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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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Our Mission & Vision

The Council of State Archivists provides leadership to strengthen and support state and territorial archives leaders and staff in their work to preserve and provide access to government records.

Core Values Statement

RELEVANT: CoSA anticipates and responds to developing trends, emerging research, and advocacy issues that meet the evolving needs of state and territorial archives leaders and staff.

INCLUSIVE: CoSA represents all state and territorial archives leaders and staff, encourages all agencies to provide equitable access to state records, and advocates for equity and inclusion within the government records workforce.

COLLABORATIVE: CoSA acknowledges, amplifies, and facilitates the creative strength and extensive knowledge of diverse members, partners, and stakeholders working together.

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.

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Events/Webinars


  • Laying Track While on the Train: Developing an Information Governance Framework in M365

    Dec 13, 02:00 PM - 03:00 PM (ET)
    In March of 2020 the State of Oregon went virtual. Not in a “exactly as planned and deliberately rolled out” way, but in a “everyone has to go home but we still have to run the government” way. Microsoft 365 deployment had been planned for later that year, but we all suddenly found ourselves learning the ins and outs while actively working. While certainly disruptive, this sudden shift presented an opportunity rarely seen in the records management world: get in on the ground floor and design proper records management in a system used by almost 100% of state government. In this presentation Kris Stenson, State Records Manager for the Oregon State Archives, will talk about the operational philosophy for wide-scale RM, how he was able to get connected into a multi-disciplinary team, and some of the technical details of how exactly it’s all going to happen within the M365 environment. #CoSAWebinar #SERIWebinar ​​

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