The Fort Worth branch of the National Archives is moving it’s public facilities to a location that should make it easier for the general public to access their genealogical resources. The following excerpt is from an article by Michael H Price, printed in the January 5, 2011 edition of the Fort Worth Business Press.
Once intended as an outpost of the Cultural District, the National Archive of Fort Worth has settled on a comparably high-profile location at nearby Montgomery Plaza – the better to make its family-research programs more accessible to the general populace.
The combination of a federal research center with a busy commercial district promises to restore the popular appeal of the National Archive, whose inconvenient warehouse location at the Federal Depot in southwest Fort Worth has seen a lapse in traffic since the 1990s.
Citing a need to regain prominence in a field now dominated by Internet-based genealogy reference sites, Regional Administrator Preston Huff says the West Seventh Street area should prove an ideal location. The National Archive will open during February – date to be announced – at 2600 W. Seventh Street.
The chief attraction remains the same – extensive microfilm files – but the location is expected to see a surge in visitors from the present-day low figure of approximately 1,000 people a year. Private Internet access to various genealogy sites has caused the drop from the standing-room crowds of the 1990s.
Family-tree archivist Aaron Holt and a team of volunteers – applications are being accepted – will staff the center as guides to appropriate sources. The center will contain microfilm and digitally filed information in addition to online capabilities, with 10 computers for individual use. Such pay-per-view genealogical websites as www.ancestry.com and www.Footnote.com will be available at no charge, as a result of those sites’ research partnership with the National Archive.
The actual historic documents will not be available for close inspection at the new site. Original documents will remain on file at a new 205,000-square-foot Federal Records Center on John Burgess Drive, which has temperature-and-humidity controls in place to protect such antiquated records. Viewing at the Federal Depot site will remain available by appointment.