Tuesday, June 30, 2009

National Archives of the Pacific Region To Be Hidden Away In Warehouse

Below is a warning from the Huntington Library's Carolyn Powell:

Notice to all researchers:

The current acting Archivist of the United States has proposed to close the Laguna Niguel branch of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) and move the materials to the Federal Record's Center in Perris (Riverside County). The Perris facility is a warehouse with no reading room. This proposal is part of a larger plan to reduce the number of National Archives branch facilities by closing some and turning others into "storefronts" with reading rooms only and off-site records storage.


NARA's Pacific Region (Laguna Niguel) has more than 35,000 cubic feet of archival holdings dating from about l850 to the l980s. In addition to textual records there are architectural drawings, maps, and photographs. These holdings were created or received by the Federal courts and over 50 Federal agencies in Arizona, southern California, and Clark County, Nevada. Federal law requires that agencies transfer permanently valuable, noncurrent records to NARA.

The National Archives facility in Laguna Niguel has been in its current location for over thirty years, since the early 1970s. From this location, researchers have easy access to National Archives records and can also conduct research at the many other archival facilities and libraries in Los Angeles, Orange, and San Diego counties.

There is no public transportation available to the facility in Perris. The current facility in Laguna Niguel is freeway-close and is serviced by the Orange County Transit Authority with connections to area Metrolink and Amtrak stations. It is 15 miles from John Wayne Airport (SNA).

The National Archives has a potential opportunity to move its Laguna Niguel facility to the proposed Orange County Great Park in Irvine, California, where it will be part of a museum district / cultural terrace. This location will be approximately 10 miles to the northwest of the current facility and will increase traffic and visibility for NARA (rather than the warehouse in Perris, which will likely do the opposite).

How You Can Help:

Write a letter of concern to: Adrienne Thomas, Acting Archivist of the United States, 8601 Adelphi Road, College Park, MD 20740-6001 (Fax: 301-837-0483).

If you live in Orange County, California, write a letter of concern to your Congressional representative as well.

Spread the news to others in the archival, historical, genealogical, and library fields to help garner support and generate more letters of concern to help keep the NARA facility in Laguna Niguel.

Contact Information:

National Archives - Laguna Niguel (Pacific Region), 24000 Avila Road, 1st Floor , Laguna Niguel, CA, 92677-3497

(949) 360-2640; laguna.archives@nara.gov; www.archives.gov/pacific/laguna/

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