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A message from the archivist community in regards to an archive in Los Angeles that is in need of attention.  Please see message below.


Ilona N. Koti | Principal Consultant 
MLS, MS IM, CRM, PMP, CDIA+, CC
Mobile: 408 705-8253 | [log in to unmask] 
ARK-IGC - Information Governance Consulting



-----Original Message-----
From: via [mailto:[log in to unmask]] 
Sent: Saturday, October 24, 2015 12:06 AM
To: SAA Issues & Advocacy Roundtable Discussion List
Subject: [issues-advocacy] Help Save the Port of Los Angeles Archives!

My name is Nicholas Beyelia and I am a recently graduated MLIS student in need of help. The archive where I used to work, The Los Angeles Harbor Department Archives, has been closed down by L.A. Harbor Administration. The Port of Los Angeles Archives was founded in 2010 and represented the first attempt to preserve and protect over 100 years of historical records. In 2014, the newly elected mayor of Los Angeles appointed a new Harbor administration that did not appreciate the fact that it costs money to operate an archive and, subsequently shut it down. This closure was done clandestinely, without input from the community. The records were moved from a building that had been retrofitted to be a proper archival facility to a 100 year old warehouse that has no climate controls, suffers from bug infestations and feral cats who regularly enter the building and urinate on records boxes.

After thoroughly documenting the events and consulting with archivists and historians, I have decided to step forward and make this issue public. With the help of a group of local public historians, we have created an online petition that I will submit to the Harbor Administration. It is my hope that they will either reinstitute a program to preserve their historic documents (and hire a qualified individual to care for them) or transfer them to a local University. I know that this will only happen if the commission feels pressure from the public. 

I am asking that members of this group will consider signing this petition, if only to let the commission and the Executive Director know that what has been done is unacceptable. More information about this situation (including an open letter I have written, a link to the online petition and some details of the history that could be lost) can be found here:

http://www.lavatransforms.org/video/port-of-los-angeles-archive/

Thank You,
Nicholas

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