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Documenting government | Promoting history | Securing rights
October 2016


2016-2017 ARM Survey

It is once again time to collect data for the 2016-17 Archives and Records Management Survey.  This biennial survey is an important information and planning tool, but it is only as valuable as your participation.  We appreciate the time and effort you and your staff put into filling out the survey -- it's a big job!  This year's survey review team (Jelain Chubb, John Dougan, and Sandy Treadway) has made some changes with the hope of streamlining the process.
Please submit your completed survey by Wednesday, November 23rd, in order that we have enough time to tabulate and publish the responses by the end of the first quarter of 2017.
On behalf of the survey review team and the CoSA Board, thank you in advance for participating in the 2016-17 ARM Survey.

CoSA SERI E-Records Day Webinar

Do you use a mobile device as part of your normal work? How about social media? Does your organization have a Facebook page or Twitter feed? Has anyone in your organization given thought for the records that might exist in those technologies? And how exactly are you supposed to manage those records even if you have identified them?
If these questions sound familiar be sure to join the Council of State Archivists for a free webinar on Electronic Records Day, 10/10/16. In this webinar Jim Cundy from the Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives will discuss challenges and solutions related to mobile devices and social media in the government workplace. After that, Kris Stenson from the Oregon State Archives will present an introduction to Electronic Records Management Systems, including what they are and the many benefits they can provide government agencies.
The live webinar will be held on Oct. 10th, 2016 at 3:00 PM EDT.  Space is limited, so be sure to register ahead of time at
If you miss out on the live webinar a recorded version will be made available for later viewing. For more information about Electronic Records Day visit, or email CoSA at

Talk about E-Records Day on Twitter using #ERecsDay

For a complete list of resources, please visit the Electronic Records Day Promotional Materials page.

Barbara Teague Takes SERI Position

I’m very pleased to share the exciting news that, starting on October 1, I’ll start work as a contractor for CoSA, to help finish the IMLS education grant and to write an analysis of CoSA’s six year involvement in the State Electronic Records Initiative.  CoSA and the SERI steering committee are planning to apply for several grants to support SERI activity in the future, so I will be helping with that effort as well, all from the comfort of my home office in Frankfort, Kentucky.
I was President of CoSA when we started SERI, so I have a great personal interest in continuing the success of SERI for the benefit of all state and territorial archives.  You’ll be hearing more from the SERI Steering Committee (and me) over the next few months, as we work on “The State of State Electronic Records” report, and continue plans for SERI’s future.

2017 CoSA Member Webinar Theme and Schedule Announcement

The 2017 theme for the CoSA Member Webinars is Grant Planning and Management.  Due to the overwhelming popularity of the 2016 advocacy webinar, 2017 will also see the addition of an annual feature webinar focused on advocacy.  The schedule will follow the usual schedule of the fourth Thursday of the  month at 3pm Eastern.

26 January: CoSA on Tap for 2017
23 February: SHRAB Town Hall
23 March: Advocacy
27 April: Grants Kick-Off – Grants Available
25 May: Grants Planning/Grants Management
22 June: Sustaining the Program
27 July: Annual Meeting Wrap-up     
24 August: Budgeting for Grants
28 September: SHRAB Town Hall   
26 October: Managing the Unexpected in Grant Funded Projects  

CoSA Featured in NASCIO Blog Post

On 16 September, NASCIO Director of Government Affairs Yejin Cooke interviewed Tricia Smith-Mansfield, Tim Baker and Anne Ackerson for a blog post entitled Perspectives from Partners. 

The participants spoke at some length about the work of state archives and of CoSA. Among the questions posed to Tricia and Tim was What is important for state CIOs to know about state archives?   The group also talked about SERI and Electronic Records Day and Yejin provided links to several CoSA resources, including the Importance of State Archives, the Joint Statement on Access to State and Local Records, and ERDay materials.

Two new SHRAB grants

Two new grant opportunities are available from the NHPRC aimed at the SHRABs.

Under the umbrella of Access to Historical Records, the Archival Projects grant (applications due 6 December 2016) and Major Initiatives (preliminary applications due 19 January 2017, final deadline 12 July 2017) combines the Access, Digitization, and Electronic Records Grants into these two programs.  The upcoming October deadline for Electronic Records Grants will be the last separate deadline for that specific grant.

Archival Projects is for smaller institutions for up to $100,000 and requires a 25% cost share, dropped down from the usual 50% requirement.  This grant is aimed at smaller institutions and smaller projects.

Major Initiatives has two deadlines. The preliminary deadline requires the submission of a brief application for review and only those whose projects are selected will be invited to submit a full application due in July.  If you have not submitted a preliminary application, you cannot apply for the grant in July.  This is a large grant for up to $350,000 for up to 3 years and collaborations are encouraged.

Keeping within the areas of access, digitization, and electronic records, the NHPRC is looking for institutions to develop new ideas/tools that are innovative and shareable.  A new aspect of this grant is the inclusion of the development of virtual new collections.  Multiple institutions with similar records can create combined collections virtually allowing for researchers to access a single topic from a single site featuring the holdings of several institutions.


