FROM THE ARCHIVES
A Chance Donation Helps Fill a Gap in the National Archives
February 01, 2018
By Sara Piasecki, Archivist
I'm always talking about the new collections we're adding, but we don't keep everything that walks in the door. In fact, two of the four donations that have come in this year have been offered to other institutions. Most recently, a community member brought in a bound volume of telegrams from the turn of the (last) century, which his father-in-law had picked up in Bethel over 50 years ago. As I looked at it, I realized the telegrams had been received by the U.S. Customs House in St. Michael between 1909 and 1920, making the book a federal record. I checked with our colleagues down at the National Archives in Seattle, and sure enough, they have a gap in Record Group 036 where these telegrams should go. So, as interesting as it is to read about (for example) the warrant out for two French women wanted in Fairbanks (one pock-marked), this volume is heading down south.