Not every scrape of paper, piece of film or digital document generated by the federal government ought to be saved. But some are valuable, even priceless, and it appears the National Archives is not doing a good job of protecting them.
That is the conclusion of an audit by the Government Accountability Office.
The GAO reports that the National Archives has a large backlog of documents that need care if they are to be preserved.
To back up its position, the GAO noted that among documents lost by the National Archives are maps from atomic bomb missions during World War II and the patent file for the Wright Brothers airplane.
If the National Archives needs more resources to do its job, Congress should provide them.