In April of 2014, Susan Karren, director of the National Archives at Seattle, was given 24 hours notice that an announcement was going to be coming out of Washington D.C. that the National Archives in Anchorage were going to be transferred to Seattle in a cost-cutting move. Over the course of the next few months, and amidst the fervor of proud Alaskans loudly lamenting the move, Karren and her staff worked with the Archives staff in Alaska to determine the proper handling of some 23,000 cubic feet of records.
Some items (such as territorial court records and Alaska Railroad records) would stay in Alaska, and needed to be handed over to several different approved sites in Juneau, Fairbanks, and Anchorage. The decision was made to ship by sea rather than overland, because it was faster and cheaper, so the rest of the Archives needed to be made move-ready before the end of summer, in order to avoid Alaska’s notoriously stormy winter seas. (more…)