Tens of thousands of old West Coast immigration records the government once sought to throw away will instead become publicly available on Tuesday at a Bay Area archive.
Photographs, letters, health records, interview transcripts and other historical documents were destined for a recycling bin or a remote Midwestern storage facility. Archivists credit the advocacy of the late U.S. Rep. Tom Lantos, D-San Mateo, and his successor, Rep. Jackie Speier, D-San Mateo, for helping to save the collection. The documents will be housed in San Bruno, at the National Archives at San Francisco, and open to the public beginning Tuesday. The records are not digitized at this time.
The roughly 40,000 files in San Bruno's new collection are specifically for immigrants or foreign visitors who were processed by immigration agents in San Francisco, Reno, Honolulu or Guam. Only pre-1910 files are currently available, but others will be released later. Another 300,000 files for the rest of the country are housed in Kansas City.
You can read more in an article by Matt O'Brien in the Mercury News at http://goo.gl/PtwG3.
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