The Oregon State Archives offers assistance to government agencies

Seal of State Archivist

Secretary of State 

Oregon State Archives
800 Summer St. 
Salem OR 97310


State Archives Available to Assist with Government Records Salvage

The Secretary of State and the Oregon State Archives would like to extend our deepest sympathy to those suffering during this impossibly difficult time. 

If you are a government employee whose building has been impacted by the wildfires, the State Archivist recommends the following actions: 

First, please make sure that you and your family are safe. Please only enter a building after you have been given the all-clear by authorities. Alert key personnel prior to entering. 

Consider your priorities. Concentrate on high value/irreplaceable records and materials. 

Materials that can be replaced should be ignored for the time being.

Make an assessment of the situation and survey damage to records. You may encounter the following potential records impact situations:

  • Completely burned and beyond salvage
  • Partially burned, but dry
  • Partially burned, but wet
  • Smoke or soot damaged
  • Not burned, but wet
  • Physically damaged from the firefighting effort
  • Heat affected
  • Depending on the type of damage and severity, treatment will vary. If the damage is from water, mold and mildew are a high risk. Recommend drying as soon as possible. Soot and ash are also very abrasive. Recommend vacuuming soot/ash rather than brushing to avoid further damage.

A list of government records with possible long-term historical value can be found here:


If you work for a non-government, historical organization, please reach out to the State Historic Preservation Office for assistance: 


Links for more reading:


If your agency has been impacted, please contact the State Archivist for assistance (contact info below). The State Archives may be able to assist with salvage or alternative storage efforts.

The State Archivist requests to be notified if public records were destroyed or damaged in order to comply with statewide reporting requirements. 


To learn more about how you can prepare for a records disaster, please consider enrolling in our virtual and free-of-charge courses coming up in October: Records Disaster Preparedness Basics and Advanced Records Disaster Preparedness.

Stephanie Clark, CRM

State Archivist

Oregon State Archives