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Documenting government | Promoting history | Securing rights
April 2016


CoSA Board Holds Mid-year Board Meeting; Makes Capitol Hill Visits

The CoSA Board convened its mid-year board meeting in Washington, DC on March 14-15th. In addition to regular monthly reports, board members finalized plans for their annual Calls to the States, affirmed ways to deepen member engagement (see links to surveys below), and strategized ways to mentor new state archivists.
The meeting was capped by a visit with David Ferriero, Archivist of the United States, and the annual stakeholder briefing, which focused on ways CoSA and allied organizations could collaborate on digital preservation and access education and advocacy. Representatives from NASCIO, NASS, CLIR, FamilySearch, NEH, American Alliance of Museums, Library of Congress, NHPRC, COSLA, and the National Genealogical Society were among the attendees.  

The board also had a very productive conversation with Dr. Kathryn Matthew, the new director of the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

While the board met, Barbara Teague, Sarah Koonts, and Jim Corridan, representing CoSA's Advocacy Committee, visited with members of Congress to discuss the work of state archives and the importance of NHPRC funding. The team, along with board members, visited with staff from the offices of Senators Mitch McConnell and Dan Sullivan, and Representatives Andy Barr, Hal Rogers, and Jason Chaffetz.

CoSA Awards Nominations - Deadline May 1st!

Now is the time to acknowledge the great work of your staff and colleagues!

Nominations for the Victoria Irons Walch Leadership Award, the Victoria Irons Walch Travel Stipend, the Advocacy for Archives Award, Rising Star, and the CoSA-NHPRC SHRAB Award of Merit are all due on 1 May 2016.

The Council of State Archivists Awards Program is sponsored byFamilySearch Logo.png

Additional SERI Scholarship Funds Available

As CoSA enters the last six months of the IMLS Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian grant that has supported our SERI education programming, we still have some remaining funds available for continuing education of staff in the state and territorial archives.  In 2016 we will spend these remaining funds on activities already supported by the grant, including scholarships for continuing education in electronic records management and preservation, as well as webinars from AIIM.
From now until May 13, 2016 you are eligible to apply for additional continuing education scholarship totaling up to $1,000.  The remaining scholarship funds are available on a first come, first served basis until the balance is spent.  We hope you will take advantage of this opportunity to secure additional continuing education opportunities for you and your staff.  Please note, that all states and territories are eligible to put in an additional scholarship application at this time.  Scholarship funds may be used for approved training that is completed and reimbursed by September 30 when the grant ends.
Scholarship applications will follow the process used during the grant.  All scholarship application forms and guidance materials can be found on the CoSA website: Completed scholarship application forms should be sent to Sarah Koonts at
Don’t forget we still have seats available in the select AIIM courses available at no cost to our members.  If you haven’t already registered for another course and have questions about this benefit, please let me know. 
We hope you are able to take advantage of these extra continuing education funds to further develop staff competencies in electronic records preservation and management.  If you have questions, please feel free to contact Sarah Koonts or Beth Shields

Archives*Records 2016

Registration is now open for the joint annual meeting of CoSA and SAA from 31 July - 6 August in Atlanta, GA.  Be sure to make your hotel reservations early so you don't miss out on the discounted rates!  The room block is open for reservations until 5 July or until the block fills, whichever comes first.

CoSA Silent Auction

Don't forget to start planning your CoSA Silent Auction donation!  Last year's auction was a success and there was a lot of bidding - especially on the chocolate and the little bottles of bourbon!  Some helpful tips for popular auction items:
  1. Think small - items that are easy to pack, or easily consumed in the course of the meeting, are more desirable.
  2. Share a taste of your state - what is unique and special about your state?  Share your state's unique stories, history, food, or drink with your colleagues!
  3. Think cool - we will be in Atlanta in August

Pop-up Proposals

The call for pop-up proposals is out for the CoSA/SAA Annual meeting in Atlanta, ARCHIVES*RECORDS 2016. 
The call is on the CoSA Annual Meeting page and also on the SAA website:
This is a change that SAA included last year at its annual meeting in Cleveland, and our CoSA program committee members were excited about it for this year.  Please consider giving it a try, if you have an idea or issue  that has “popped-up” over the last few months that would be a good topic for a short session.  You’ll also have the opportunity to vote and help choose these sessions after all the proposals are received.  We’ll send information out on this exciting opportunity to participate in selectin of these sessions later.

Input Sought on Proposed RM Regulations

NARA proposes to revise its records management regulations to reflect changes in technology, practice, and organizational structure. This is phase I of the revisions and includes changes to provisions in regulations on managing vital records, records disposition programs, general records schedules, emergency authorization to destroy records, transfer of records to records storage facilities, transfer, use, and disposition of records in a NARA Federal Records Center, and program assistance and inspections.Submit comments on or before May 9, 2016.

New joint statement from the Joint Working Group on Issues and Awareness

The Joint Working Group on Issues and Awareness recently released its most recent statement regarding public access to government records.

Puzzled about what to do for Archives Month?


It is not too early to begin planning your Archives Month activities.  SAA's helpful planning page will help spark ideas, as will CoSA's image archive of posters or the February 2016 SHRAB Town Hall webinar with Florent Hardy and Jelain Chubb talking about their Archives Month projects from 2015. 

