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

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.


Steve was part of the Spokane Public Radio family for many years before he came on air in 1999. His wife, Laurie, produced Radio Ethiopia in the late 1980s through the '90s, and Steve used to “lurk in the shadowy world” of Weekend SPR. Steve has done various on air shifts at the station, including nearly 15 years as the local Morning Edition host. Currently, he is the voice of local weather and news during All Things Considerd, writing, editing, producing and/or delivering newscasts and features for both KPBX and KSFC. Aside from SPR, Steve ,who lives in the country, enjoys gardening, chickens, playing and listening to music, astronomy, photography, sports cars and camping.