Press/Journalists

Press Release
August 28, 2007

New Archives Facility for National Archives - Central Plains Region

More Information

  • Central Plains Region
  • Current facility remains open to the public, M-F, 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
  • Regional Administrator, Reed Whitaker 816-268-8031

Kansas City, MO…Archivist of the United States Allen Weinstein announced today that the National Archives Central Plains Region in Kansas City will move to a new facility in the Union Station complex. The move is expected to take place in late 2008.

"This new facility offers easy public access in the heart of Kansas City. It is also an opportunity for the National Archives, working in partnership with the community, to highlight our extensive research services," said Archivist of the United States Allen Weinstein. "We will be able to feature innovative outreach efforts through student training programs, civic education, special events, and other learning experiences that invite broad public participation and promote civic literacy."

The new Central Plains Regional Archives facility will be located in the former Adams Express building, a part of the Union Station complex. Under the supervision of the General Services Administration, the historic building will be renovated and then leased to the National Archives. Upon completion, the Central Plains Region will then move from its present facility at the Bannister Road Federal Complex, where it has been since 1969.

Treasures of the Central Plains Region include records relating to the milestone Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka decision, Wild West showman "Buffalo Bill" Cody, President Ulysses S. Grant, and Walt Disney which are among the 50,000 cubic feet of records in its holdings. In commenting on the move, Professor Weinstein said, "The Central Plains Region will serve as a focal point for promoting greater appreciation of the region's role in American History. The new facility will allow us to better showcase the treasures that we hold in trust for our citizens."

One of fourteen Regional Archives, the Central Plains Region holds Federal records from Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, along with select material from Minnesota and the Dakotas. Among its holdings are original records of the U.S. District Courts, U.S. Attorneys, Bureau of Prisons, Steamboat Inspection Service, Bureau of Indians Affairs, Corps of Engineers, U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, National Parks Service, and microfilm publications of many of the nation's most significant records.

Tom Mills, Assistant Archivist for Regional Records Services, explained that the new facility will feature state-of-the-art archival storage and public research rooms using the latest computer tools to support the work of historians, genealogists, educators, and other researchers. The facility will house archival records in a specially designed storage module with temperature, humidity, and other environmental controls to preserve the unique and priceless records.

In addition to storage and research functions, Mills explained that the National Archives will work with regional organizations and civic leaders to establish an array of public and educational programs at the new Central Plains Regional Archives. "For example, I envision an education resource center, with distance learning capacity, to host teachers and students who are using primary sources for learning experiences that meet required state and local curriculum standards." Other features include a regional history presentation area that offers discovery experiences for visitors, and a meeting center for seminars, lectures, and other events.

The Central Plains Regional Archives plans to hold a series of public meetings with representatives of regional cultural, educational, civic, and other organizations to shape an agenda for regional history and educational programs at the new Archives. Financial support for the public meetings is being provided by the William T. Kemper Foundation, the Hall Family Foundation, and the Bank of America through the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation.

The Regional Archives already works closely with the presidential libraries of Harry S. Truman, Dwight D. Eisenhower, and Herbert Hoover, which are also part of the National Archives. Other partners include Union Station, the Kansas City Public Library, National World War I Museum, Homestead National Monument of America, the Kansas State Historical Society, the State Historical Society of Iowa, and the Missouri State Archives.

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Further information about the National Archives Central Plains Region can be found online. The current Central Plains Archives at Bannister Road remains open to the public, M-F, 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Contact Regional Administrator Reed Whitaker at 816-268-8031.

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