Program Committee Surveys

CoSA is continuously trying to improve and enhance our communications with members.  We would like to add more ways to deepen member and stakeholder engagement beyond our monthly member webinars and quarterly newsletter. 

One of the ways that the Program Committee is helping CoSA do this is through building communities of practice within the CoSA membership.  Communities of practice are groups of peers who share a common concern or a passion for something they do and learn how to do it better as they interact regularly with each other – not dissimilar to the sections and round tables in SAA.  We envision that CoSA’s communities of practice would be largely self-directed and self-regulating – in other words, you choose what you want to talk about and when, and pick your own methods of communication.  To assist in our efforts to build these communities of practice, we would appreciate your time in completing the following short survey.  Please share broadly with your staff that may have an interest in or benefit from a community of practice.

Another way the Program Committee is helping the membership is by working to continue to improve CoSA’s new, integrated website by assembling and encouraging the creation of content for the website and the resource center.  One approach that the Committee is taking is working with other CoSA committees and task forces to gather any materials they may be producing suitable for the website.  The Committee would like the input of the membership on what content they would be interested in seeing on the website and in the resource center.

Existing topics in the resource center focus on those materials that were migrated from the PERTTS Portal and are thus concentrated on electronic records.  The Committee would like to expand topics and resource types to include resources on general topics, including best practices.  These resource can take the form of forms/samples, policies/guidelines, standards, and tools, preferably in document forms rather than web sites.  To assist the Committee in gathering these resources, please take a few moments to fill out the following survey.

Contribute to the CoSA Blog

Each month, CoSA staff uses the CoSA blog to highlight what's going on.  If you'd like to write a guest post, please let Donia Conn know by sending along an email to her at  We welcome posts that discuss projects and programs of interest to the state archives community.

CoSA Webinars on YouTube

CoSA is now loading its monthly webinars onto YouTube. March's popular webinar on Collaborating for Advocacy is now on our YouTube channel for those of you who missed it live.  More videos are coming so please check back often!

State of the State Archives:  This issue's highlight

The number of state archives users increase overall.  The number of person-to-person users of state archives has increased greatly over the last 20 years by approximately 40,000 and undoubtedly there are even more are using collections online as at least 31 state archives not provide access to at least half of their holdings online. To accommodate those users who still wish to access records in person, state archives were open to the public 36 hours per week on average. 

Member Highlights

Adam Jansen named Hawaii State Archivist

Adam Jansen

The Hawaii State Archives has welcomed a new State Archivist, Adam Jansen, on April 1, 2016.  Adam Jansen was most recently the Digital Archives Consultant hired by the State Archives, and now joins our organization as the new State Archivist.  His other professional roles include teaching Archival Studies at the University of Hawaii, and Deputy State Archivist at Washington State.  We look forward to his continued work with the State Digital Archives, as well as new ideas and leadership.

James Himphill one of 18 selected for Libraries, Archives, and Museums Conference Exchange

James Himphill

The Collective Wisdom: Libraries, Archives, and Museums (LAM) Conference Exchange, which is sponsored by the Coalition, will offer a unique experience and opportunity to break down barriers and support connections across libraries, archives and museums. The goal is to devise and strengthen sustainable continuing education and professional development programs that will transform the workforce in ways that lead to measurable impact on communities.

Jeffrey Kintop receives CIMA Life-time Achievement Award

Jeffrey Kintop is recognized for his 33 years of service at the Nevada State Archives in Carson City, Nevada; where he currently serves in the role of State Archivist and Acting Division Administrator.

North Carolina State Archives Treasures of Carolina exhibit featured in Archival Outlook


Schoolchildren invited to help restore Oregon Constitution: State turns 157 on Valentine's Day

In honor of Oregon’s upcoming 157th birthday on Sunday, the Secretary of State’s Archives Division invites Oregon’s schoolchildren to become a part of history by helping preserve our state Constitution and making it more accessible to the public.

This Is Jersey

Take a tour of the New Jersey State Archives with Executive Director Joseph Klett and get a rare opportunity to enter the vault - where the state's most precious artifacts and documents are held.

Springfield Library returns 'Lost' 1789 document to New Jersey State Archives


A longtime item on the "missing" list of the New Jersey State Archive has recently been returned to its rightful home in the state capital. The document, dated 7 November, 1789, is titled "An Act for the further Relief of Samuel Dowdney" and was signed by New Jersey's first governor, William Livingston.

Items of Interest

National Association of Secretaries of State Releases White Paper on Digital Records and Data Management

The National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS), in conjunction with its 2016 Winter Conference in Washington, DC, has created a new white paper designed to assist state agencies looking for practical, cost-effective solutions for digital evolution.

Developed with input from Secretaries of State, state archivists and other professionals with expertise in the tools and technology available for digital record keeping, the paper urges officials to develop a strategic plan that addresses technology and workflow issues, as well as policy making and public outreach priorities. 

Using this approach, state agencies can streamline records management practices, improve infrastructure, better secure data and reduce risk, bridge gaps between agency silos and better serve the public.

National History Day is fast approaching - be prepared!


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