Category Archives: File

When will the National Archives reopen?

An Update for Researchers From the Archivist (May 24, 2021)

The National Archives Building in Washington, DC. (National Archives file photo)

In late May David S. Ferriero, Archivist of the United States, announced that the National Archives launched a pilot program to test the policies and procedures that were developed for reopening. A small number of researchers were admitted to the National Archives Building in Washington, DC (Archives I) to start this process. A test launch pilot at the National Archives at College Park, MD (Archives II) was started about June 21. There is a plan to expand the opening of research room services to the rest of the research rooms over the summer, depending on local health conditions, lessons learned and best practices identified in the early stages, and availability of staff. See the update for the complete article.

Getting started in Chinese genealogy: a family historian’s step by step guide (even if you don’t speak or read Chinese) by Linda Yip

Getting Started in Chinese Genealogy Linda Yip
Linda Yip of Past-Presence.com has a new e-book, Getting started in Chinese genealogy: a family historian’s step by step guide (even if you don’t speak or read Chinese) 

Here are some of the subjects you will find in Linda’s book:
Top 15 tips for beginners in genealogy
What if the record is wrong?
9 Tips on reading Chinese when you do not read Chinese
How to find your surname in Chinese
Multiple wives
Things to know about Shee and Ah names
Exploring where you are from in China

Listen to a book review by Carly Morgan of Chinese genealogy 101 Family Tree Notebooks

Linda is giving away three copies of her new book. Enter and see if you can be one of the lucky three. The contest closes 15 March 2021. (Winners will be announced on the 16th!)

Happy reading!

Judge Blocks Sale and Closure of National Archives in Seattle

U.S. District Court Judge John Coughenour granted a preliminary injunction Friday morning to stop the sale of the National Archives at Seattle.

Coughenour said the feds could have avoided a “public relations disaster” if they had “displayed some sensitivity” to how the closure affected the Northwest.

See the complete article by Seattle Times staff reporter Erik Lacitis:

National Archives Closure Hearing – Friday, 2/12/2021 at 9 a.m. (PST)

National Archives at Seattle

There will be a hearing on the sale of the National Archives on Friday, February 12, 2021 at 9 a.m. (PST)
Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson and his team will be in federal court to ask for an injunction to immediately stop the sale.

The Zoom video version is only for the lawyers and the judge, but the public can listen in by calling (669) 254-5252, and at the prompt, put in the meeting ID: 161 786 3808.

See today’s Seattle Times article for more information.

 

Gold Medal Replicas for Chinese WW II Vets

Published on January 7, 2021 by NORTHWEST ASIAN WEEKLY, Seattle, WA

The Chinese American Citizens Alliance-Seattle and community volunteers are planning a regional ceremony in the spring to present Chinese American World War II (CAWW2) Congressional Gold Medal replicas to each registered veteran or next of kin at no-cost. The Virtual Chinese American World War II Veterans Congressional Gold Medal Ceremony was held last month. For more information, please contact info@cacaseattle.org.

The CAWW2 Project is continuing to accept registrations to capture, preserve, and aggregate the names of those who served in the U.S. Armed Forces—Army, Army Air Forces, Navy, Marines, Coast Guard, and Merchant Marine—and creating the only database of its kind of the achievements and contributions of Chinese Americans during WWII.

Tagging and Transcribing the Chinese Exclusion Act Case Files

Some of the Chinese Exclusion Act case files that have been digitized and need to be tagged and transcribed and YOU can help.

See the link below to get started.

https://www.archives.gov/citizen-archivist/missions/chinese-heritage

This is a great way to learn about the records and help make these records more accessible. The records are all in English.

AG Ferguson to host host remote public comment meeting on National Archives facility and records

https://www.atg.wa.gov/news/news-releases/ag-ferguson-host-remote-public-comment-meeting-national-archives-facility-and

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Dec 29 2020

Feds did not solicit input in the Pacific Northwest before deciding to sell the building and move the region’s records

SEATTLE — Attorney General Bob Ferguson today announced he will host a remote public meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2021, so the public can share their comments on plans by the federal government to sell Seattle’s National Archives building and move the records thousands of miles away.

The federal government did not hold any meetings of its own in the Pacific Northwest, and did not consult with state, local, or tribal leaders in the region prior to announcing its decision to sell the Archives facility.

One member of the Public Buildings Reform Board (PBRB) recently said the sale would allow the Archives building to “become a part of the community, as opposed to what it is today.”

The office will record the public comments and forward them to the PBRB. Ferguson will also formally invite the PBRB members to attend the remote public hearing. The public meeting will be held via Zoom from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Jan. 19, 2021.

Zoom link: https://atg-wa.zoom.us/j/83852186385?pwd=amIvSHA4MHJJdzRVcDgzRSthQjdpQT09

Meeting ID: 838 5218 6385

Passcode: 426894

Phone: 253-215-8782, 838-521-863-85#

Find your local number: https://atg-wa.zoom.us/u/kBnoJrmI5

Individuals with questions about the meeting or looking to provide assistance with the case should use this form.

“The federal government continues its complete indifference for the communities, tribes and individuals impacted by its plan to sell the National Archives facility and export archival records out of the region,” Ferguson said. “The bare minimum American taxpayers should expect is the ability to provide public comment before bearing the brunt of important government actions that cannot be undone. Unfortunately, in this matter, the federal government utterly failed to meet that low bar, which is why my office is forced to do it for them. I’m inviting Washingtonians to tell the federal government what this building, and the millions of records it houses, means to them and their communities.”

On Thursday, Dec. 4, Ferguson announced that his office recently uncovered a dramatic change in the plan for the proposed sale of the National Archives building buried in a 74-page meeting minutes document from October. During the October meeting, the PBRB disclosed that it would move to immediately sell the Archives facility, along with a “portfolio” of other federal properties, in early 2021. It had planned on selling the properties individually over the next year.

Ferguson’s legal team is finalizing a lawsuit to stop the federal government from proceeding with an expedited sale of the National Archives facility in Seattle.

Additionally, Ferguson’s office already filed four lawsuits seeking access to public records about the PBRB’s decision. Judge Robert S. Lasnik of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington will preside over the four cases. On Dec. 10, Ferguson filed a motion for summary judgment in the records case against the PBRB.

Decision to sell the Seattle National Archives building

Last year, the PBRB identified a dozen federal properties around the U.S. as “High Value Assets” and recommended their sale in a manner that will “obtain the highest and best value for the taxpayer” and accomplish the goal of “facilitating and expediting the sale or disposal of unneeded Federal civilian real properties.” Among those properties — many of which involved abandoned or unused warehouses or buildings — was the National Archives building in Seattle, a building housing critical historical documents of the Pacific Northwest, including extensive tribal records. No local, state or tribal officials were consulted in its initial selection.

In January, OMB approved a recommendation from the PBRB to sell the building on Sand Point Way in Seattle. The board’s recommendation included removing the contents of the Seattle archives and relocating them to facilities in Kansas City, Mo., and Riverside, Calif.

The Seattle archives contain many records essential to memorializing Washington’s history, including tens of thousands of records related to the Chinese Exclusion Act, records of the internment of Japanese Americans, and tribal and treaty records of federally recognized tribes throughout the Northwest. Researchers, historians, genealogists and students routinely use these records.

Washington’s tribal leaders, historians and members have noted the federal government has excluded them from most discussions on selling the building and moving documents — many of which are the only tribal treaties or maps in existence — more than a thousand miles away. Notably, tribal officials were never consulted regarding the proposed sale notwithstanding agency tribal consultation policies requiring such consultation.