Parsing the State of State Records Report: Summary of Collections Part 2

Jan 24, 2020

Parsing the State of State Records Report: Summary of Collections Part 2

 By Veronica Martzahl
The last blog report looked at non-electronic holdings across state government, local government and non-governmental records. This week we are looking at electronic records in those same categories.
The total number of institutions indicating they had electronic records holdings was 41. Of these, 5 did not break-out if the records were state, local or non-governmental records. Looking at the remaining 36 respondents, all of they said they held electronic records of state or territorial government. Electronic local government records were reported by 13 responding state archives with 19 respondents indicating they have non-governmental electronic records in their collections.
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If reporting methods for non-electronic records made comparison of the increase in holding from one survey to the next difficult, it is almost impossible for electronic records. Table 39 in the Appendix presents the total electronic records holdings in gigabytes going back to the FY2012 survey (the first year this statistic was gathered. While 28 states (but no territories) have numbers for all four survey years, only 12 reported increases from each survey to the next across all four surveys. There is not even data to know what caused these changes. Are they simply reporting errors? Were the numbers consistently reported in GB or are some of these different units? Did a major change in appraisal occur and records were deaccessioned? Since digital preservation is such a core feature of our programs going forward, this is an area that needs a deeper dive and would benefit from cross-referencing to other CoSA/SERI data gathering initiatives.

Category: General News

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