Issue Briefs & Position Statements

Recommendations on Federal Archives and Records Management Issues

This document was prepared for the Trump Presidential Transition Team by the Council of State Archivists, the National Association of Government Archives and Records Administrators, the Regional Archival Associations Consortium, and the Society of American Archivists.
December 9, 2016

Statement on Developing and Maintaining a Strong State Archives (with best practice resources)

State archives have an essential statutory role in each state and territory in the United States that is fundamental to the effective and transparent operation and management of government.  State archival programs ensure preservation of records that document functions and actions of government; maintain public accountability and support transparency; protect and support the rights of the individuals; furnish public access to government records, and provide evidence of the past to support the work of government and the interests of it citizens.

The statement has been endorsed by the Society of American Archivists and the Regional Archival Associations Consortium.

This document identifies minimal criteria that should be supported by state and territorial governments and includes useful resources to help agencies meet the criteria. 

Approved by the CoSA Board of Directors August 12, 2014; amended August 11, 2014; resources added April 5, 2018.


Joint Statement on Access to State and Local Records

June 2016:  We are pleased to announce the endorsement of the Joint Statement by the Records and Preservation Access Committee.  The Records Preservation and Access Committee (RPAC) is sponsored by the Federation of Genealogical Societies, the National Genealogical Society, and the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies, and supported by the Association of Professional Genealogists (APG), the Board for Certification of Genealogists (BCG), the American Society of Genealogists (ASG), and the International Commission for the Accreditation of Professional Genealogists (ICAPGen).  

Joint Statement_Access to State and Local Records_Final.pdf

March 2016

NHPRC Draft Strategic Plan Comments

Approved Plan, 2016

Submitted by CoSA to NHPRC January 28, 2016.

CoSA Response to NHPRC Revised Strategic Plan.pdf

Submitted by CoSA to NHPRC in September 2015.

NHPRC Draft Strategic Plan Comments.pdf

A New Librarian of Congress: Qualities of a Successful Candidate

 A New Librarian of Congress.pdf
Joint Statement Approved by CoSA and the Society of American Archivists, August 2015

Joint Statement on Conducting Public Business in Non-Government Email Accounts

The Council of State Archivists, the National Association of Government Archives and Records Administrators (NAGARA), and the Society of American Archivists (SAA) have issued a joint statement on the use of non-government email accounts for conducting public business.

View and download the Joint Statement.

Issue Brief: Adequate Funding of Government Archives and Archival Programs 

Adequate Funding of Government Archives and Archival Programs.pdf

Digital Access Partnerships

A number of nonprofit and for-profit entities are actively pursuing contracts with state and local archives to allow them to digitize public records in order to make these records available online. The Council of State Archivists has developed a Statement on Digital Access Partnerships to provide guidance to government archivists who are negotiating these contracts in order to ensure that their provisions reflect the long-term best interests of the records and their users.

Download the Digital Access Partnerships PDF.

Sale of Public Records on eBay

The Council of State Archivists has noted with concern the frequency with which state and local government records are offered for sale. CoSA is renewing its efforts to provide guidance to state and local government agencies and to the public in order to clarify laws and ensure that government records are handled properly.

February 2004

Joint Statement on Sale of Historical Records on eBay.pdf

Statements in Support of State Archives

Society of American Archivists, Statement on the Importance of Supporting State Archival Programs

American Association for State and Local History, Support of State and Local History Agencies in America: A Statement of Concern, 2003

History Relevance Campaign

The History Relevance Campaign is a diverse group of history professionals posing questions about what makes the past relevant today. The Campaign serves as a catalyst for discovering, demonstrating, and promulgating the value of history for individuals, communities, and the nation.

The History Relevance Value Statement.pdf

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