8/30/2011 Damages from Earthquake Closes DC Area Archives

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We’ve just been advised that the Washington National Records Center in Suitland, MD will be closed on August 30 and 31, 2011 due to damages suffered from last week’s earthquake. Court clerks are accepting archive requests but they are not providing estimates of when the records will be returned.

According to the Washington Post, “The earthquake and its aftershocks cracked and spilled masonry in the internal walls and stairwells, left a small water leak in a stack area and destabilized some shelving in a vault, Archives officials said Friday.

Masonry debris fell in internal stairways and some stack aisles. Several rows of shelving holding records shifted during the quake, crushing some boxes of records.

The good news: The Archives has determined that there is no known permanent damage to any records.

The Washington National Records Center in Suitland, is one of the largest records centers in the huge Archives system. It stores about 4 million cubic feet of records in 20 stack areas.

The records center guards the most diverse collection of records in the federal program, according to Archives officials.”

The archives should open again on September 1st, but we will keep you advised if further delays are announced.

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