Greetings Fellow Family Historians and Pacific NW History Enthusiasts,
I am addressing you in this email not as the president of the Skagit Valley Genealogical Society but as a member of the genealogy community who shares your interest in our regional history. Please be clear that this email reflects my private thoughts and concerns that I wish to share with my fellow family-historian and enthusiast of local and regional history. At this time, this is not a reflection of SVGS or any other organization that I belong to.
Today, on Dick Eastman’s genealogy blog ( www.blog.eogn.com) I came across this surprise announcement (Please see PDF attached). Mr. Eastman’s article was about the Office of Management and Budget’s plans to close the National Archives and Records Administration (aka NARA) branch in Seattle. I thought you would care to be informed about this decision that was made without public input by the Office of Management and Budget.
This behind-closed doors, without public input, decision to close and move this regional archive to either Southern California or Missouri so the Office of Management and Budget can sell the property, and heavens knows what this valuable Seattle property could potentially yield for developers, perhaps building some corporate building or luxury condos, of course, o the highest bidder. To me this seems selfish, greedy and at best, short sighted.
NARA’s facility in Sandpoint, Seattle and its close proximity to the University of Washington has enabled countless academics, professional historians and researchers from the general public to publish theses, books, and a sundry of educational materials to enlighten all of us about the Pacific NW’s rich and fascinating past. Countless genealogy researchers also make the journey to Sandpoint in Seattle from across the Pacific Northwest region to make productive use of NARA’s valuable primary sources.
In 2014 17 genealogist-mentors and 17 Burlington-Edison Alternative High School seniors visited NARA in Seattle. Those students, who were at-risk for not graduating, learned so much about our state and regional history and the shear magnitude of the vast historical resources available to them and to all students of history. I know it left a lasting life-long impression on their young minds. They joined the countless visitors to NARA that left better informed, more knowledgeable about research methodology and with a deeper interest in history.
I tend to be long-winded in my writing, so I will leave off here so I do
not overstay my welcome and your attention.
Below is the contact mailing address if you wish to express your opinion about NARA Seattle staying in Seattle – not moving Washington and Alaska’s (etc) historical records and primary sources to Missouri or California where those local communities would have little to no interest in these resources.
Thank you for your time and for joining me in supporting our national and pacific northwest regional treasures housed at NARA in Sandpoint, Seattle, Washington – where they belong and for all of us to freely access and enjoy our region’s history. Please write to:
The email address for Mr. Russell T. Vought is: Russell.firstname.lastname@example.org
With my sincere appreciation,
Amateur Family Historian and History Enthusiast