Murkowski Protecting Alaskan Historical Documents from Uncertainty

Senator Contacts National Archives to Pursue Solution Connecting Alaskans to the Past

Senator Lisa Murkowski today reached out to the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) about the planned closure of the Anchorage facility, in order to seek a fiscally-responsible solution that maintains access for Alaskans to historical documents and information.

With Alaskan media reports suggesting that the documents contained at the National Archives facility in Anchorage would be relocated to Seattle – alarming Alaskan historians and curious, casual researchers as well – Senator Murkowski wrote a letter (attached) to the Archivist of the United States, proposing an approach that would allow the government to sell other, undeveloped property in Anchorage owned by NARA, and use some of the proceeds to either digitize the materials and place them online quickly, or to develop an agreement to turn documents over to an Alaskan agency.

In her letter, she writes:

“NARA’s mission as it relates to Alaska is to ensure that Alaskans may continue to discover, use, and learn from the documentary heritage that affects our state and the actions of their government, and to promote civic education and historical understanding of the Alaskan experience and Alaska’s place within our nation….”

Senator Murkowski closes her letter by asking for feedback on her proposal:

“Would NARA use the proceeds to fully evaluate the materials in the Anchorage facility and either transfer the appropriate records to an Alaskan agency or expedite the digitization of the Alaska-related records so that Alaskans may maintain certain and reasonable access to our historical documents?”