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Council of State Archivists

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.

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Sustaining the Future

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to help state and territorial government archives with their responsibilities for protecting the rights and historical documents of the American people.

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Our Mission & Vision

Using collaborative research, education and advocacy, the Council of State Archivists provides leadership that strengthens and supports state and territorial archives in their work to preserve and provide access to government records.

State Electronic Records Initiative

CoSA launched the State Electronic Records Initiative (SERI) in 2011 to focus on improving management, preservation, and access to state and territorial government electronic records in all 56 states and territories.  CoSA's SERI Steering Committee manages and oversees the work of the initiative, working with volunteers from state and territorial archives throughout the nation to collectively improve electronic records management and digital preservation for state and territorial governments.

Advocacy for Archives

CoSA advocates for advancing the needs of our members to stakeholders and the public by acting as a clearinghouse for information, participating in policy and funding discussions, developing advocacy and awareness messages, and working in partnership with counterparts in allied organizations. Prominent in this work is the CoSA Advocacy Committee.

Resources & Research

CoSA is seen as the source of reliable information about state archives and government records. CoSA regularly undertakes research on state archives issues ranging from electronic records management and digital preservation needs to advocacy. CoSA continues to expand its research and publication emphasis, and invites corporate sponsors to support report design and dissemination. CoSA uses the strength of collaboration and partnership to leverage resources, share expertise, and to solve problems.

Education & Training

CoSA’s education and training programs respond to member needs and focus on improving state archival programs, no matter their size or level of operation. Noteworthy among them is the flagship State Electronic Records Initiative (SERI). Smaller-scale education and networking occurs in annual meetings, monthly member and SERI webinars, listserv exchanges, the Awards Program, and the monthly newsletter.

Latest Activity

Discover our Latest News & Blogs

Latest Activity

Blog Posts

  • By Lori Ashley CoSA’s Digital Preservation Capability Self-Assessment survey is a high-level framework of requirements from ISO 14721 and ISO 16363. ...

  • By Lori Ashley CoSA’s Digital Preservation Capability Self-Assessment survey is a high-level framework of requirements from ISO 14721 and ISO 16363. ...

  • by Veronica Martzahl and Lori Ashley CoSA’s Digital Preservation Capability Self-Assessment survey is a high-level framework of requirements from ISO ...

  • Blog Entry

    CoSA is grateful for our friends at the Government Publishing Office (GPO) sharing with us their work on standards and accreditation in this two part interview. ...

  • Blog Entry

    CoSA is grateful for our friends at the Government Publishing Office (GPO) sharing with us their work on standards and accreditation in this two part interview. ...

Events/Webinars


  • Archives Responding to Outside Needs

    Dec 9, 02:00 PM - 03:00 PM (ET)
    Presented by: Kathy Craughwell-Varda (Connservation ConneCTion) Rachel Onuf (Vermont Historical Records Program) State Archives are often the go-to organization for advice on all things archival. How do these archives respond to outside needs? In Connecticut, funding from NHPRC enabled the State Records Advisory Board to create a series of programs over the past five years to address archival basics. But the local heritage organizations wanted more on digitization. How did Connecticut State Archives respond? In Vermont a similar situation arose among historical societies and museums. The Vermont SHRAB has responded to local institutions’ requests for advice through the Vermont Historical Records Program, which provides workshops and training as well as site visits.” No technical expertise is required. #SERIWebinar ​

  • Shop Talk Webinar with AVP: Digital Preservation Maturity Assessments: DIY and DPGo!

    Dec 9, 03:00 PM - 04:00 PM (ET)
    Performing digital preservation maturity self-assessments against standards such as the NDSA Levels of Digital Preservation, ISO 16363, or the Digital Preservation Coalition's Rapid Assessment Model can be a daunting task. AVP regularly performs assessments of this nature for organizations of all sizes, and can speak to these challenges from a first-person perspective with real-life examples. Amy Rudersdorf, Senior Consultant with AVP, will provide her insights into how organizations can plan for and execute their own internal self-assessments using tools like those noted above. Rudersdorf will also introduce AVP's newest, low-cost digital preservation assessment service called DPGo! #CoSAWebinar ​

  • Shop Talk Webinar with Preservica: Innovations and a look at Starter Plus

    Dec 14, 03:00 PM - 04:00 PM (ET)
    This Shop Talk session will feature an exploration of the newest technical innovations in Preservica’s digital preservation platform and provide an opportunity to hear from some of the 2021 CoSA Starter Plus cohort, to learn about their digital preservation journeys and tour their growing digital repositories. Features added to the Starter portfolio of solutions this year and plans for 2022 enhancements will also be shared. Preservica’s Gareth Bennett- Saas Product Marketing Manager, will demonstrate Twitter harvesting and preservation now available in the latest software release. Preservica’s Gareth Aitken – VP, Commercial Strategy, will share the roadmap being used to identify requirements and beta test the integration of preservation capabilities with the M365 ecosystem. #CoSAWebinar ​

  • 2022 Digital Preservation Capability Self-Assessment Launch, a SERI webinar

    Jan 11, 02:00 PM - 03:00 PM (ET)
    Presented by: Lori Ashley, Principal – Tournesol Consulting The self-assessment survey based on the Digital Preservation Capability and Maturity Model (DPCMM) is a metric by which CoSA members have been able to measure their digital preservation programs since 2012. Results of the self-assessment help to benchmark capabilities to preserve and provide access to permanent electronic government records as well as develop action plans for improvements. As the third self-assessment survey rolls out, we will discuss the history of the model, tips for understanding the component capabilities, and what we have learned from past surveys and hope to learn from the 2022 survey. No technical experience is required. #SERIWebinar ​

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