The following is a copy of a letter sent to the U.S. Office of Management & Budget by Vince Patton, President of the Genealogical Forum of Oregon, and republished in this newsletter with the permission of Mr. Patton:
Russell T. Vought
Office of Management & Budget
725 17th Street N
Washington DC 20503
Dear Mr. Vaught,
I am writing on behalf of the Board of Directors and the 1075 members of the Genealogical Forum of Oregon to register our strong objections to the planned closure of Seattle’s National Archives facility.
The decision to close this federal repository of public records was made in complete secrecy, with no input from the public or any other government entities in the region. No local hearings or requests for feedback were held in Washington, nor in Alaska, Idaho, Montana or Oregon.
The Seattle National Archives and Records Center holds records, mostly un-digitized, starting in the 1840’s for the five NW states. These records are vital public documents for anyone researching American history.
No consideration of the importance of maintaining archival resources in the Pacific was made. The National Archives goals do not appear to include keeping local resources close to their origin and where most use will occur. We must ask, “Why not?”
It is vital these record are kept in our region and remain accessible. Transferring records relevant to the Pacific Northwest to a records center in Kansas City, Missouri, effectively bars access to those to whom the records are most relevant.
We urge you to keep Northwest records where they will be most used, and to keep the expert archives staff who specialize in Pacific Northwest records.