District leaders are considering a major funding plan to help preserve and showcase what some call hidden treasures.
The DC Archives and Public Records are currently stored inside a small building in the Shaw neighborhood of Northwest. The building was first constructed to be a horse stable in 1880 and became the city's archives in the 1980s.
Those who run the facility say it needs serious improvements in order to preserve the historic records inside. There is also an effort to convert a portion of the building into a public museum.
The documents stored inside date back to 1790. There are slavery records, police investigations from major District events, and documents from well-known Americans, including Frederick Douglass and President George Washington.
Secretary of the District of Columbia, Cynthia Brock-Smith, estimates the renovations to the current building or a new facility will cost more than $40 million. Mayor Vincent Gray is asking for $4 million in next year's budget to come up with a plans and designs.