Wyman Hopes U.S. Archives In Seattle Can Remain Open

Feb 3, 2020

National Archives in Seattle
Credit Archives.gov

The federal Office of Management and Budget, or OMB, says keeping the National Archives and Records Administration office open in Seattle is costing too much money.

It wants to shut the Seattle facility down and move the archived materials to California and Kansas City.

That doesn’t sit too well with Washington Secretary of State Kim Wyman, who says the archive is important because it's a treasure trove of historic data including census records, maps, photos, and land records.

“You have state agencies that might be doing a report or trying to find documentation for litigation or lawsuit. Staff or students from universities doing research, scientists, tribal leaders or genealogists looking for information on their family can come to this archives,” she said.

Wyman says none of the materials have been digitized and so are not available online. She says if the materials are moved, people would have to travel thousands of miles to access them.

Wyman is asking the OMB to reconsider the plans to move the materials. She has also sent a letter asking the state’s congressional delegation to work with the Public Buildings Reform Board to find a way to keep the office open.