CoSA is offering a new service for state archivists called CoSA-On-Demand.  This service offers state archivists a forum to discuss topics of interest and current issues.  State archivists can contact CoSA when they have a topic they would like to discuss and the staff will set up a conference all line or an online meeting space.  The initiating state archivist will get all the information for starting the meeting and will be responsible for starting and moderating the discussion - no CoSA staff will be on the call with you.  This is an opportunity for state archivists to have candid and confidential conversations as a group.

If you have a topic and date you would like to have a call, please contact Anne.

Member Highlights

Keeping Kansas' Stuff: Historical society preserves 70 million pieces of paper

If the storage bays adjacent to the Kansas Museum of History serve as the state's attic, the Kansas State Historical Society's archives wing is Kansas' scrapbook and file cabinet.

"We have 70 million pieces of paper back there," said state archivist Matt Veatch as he took over a behind-the-scenes tour of the society's complex at 6425 S. W. 6th.

Historic RI documents and artifacts removed from flood-prone basement

State Officials have moved millions of historical documents and materials out of a basement that was prone to flooding, and are now seeking a permanent solution to house the state's archives.

Louisiana State Archives offers tips for salvaging flooded documents, photos

The State Archives has offered several tips for Louisiana residents trying to save flooded documents and photographs.

The State Archives, under the direction of the Secretary of State's Office, says there are several steps people can take to try to save water-logged documents and photographs as they try to salvage items from flooded homes and other buildings.

State Archives Releases “California Road Trip” the Latest Digitized Exhibit on Google Cultural Institute

The California State Archives has released “California Road Trip” their latest digital exhibit hosted by the Google Cultural Institute. The exhibit traces the early history of California’s car culture, dating all the way back to the first state highway built in 1895. The State Archives is a division of the California Secretary of State’s office. 

NC State Archives Digitizes Records of World War I Combat and Civilian Experiences

Letters recounting the full military experience of North Carolina Army, Navy, Marines and Air Force service members, one-of-a-kind American Red Cross chapter unit histories and a three volume history of the North Carolina Council of Defense - which managed rationing and War Savings Stamps - are among the many World War I era documents being digitized by the State Archives of North Carolina.

The initiative of the Military Collection of the State Archives will digitize original World War I historic materials documenting North Carolinians' role in the war at home and abroad. This project is part of North Carolina's commemoration of the centennial of America's entrance into World War I. The materials were collected during and after the war and are housed in the WWI Papers at the State Archives.

The WWI digitization effort will continue through 2018 as part of public programming by the State Archives to bring original WWI materials to a wider audience in support of public research and to provide resources for schools.

Schneiderman, NY State Archives launch website devoted to Attica uprising

  Newspaper Headline '37 Die in Attica Battle As Assault Ends Rebellion'

Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and Thomas Ruller, director of the State Archives, announced the unveiling of a new website hosting a digital collection of documents relating to the decades of successive investigations and litigation arising from the 1971 Attica prison uprising and its aftermath.

WV Archives Uses Old Method to Preserve Today's News

Joe Geiger is the director of West Virginia Archives and History. It’s his job to preserve the state’s history, to collect and store primary sources of information, like state record books, deeds and newspapers.

As technology has evolved, Geiger and his team have been forced to evolve their preservation techniques. Rather than storing old documents on film or keeping papers and photographs in temperature-controlled, dimly lit rooms, the archives team has had to answer questions like: “What will a PDF look like in 50 years?” “Will we be using jpgs anymore?” and “How can we ensure that tomorrow’s software will be able to access today’s digital documents?”

It’s not something that can be done by guess work. Making the wrong assumption today could cause the team to lose a ton of digital information in the future.

Uncover the stars and skeletons of your past at WA Ancestry Day


Venture into your past.

That is, if you dare.

“If you research your family history long enough, you’ll find saints and sinners and scalawags,” said Steve Excell, archivist at Washington State Archives. “I have an Australian convict who was sent from Kent, England, on a prison ship to Tasmania.”

Learn the tricks and traps to studying your roots at Ancestry Day in Tacoma on Sept. 24.

Rick Perry's Digital Legacy Gives Texas Archivists New Momentum

In February 2014, state archivist Jelain Chubb got the news she’d been waiting for: Gov. Rick Perry would be delivering all of the records from his unprecedentedly long tenure to the State Library and Archives Commission.

But there was a problem. While the governor’s 4,000 cubic feet of paper could be sorted, itemized, boxed and shelved alongside other state records dating back centuries, Chubb and her staff had no system in place to store thousands of gigabytes of photos, emails and audio and video recordings, much less make them available to the public. The Perry collection presented a Texas-sized challenge for a commission that had no capacity to manage the “born-digital” records — those with no paper or analog footprint.

Great Advocates: Kathleen Roe

Image result for kathleen roe

In March 2016, SAA solicited nominations for  “Great Advocates”–SAA members who inspire the field with their advocacy efforts. CoSA's own Kathleen Roe was the featured archivist for July.

Items of Interest

Upcoming Grant Deadlines

Upcoming Events

  • October - Archives Month
  • October 10: Electronic Records Day
  • October 27:  CoSA Member Webinar, Collaborative History Day Projects; representatives from California and Arkansas will discuss their History Day activities and outcomes.
  • July 12–15, 2017: CoSA/NAGARA Joint Annual Meeting, Boise, ID.
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