Archive looks to expand in Anchorage

Posted: Monday, July 22, 2002

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- The National Archives and Records Administration wants a new, bigger home in Anchorage.

It moved a step closer to that goal last week when a bill passed in the Senate Appropriations Committee containing Sen. Ted Stevens' request for $3.75 million to buy land.

The current facility, at 654 W. Third Ave., accepts only historical records. Alaska agencies have to send their newer documents to Seattle for temporary storage. The new center would house both temporary and permanent archives.

The money to purchase land is part of the Senate spending bill for the Treasury Department and other government agencies. After it passes in the Senate, it must be reconciled with the House version.

Last year, 3,450 visitors used the Anchorage facilities for microfilm research. Another 585 went to examine texts or photographs.

A new location has not yet been chosen, archive officials said.

Considering the state's small population, the Alaska archive center is one of the busiest in the country, according to Stevens' office.

The Mt. Edgecumbe school records, for example, are often sought, the archivists say. Mt. Edgecumbe used to be a Bureau of Indian Affairs boarding school attended by Alaska Natives from across the state.

Former students seek school transcripts for the archive when applying to school or for jobs.

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