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National Archives records stored in Anchorage bound for Juneau, Seattle

Dermot Cole

About a quarter of the records stored in the National Archives office in Anchorage are being transferred to the state archives in Juneau, the head of the National Archives told Sen. Lisa Murkowski Friday.

The transfer includes court records from territorial days and documents concerning the history of the Alaska Railroad, archivist David Ferriero wrote to Murkowski.

He said it would "provide researchers with a single, centralized repository of Alaskan court records in the state archives at Juneau."

Dean Dawson, the state archivist, said the records are to be moved this summer into new storage facilities that are part of the $139 million State Library Archives and Museums complex.

He said there are already many territorial court records at the Juneau facility and the transfer would have long-lasting benefits.

"This is great news for future generations of researchers as well as for current researchers," Dawson said.

The documents include birth and marriage records, mining paperwork and other legal paperwork.

The balance of the federal and territorial records stored in Anchorage by the National Archives and Records Administration would be moved to Seattle this summer as part of a plan to close the Anchorage facility.

The court records consist of about 1,800 cubic feet of documents, while the railroad documents add up to about 1,250 cubic feet.

About 9,000 cubic feet of other records are to be sent to Seattle.

Alaska's congressional delegation objected to the closing of the Anchorage building and asked that the documents remain in Alaska.

Murkowski said in a press release that she continues to support the idea of retaining additional records in the state.

The archives are accepting comments from Alaskans on what priority should be given to documents for digitizing and copying.

Dermot Cole can be reached at dermot@alaskadispatch.com.


By DERMOT COLE
dermot@alaskadispatch.com