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Release Date: 01/07/14
Contacts: Davida Carnahan , 202-912-7713 ,

BLM Land Title Records Scheduled For Cleaning

SPRINGFIELD, Va.—The Bureau of Land Management Eastern States (BLM ES)began working with a contractor to remove mold and dust from land title records. These records, dating back to the early 1800s, are valuable resources for title companies, historians, and genealogists. Work to clean them began on January 6, 2014 and is expected to be completed in early February. Public access to some of the records will be limited during this time.     

 The BLM ES houses the original land records for most of the United States dating back to the Land Ordinance Act of 1785 which authorized the transfer of public lands into private ownership. The BLM ES contracted with Barco Enterprises, Inc., White Marsh, Md., to clean the documents which include original survey plats and field notes, patents, swamp patents and railroad grants. The work is being conducted at the BLM Eastern States Office, 7450 Boston Blvd, Springfield, Va.    

This restoration project will require a controlled and sanitized environment, making the documents inaccessible while the contractor is on site. Since 1989, however, the BLM has been working on an automation project making millions of these documents available on-line at

The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM's mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. In Fiscal Year 2015, the BLM generated $4.1 billion in receipts from activities occurring on public lands.

Last updated: 01-28-2014