.”

Learn More, Read the Complete Statement

Direct to Complaint
87 pages; PDF.

Background

Seattle Times Editorial: “Seattle’s National Archives Branch Means More Than Its Real-Estate Value” (December 13, 2020)

National Archives (NARA) Seattle Facility Approved For Closure (January 20, 2020)

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) 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 Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.

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