CoSA-NARA Webinar Recordings

The Council of State Archivists (CoSA) and the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) have collaborated on a quarterly webinar series to share information about state and federal archival and records management programs. Below are the recordings of previous webinars. To see a list of our current and upcoming webinars, please visit our Additional Webinars page.

MPLP (More Product, Less Process) Projects at National Archives and at the Wisconsin Historical Society

April 9, 2020 | View Recording | Download Slide Deck

This webinar will discuss using MPLP (More Product, Less Process), an approach that allows archivists to select a level of processing which best fits the collection being processed, and anticipated use.

In 2016 NARA adopted a Processing Policy and later that year the Office of Research Services launched a new processing manual to implement it for analog records. MPLP was a major influence throughout; and the policy and subsequent manual significantly reshaped how NARA approaches processing. Michael Moore, NARA Director of Affiliated Archives Program, will discuss how and why they chose this method, and what they hoped to accomplish.

The Wisconsin Historical Society has used the principles of MPLP to make collections quickly available to the public since the mid-1990s. In 2009, the WHS began preparing to move 20,000 cubic feet of public record material to a new building. Abbie Norderhaug, Assistant State Archivist, will discuss how the WHS accomplished this task using the principles of MPLP to ensure that each collection moved was described, cataloged, and had an EAD finding aid.


Open Government & FOIA Requests

December 12, 2019 | View Recording

Join NARA’s Jeannette Wise, Director of Litigation, Office of General Counsel (OGC) and Martha Murphy, Deputy Director, Office of Government Information Services (OGIS), along with Rosemary Cundiff, Government Records Omsbudsman for the Utah State Archives for a discussion on open records and government transparency. Jeannette will discuss the unique aspects of NARA’s FOIA program, which concerns the processing procedures and challenges NARA faces with both archival and operational records. Martha will provide an overview of OGIS – what it does, including dispute resolution, compliance work and other activities to improve the FOIA process and how OGIS fits into the Federal FOIA process. Rosemary will share information about transparency provisions in Utah's Government Records Access and Management Act (GRAMA) as well as information about the Utah's Open Records portal.


Social Media Outreach at NARA and the Vermont State Archives and Records Administration

October 10, 2019 | View Recording

Join Hilary Parkinson and Mary King, who manage the flagship Twitter and Instagram accounts for the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), and Mariessa Dobrick and Sally Blanchard-O’Brien of the Vermont State Archives and Records Administration for an Electronic Records Day discussion of social media outreach. Hilary and Mary will discuss how they forge emotional connections that inspire lasting interest through the #ArchivesHashtagParty social media campaign. They will focus on how this ongoing monthly campaign uses fun and accessible themes, while meeting the agency’s mission of making access happen, developing an external and internal community of practice and driving engagement with online audiences. Mariessa and Sally will show how they’ve created a vibrant online presence with a small staff and a shoestring budget, and how that has led to more public recognition of the institution and the archival profession at large. They will discuss the reasons for selecting the Twitter platform, ideas for engaging with users, handling interactions, and more.

Still Pictures at NARA and Photographs at the Maryland State Archives

June 20, 2019 | View Recording

Join Billy Wade. Supervisory Archivist for the Still Picture Branch of the Special Media Records Division of NARA and Tim Baker, Maryland State Archivist for a discussion of still pictures and photographs. Billy will focus on the accessioning, processing and preservation of both traditional analog and digital photography at NARA with an emphasis on their Electronic Records Archives 2.0 system that was launched in October, 2018. Tim will discuss the workflow related to the transfer, ingest and presentation of contemporary photographs taken of recent events.

Rightfully Hers: Research, Exhibits, and Outreach on American Women and the Vote 

March 21, 2019 | View Recording

Presenters: Corinne L. Porter, Curator, Exhibits Program, National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), and Sandra G. Treadway, State Librarian, Library of Virginia (LVA)

Join Corinne Porter, NARA, and Sandy Treadway, LVA, for a discussion of preparations by archival institutions to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment and woman suffrage. Corinne and Sandy will look beyond suffrage parades and protests to the archival materials that support research, exhibits, and outreach to document the often overlooked story behind this landmark moment in American history. Corinne will discuss NARA’s upcoming 19th Amendment exhibit “Rightfully Hers” which includes stories about the woman suffrage struggle at the state level. Sandy will provide an overview of her extensive research on woman suffrage, LVA’s efforts to open women’s collections, her work with the Virginia Women’s Monument, and LVA’s upcoming exhibit about the 19th Amendment.

Crowdsourcing Archival Projects

July 19, 2018 | View Recording

NARA History Hub

Presenters: Becky Collier and Kelly Osborn, Research Services and Office of Innovation co-leads, NARA History Hub

In January 2016 the National Archives and Records Administration embarked on a ground-breaking experiment with crowdsourcing reference questions on History Hub ( Modeled on the customer service support communities common in big tech companies like Apple and Verizon, it is a place to ask questions, share information, work together, and find help based on experience and interests. Becky and Kelly will cover a brief history of the project and a discussion of how NARA’s reference archivists incorporate a support community into their daily workflow.

Alabama WWI Service Records

Presenters:  Steve Murray, State Archivist, and Meredith McDonough, Digital Assets, Alabama Department of Archives and History

The Alabama World War II Service Records Project was developed under Alabama History D.I.Y., a recently branded series for local exhibits and virtual volunteer opportunities at the Alabama Department for Archives and History ( ).  Steve and Meredith will discuss the origins of this crowdsourcing project, a search for a suitable platform, enhancement of “FromThePage” indexing, implementation, a tremendously successful volunteer response, and lessons learned. 

Innovative Approaches to Records Scheduling at the Federal and State Levels

December 11, 2018 | View Recording

Presenters: Margaret "Maggie" Hawkins, Director of Records Management Operations, NARA; Lloyd Beers, Appraisal Archivist, NARA; Sarah Koonts, State Archivist, North Carolina; Becky McGee-Lankford, Government Records Section Manager and Assistant State Records Administrator, State Archives of North Carolina

Speakers from the CoSA-NARA Great Ideas Exchange Day, held at the Joint Annual Meeting in August, will focus on NARA’s “big-bucket” schedules for the General Services Administration, created to simplify the GSA’s records management burden, and North Carolina’s transition to develop functional schedules for state government.

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