State Hires Archivist to Sort EVOS Lawsuit Files

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Jay Barrett/KMXT

The State Archive in Juneau is embarking on a project to sort and catalog the millions of documents associated with the state of Alaska’s lawsuit against Exxon over the 1989 Valdez Oil Spill. A federal grant of $109,000 will allow the state to hire a project archivist to do the appraisal and organization of the documents, which will eventually be put online.

Larry Hibpshman is the senior archivist at the state archive office in Juneau.

— (EVOS 1 26 sec "We will appraise the records … available to anyone worldwide.")

The documents, which take up about 6,000 standard file storage boxes, include everything the state department of law compiled during the litigation process:

— (EVOS 2 23 sec "There were multiple lawsuits … in state and federal court.")

Also among the approximately 8-million documents are witness affidavits and material generated by the defendants in the case.

Hibshman says the federal grant is for two years, and will run through the end of September 2013.

— (EVOS 3 35 sec "The first year we expect to be … work on that as well.")

To help guide the sorting of the documents, the state archive has created a task force of community members from areas that were affected by the 11-million gallon oil spill.

— (EVOS 4 31 sec "Many of the people were … who are on that task force.")

The progress of the project can be tracked online, and Hibpshman says he welcomes interaction with the public on it. We have a link to the project website on our site: KMXT.org.

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