The Council of State Archivists (CoSA) is a nonprofit membership organization of the state and territorial government archives in the fifty states, five territories, and District of Columbia. Through collaborative research, education, and advocacy, CoSA provides leadership that strengthens and supports state and territorial archives in their work to preserve and provide access to government records. CoSA facilitates networking, information sharing, and project collaboration among its member organizations to help state and territorial government archives with their responsibilities for protecting the rights and historical documents of the American people.
State Historical Records Advisory Boards (SHRABs)
CoSA is comprised of the individuals who serve as directors of the principal archival agencies in each state and territorial government. Under regulations of the National Historical Publications and Records Commission, these individuals also serve as the State Historical Records Coordinators who chair their respective State Historical Records Advisory Boards (SHRABs).
Working collectively through their membership in CoSA, the State Archivists encourage cooperation among the states and SHRABs on matters of mutual interest, define and communicate archival and records concerns at a national level, and work with the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC), National Archives (NARA), and other national organizations to ensure that the nation's documentary heritage is preserved and accessible.
State Electronic Records Initiative
Citing the explosive growth of electronic records, CoSA began the State Electronic Records Initiative (SERI), a multi-year project in 2012 to address their long-term care and access. With major funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services and the National Historical Publications and Records Commission, CoSA evaluates and trains the state archival community in the management of this critical resource, and provides an active web-based portal of information, resources, and training opportunities.
Emergency Preparedness Initiative (EPI)
CoSA launched its Emergency Preparedness Initiative (EPI) in response to the widespread destruction of records during the 2005 hurricane season. The initiative recognizes that records are at risk from a variety of natural disasters — tornadoes, floods, earthquakes, and more — as well as from a wide range of other threats.
Intergovernmental Preparedness for Essential Records (IPER)
In 2007, the Federal Emergency Management Agency awarded CoSA $2.6 million to support its Intergovernmental Preparedness for Essential Records (IPER) project. IPER teams trained state and local government officials in every state and territory in emergency preparedness and ensuring the safety of essential records.
For more information about IPER and to access the IPER courses, visit our Emergency Preparedness page.
Closest to Home Project
The Closest to Home project reflected CoSA’s strong interest in preserving and ensuring access to local government records. The project analyzed conditions and identified services, standards, and funding strategies to serve this goal. For more information, visit our Local Government Archives Project page.
Member Webinar Series
CoSA also provides its members with monthly web conferences on topics of interest to the state archival community. To see the current webinar schedule, visit our CoSA Webinar Series page.
Every year, CoSA partners with the Society of American Archivists (SAA) and the National Association of Government Archives and Records Administrators (NAGARA) to host an annual conference featuring work sessions, networking opportunities, a business meeting, and an awards program. To view information about upcoming and past conferences, visit our Joint Annual Meeting page.
CoSA Mid-Year Briefing
Each spring, CoSA convenes a program forum in Washington, DC to update association leaders and funders on its work. Most recently, the forums have focused on the SERI project. For more information, visit our Mid-Year Briefing page.