Issue Briefs & Position Statements

CoSA Advocacy Agenda, 2019 - 2022

State archives play a critical role in preserving the nation’s history and the rights of its citizens. State archival programs provide appropriate, unbiased, and effective stewardship of the historical records in their care. Consistent funding and support for the work of state archives enables them to effectively manage and make archival records widely accessible, take advantage of evolving technologies, and foster innovative projects and research.

This document outlines the focus of CoSA's advocacy work for the next four years.

Approved by the CoSA Board of Directors, February 27, 2019.


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

CoSA, National Association of Government Archives and Records Administrators (NAGARA), and the Society of American Archivists (SAA) issued a joint statement regarding the use official government email accounts for the conduct of public business.

September 2019

Download the Statement


 

NHPRC Reauthorization Letter of Support

The Council of State Archivists (CoSA), the National Association of Government Archives and Records Administrators (NAGARA), the Regional Archival Associations Consortium (RAAC), and the Society of American Archivists (SAA) issued a joint statement urging Congress to pass HR 2978 to Amend Title 44, United States Code to reauthorize the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC).

Download the NHPRC Reauthorization Letter of Support.


Statements on Texas Legislative Records

 

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 endorsed the Texas Library Association statement, HB 4181: An Assault on the Public’s Right to Know on May 1.

 

HB 4181 has been amended to include language similar to that in HB 1962, also opposed by our organizations in the following statements:  Texas Legislative Records and Texas House Bill 1962.


CoSA expresses its concern on House Bill 1962 - Committee Substitute that creates Section 441.206 of the Texas Code, changing the existing statutes governing archival records of the Texas legislature.

This document outlines CoSA's position on this proposed legislation.

 
Approved by the CoSA Board of Directors, April 8, 2019
 
Endorsed by the Society of American Archivists and the Regional Archival Associations Consortium.

Statement on Universal Broadband Access for All

CoSA joins with other national associations in asserting that access to the internet is increasingly essential for every citizen and resident. Yet, more than 30 million U.S. households do not, or cannot, use the internet at home, and more than 60 million United States residents lack digital readiness.  

 
This document outlines CoSA's support of current efforts to make broadband widely accessible.
 
Approved by the CoSA Board of Directors, February 27, 2019

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.


Statement on Autonomous Government Archives

Government archives have an essential statutory role in the United States that is fundamental to the effective and transparent operation and management of government. Government 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; make possible public access to government records; and provide evidence of the past to support the work of government and the interests of its citizens into the future.

Read the Statement

Approved by the CoSA Board of Directors, February 27, 2019.


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.


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

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

Issue Brief: Adequate Funding of Government Archives and Archival Programs 

Adequate Funding of Government Archives and Archival Programs.pdf
 
2014

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.


Joint Statement on the 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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