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Council of State Archivists (CoSA)


Sales of Public Records

The Council of State Archivists has noted with concern the frequency with which state and local government records are offered for sale. While each state has its own laws and regulations governing the sale of official government records, most prohibit such sales. To help protect both buyers and sellers from legal and financial liability, we urge people involved in sales of historical documents to exercise caution, learn more about the laws regulating these sales, and contact their state archivist if they have a question about a specific document.

CoSA's Task Force on the Sales of Public Records will be working with the National Association of Government Archives and Records Administrators (NAGARA), the Society of American Archivists (SAA), and other organizations to develop guidance for both recordkeepers and the public on this issue.

The National Archives and Records Administration is also actively involved in a similar effort to prevent the illegal sale of federal government records.