As of Monday, July 20, 2020, the Washington State Archives branches in Olympia and Ellensburg are open to researchers by appointment only. For more information, please visit our page regarding the closure.
NARA Seattle closure information
The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) facility in Seattle, 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. As of now, a date has not been set for the closure, and the physical holdings — all of which reflect Pacific Northwest history — are tentatively planned to be shipped to Riverside, CA and Kansas City, MO.
On January 27, 2020, Secretary of State Kim Wyman sent a letter to Washington’s Congressional delegation urging lawmakers and OMB find a way to keep the federal archival records in the state. Members of Washington’s Congressional delegation also sent a letter to OMB, asking they disapprove of the board’s recommendation to close the facility.
If you have any comments on this issue, please contact your Congressperson.
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More information may be added to this webpage as it becomes available.
If you have information to add, please contact [email protected].
- My Northwest: Academic journal asks: Will the last archivist to leave Seattle please turn out the lights?
- My Northwest: After numerous 'red flags,' AG Ferguson sues federal agencies over NARA Seattle facility.
- Seattle Times: $65K for 'redaction' costs? AG Ferguson sues to get records on NARA Seattle closure.
- KIRO 7: AG Ferguson sues for records relating to NARA Seattle.
- Herald Net: State AG sues agencies over NARA Seattle.
- Alaska Historical Society: Northwest historical groups pledge support for efforts to keep NARA records in Washington, in a letter to AG Ferguson.
- Seattle Times: Despite pleas, it looks like NARA Seattle still set to close.
- My Northwest: State AG Ferguson seeks compromise on Seattle National Archives closure.
- Washington State Heritage Caucus: NARA facility at Sand Point Seattle closure resolution.
- United States Senate: Eight Senators issue statement to Committee on Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services, about NARA Seattle.
- Seattle Times: State should help save Washington's National Archives access.
- KING 5 News: Why the potential closure of Seattle's National Archives is so controversial.
- The Spokesman-Review (Spokane): Let's keep the region's history in the region — on the very land where it occurred.
- Key Peninsula News: Pacific region archives in Seattle to close.
- Regional libraries: Libraries from all over the PNW issue a letter to OMB opposing NARA closure.
- My Northwest | Feliks Banel: Expert says it would take hundreds of years to digitize records at Seattle NARA.
- Seattle Times: Ferguson threatens to sue if feds don't reverse 'illegal' decision to close NARA Seattle.
- Attorney General Bob Ferguson: AG Ferguson threatens to sue over NARA closure.
- Crosscut | Knute Berger: Closing Seattle's NARA is a 'paper genocide' for some Natives.
- KTOO (Juneau, AK): Much of Alaska's history is not here anymore: NARA moving again, this time even farther away.
- Secretary of State Kim Wyman: Secretary Wyman presents before the Washington State Heritage Caucus.
- American Library Association: ALA opposes NARA closure with letter to OMB.
- Issues and Advocacy: More than a warehouse: Why the closure of Seattle's NARA facility matters.
- UW Daily: NARA closing could impact researchers, tribes, says UW professors.
- KIRO Radio & TV MyNorthwest: NARA tries 're-set' with tribes about Seattle closure.
- KUOW | NPR: First 'panic,' then a battle to keep NARA in Seattle.
- The Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation: CTCR sends letter to OBM to oppose NARA Seattle closure.
- Boise State Public Radio: Northwest's National Archives headed to Missouri and California.
- International Examiner: Concerns raised about closure of NARA in Seattle, which contains Chinese Exclusion Act records.
- The National Coalition for History: NCH sends letter to OMB opposing closure of NARA's Seattle records facility.
- Daily News-Miner (Fairbanks, AK): Alaskans, help save the National Archives at Seattle.
- Spokane Public Radio: Wyman hopes U.S. Archives in Seattle can remain open.
- The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR): Our view: Don't send OR's history to KC.
- Anchorage Daily News: Save the National Archives at Seattle, a link from past to present.
- Seattle Times Editorial: Don't send Seattle's federal archives across the country.
- Union Bulletin (Walla Walla, WA): Loss of National Archives in Northwest unacceptable.
- WSHS: Washington State Historical Society releases statement on NARA Seattle closure.
- Q13 Fox on YouTube: Losing our local history? Elected leaders launch fight to save NARA at Seattle.
- CoSA and SAA: CoSA and SAA issue statement opposing NARA Seattle closure.
- KIRO 7: National Archives’ Seattle office expected to close, prompting backlash.
- Q13 Fox: Losing our local history? Elected leaders launch fight to save National Archives at Seattle.
- Yahoo News: See other federal properties designated to go on the market.
- Senator Patty Murray: Senator Murray decries proposed closure of Seattle Federal Archive Building.
- KING 5: Expected closure of National Archives’ Seattle office sparks backlash.
- My Northwest and KIRO: AG Bob Ferguson weighs legal action over Seattle National Archives closure.
- My Northwest: MyNorthwest.com’s announcement of the closure.
- NARA: NARA’s statement on closure.
- Anchorage Daily News: Decision to close National Archives at Seattle deals a blow to tribes, historians in Pacific NW and Alaska.
- The Cascadia Advocate: Northwest tribes not consulted as required by Executive Order 13175
- Seattle Times: ‘Terrible and disgusting’: Decision to close NARA at Seattle a blow to tribes, historians in 4 states.
- Shoreline Area News: Seattle branch of the National Archives being closed with scant notice.
- Seattle Times: Seattle Times Opinion: Save National Archives at Seattle.
- Museums Alaska: Advocacy alert: National Archives in Seattle
- Washington State Genealogical Society: Closing Seattle National Archives.
- Historical Research Associates, Inc.: President/CEO Emily Greenwald opposes closure of NARA Seattle.
- Puyallup Tribe of Indians: Puyallup sends letter to OBM opposing NARA closure.
- Port Gamble S'Klallam Tribe: Port Gamble S'Klallam Tribe sends letter to OBM opposing NARA closure.
- American Historical Association: Letter of conern about the proposed closure and sale of NARA Seattle.
- Daily KOS: The National Archives, in the news again... or were they?
- My Northwest: Officials, historians slam ‘horrendous’ plan to close Seattle National Archives.
- Federal News Network: Advisory panel recommends putting 12 high-value federal properties up for sale.
- Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter: Genealogical Forum of Oregon objects to Seattle NARA closure.
- Alaska Historical Society: Immediate action required: Proposed closure of NARA in Seattle.
From the Office of the Secretary of State
- Congress: View letter to the OMB director signed by 16 members of Congress.
- NARA: View the tribal collections impacted by the closure in Washington, Alaska, Oregon, and Idaho
- OMB: Official OMB Approval of Updated PBRB Submission, January 26, 2020
- PBRB: Official Updated PBRB Submission to OMB, December 27, 2019
- OMB: Official OMB Response to PBRB Submission, November 27, 2019
- PBRB: Official PBRB Submission to OMB, October 31, 2019
- PBRB website: https://www.pbrb.gov/