Murkowski: Alaska to Keep Territorial Records

Senator: Records are Part of the Fabric of our State History

Senator Lisa Murkowski today welcomed the news from the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) that NARA will transfer approximately 92 percent of its Territorial Court Records holdings to the Alaska State Archives.  These are records that pre-date statehood and include court proceedings; birth, death and marriage records; mining and other property records; and more.

“Alaska’s Territorial Court Records reveal part of the fabric of our state’s history, and should not be ripped out of the state whose opening chapters they tell.  I thank the Archivist of the United States for taking the time to listen to Alaska’s requests and realize that these records, which document Alaskan lives and state functions, should not be relocated 1,500 miles from those who rely on them to research family history, land claims, and other important facets of Alaska’s history.

NARA wrote to Senator Murkowski today (letter attached) and shared their decision that most of the Alaska Territorial Court Records will be transferred over to the State Archives.  NARA is preparing the legal documents to formalize the transfer of these Territorial Court Records, along with the Alaska Railroad Corporation records that NARA is contractually obligated to turn over to the state.

Senator Murkowski continues to advocate to NARA on behalf of various state agencies and other stakeholders that other NARA records be left in Alaska.  For those records that NARA ultimately decides must remain under their protection, NARA is accepting Alaskans’ priorities for digitizing records at digitization@NARA.gov