The District of Columbia Archives is home to documents that tell the rich history of our nation’s capital.
Things like birth certificates, marriage certificates and wills dating back to the early 1800s are housed in the building, and it’s come to The Daily Caller News Foundation’s attention that these archives are in terrible condition.
At a March 12 meeting of the D.C. Council, members of the non-profit group Friends of the D.C. Archives told lawmakers leaky roofs and an inadequate ventilation system have caused an untold amount of damage to artifacts and paintings in the building.
“I’ve certainly heard stories of people not getting the kind of service and access to the records there that they should,” Bill Rice, a spokesman for the group, told the council. “I’m a little hesitant to say this publicly, but the security is also something that should be looked at.”
We wanted to see for ourselves just how bad the archives looked, but we were repeatedly stonewalled by numerous government agencies. After two weeks of unreturned phone calls and emails, Bill Branch, the public records administrator at the archives building, finally directed us to the Mayor’s Office of the Secretary. The secretary’s office directed us to the mayor’s communication director, Michael Czin, who promptly stopped responding to emails.
Fed up, TheDCNF decided to try it the old-fashioned way.