Government Archives’ Online Resources Remain Available

By CoSA News posted 03-19-2020 12:00 AM


Man standing in an aisle of archive boxes.

As the nation grapples with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, many state agencies, including state archives, have temporarily closed their physical locations to the public and curtailed in-person services. While some archives are continuing to respond to reference questions by phone and email, the best place for the public to find out what’s available is to visit state archives’ websites, blogs, and social media pages. The Council of State Archivists (CoSA) maintains a directory of state and territory archives, which includes contact information and website links.

The majority of state and territory archives offer searchable online collections databases, description guides, links to outside collections and, even, exhibits. While not all state and territory archives have the same types of materials available, online visitors can expect to find an array of records at an agency’s website, including vital records, military/veterans records, and court records; African American history; photographs, archival audio files, and historic film footage. Since 2020 is the anniversary of the 19th amendment and a presidential election year, materials relating to women’s suffrage and elections might be highlighted.

Image: Delaware Public Archives