The following announcement was written by the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration:
Suitland, MD - The National Archives announces the opening of a new Electronic Records Vault at the Washington National Records Center (WNRC) facility in Suitland, Maryland. The 976 square-foot, state-of-the-art vault will allow the National Archives, for the first time in its 73-year history, to store and service temporary electronic records for Federal agencies.
The Electronic Records Vault features a non-aqueous fire suppression system, strict environmental controls, and multiple levels of security to protect and preserve Federal electronic records. Complimenting the Electronic Records Vault is the WNRC's new media disintegrator to securely destroy Federal electronic records at the end of their retention schedule. The National Archives will also provide door-to-door pickup and delivery of electronic records for agencies in the Metropolitan Washington area.
A similar Electronic Records Vault will simultaneously come online at the National Archives new Federal Records Center in Fort Worth, Texas to service electronic records for agencies west of the Mississippi.
"The Electronic Records Vaults are an exciting project for the National Archives," said David Weinberg, Director of the National Archives Federal Records Centers Program. "Our customer agencies expressed a need to keep their electronic records safely in Federal custody throughout their life cycle, and we built the Electronic Records Vault in response to this demand. We are proud that we will be able to securely store all types of Federal electronic records the same way that we have safeguarded Federal paper records for decades."
The Washington National Records Center provides records management services to headquarters and field offices of Federal agencies located in the District of Columbia, Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia. It also serves Federal Courts located in the District of Columbia and Armed Forces worldwide. It is the first stop for Federal records after they are no longer actively used by the agency of origin. Agency records stay at the WNRC, where they are tracked through an automated database, until they are either destroyed or accepted by the National Archives as permanent records.