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The much-anticipated grand opening of America's first state government digital archives occurred on October 4, 2004. The opening gala event hosted Washington State legislators, county officials, archivists from throughout the United States, as well as a delegation of regional archivists from as far away as China. Among the speakers at this prestigious event were Secretary of State Sam Reed and Lew Bellardo, Deputy Archivist of the United States.
Secretary of State Sam Reed today opened the doors of America's first government digital archives built from the ground up a facility designed to salvage critical, public records from local and state government that are born electronic. If Abraham Lincoln wrote the Gettysburg Address on a laptop we may not have it today, said Reed. Electronic records have been disappearing at an alarming rate because we've had no means to preserve them. These are records we need to make public policy, to conduct day-to-day business, and to prepare for the future.