Electronic Records Reports

Steps to Preserve State Electronic Records

This guidance document was jointly produced by CoSA and the National Association of Secretaries of State as part of CoSA's IMLS-funded ACCESS grant.


Download a pdf of Steps to Preserve State Electronic Records 



State Archiving in the Digital Era: A Playbook for the Preservation of Electronic Records, October 2018

The Council of State Archivists (CoSA) and the National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) developed the following playbook for digital preservation of state electronic records. These national organizations and their members play a role in the development, management, reporting, preservation, and disposition of digital records. The following eleven plays should help both state Chief Information Officers (CIOs), state archivists, and other state leaders think about the best ways to preserve archives in this digital era. This report was supported in part by a National Leadership Grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Download the Playbook

A National Risk: The State of State Electronic Records Report, 2017

This exhaustive report examines the breadth and impact of CoSA's State Electronic Records Initiative (SERI) from its inception in 2011, and considers future directions for this flagship program.  This report was funded by a Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

48 pages

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Download the full report | Download the Executive Summary | Download Infographic

SERI Tools and Resources Committee Publishes New Best Practice Guide: Managing Digitization Projects

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August 2017 -- The SERI Tools and Resources Subcommittee of the Council of State Archivists presents a three-part module on the best practices for managing digitization projects. The decision to digitize records and the choice of a method to do so are not as simple as putting an item on a scanner and pressing "go"; to be highly successful, this process requires thoughtful research, preparation, and studious project management.
This document is organized into three broad categories. Each category includes the strategies and best practices of highly successful digitization projects. Though the parameters for each project will differ greatly — budget and resources, source and amount of funding, type of material to be digitized, descriptive requirements, preservation activities — these best practices will produce a project management framework that is flexible enough to be applied to projects of all sizes and scopes.
Download this free guide!

Survey and Phase I Report

In 2011, each state and territorial archives and records management program completed a survey about its existing electronic records program, then participated in extended follow-up telephone interviews with CoSA's SERI Steering Committee members. The data collected allowed CoSA to develop a composite nationwide profile of state archives' efforts to create, fund, and maintain state electronic records programs.

SERI Phase I Report

SERI Phase II Report

By the end of 2015, the SERI project had largely completed the second phase of its agenda, which included developing online resources for CoSA and others interested in electronic records preservation; creating and providing educational opportunities and training for state archives staff on electronic records management and digital preservation; increasing awareness of the requirements of preserving electronic records across the nation; and identifying potential partners, collaborators, and allies to aid with the long-term efforts of preserving and making accessible electronic records. This work was undertaken in Phase II of SERI, starting in 2012, thanks to the efforts of volunteers from State Archives participating in the SERI Steering Committee and its subcommittees. During this phase, the four original subcommittees were consolidated into three subcommittees:

  • Education & Programming Subcommittee
  • Tools & Resources Subcommittee
  • Advocacy & Communication Subcommittee

SERI Phase II Report

Program for Electronic Records Training, Tools, and Standards (PERTTS)

The PERTTS project began January 1, 2013, and ran for two years with funding from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC). This project focused on two areas: (a) providing access to in-depth information about standards, best practices, and tools for the management and preservation of electronic records, and (b) delivering education and training to ensure that these standards, best practices, and tools are widely and effectively implemented.


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