CoSA Blog

Throughout the month of October, state and territorial archives use American Archives Month to raise awareness about their work and the importance of that work on the lives of residents across the country. Many archives choose a theme to highlight such as music, women’s rights, climate change, transportation, or architecture and then showcase related materials during the month as part of exhibits, tours, and special events. Here are a few examples of American Archives Month themes for 2022: The State Archives of Florida is exploring how citizens engage in shaping government and how historical records illustrate that engagement with its theme, Your Archives, ...
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The Council of State Archivists (CoSA) joins with EveryLibrary in calling for the swift confirmation of Dr. Colleen J. Shogan, the presidential nominee to be the next Archivist of the United States (AOTUS). The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) is entrusted by law to keep and maintain open and equal access to government records by all citizens while safeguarding their integrity. Throughout her career and in her recent confirmation testimony , Dr. Shogan has demonstrated her commitment to NARA’s mission and support of democratic principles, ideals, and governance through the critical work of the agency. The archival community agrees ...
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Immediate Past President Eric Emerson (L) and Current President Ken Williams (R) Successful Transfer of the leopard Cape of Power By Taylor Hummel, CoSA Intern It has been three years since the last in-person annual CoSA meeting. This past Monday marked the first in-person annual CoSA meeting since 2019 and it was the first CoSA meeting I have ever attended. I wasn’t alone in experiencing an in-person CoSA meeting for the first time as there were many other new faces in attendance due to numerous staff changes since the 2019 meeting. Things were silly and a little awkward as we relearned how to interact with other people face-to-face instead of the small ...
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The Council of State Archivists Awards Program acknowledges institutions, individuals, and programs that have enriched and strengthened our nation's state and territorial archives. It rewards innovative efforts and provides encouragement for the development of new and remarkable projects. By recognizing exemplary achievements, the Council of State Archivists hopes to inspire others to make similar contributions. The RISING STARS AWARDS acknowledge outstanding contributions by individual staff members or teams to their state archives and constituencies. Rising Star: Clare Horton, Deputy State Archivist, Indiana State Archives Implemented several ...
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"Standardizing formats and structures for email preservation (or even short-term management) can provide large leaps in efficiency in preserving email." The Phase 2: Testing Report from the CoSA PREPARE Project summarizes the findings of volunteers who tested three email preservation software packages -- ePADD, DArcMail, and libratom -- for use in email appraisal, acquisition, processing, and discovery workflows. The report includes tester insights and recommendations, and provides the basis for the next phase of the PREPARE project, which entails creation of templates, workflows, and other documentation that will support a direct assistance program to ...
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Two new guidance documents from CoSA’s PREPARE: Preparing Archives for Records in Email project were published this month. PREPARE is a program of capacity-building services for email management and preservation CoSA is providing to state and territorial archives as part of the State Electronic Records Initiative (SERI). The project is funded by a two-year grant from the University of Illinois/Mellon Foundation. Much of PREPARE’s published guidance is applicable to institutions and agencies with responsibilities for managing and preserving email. To learn more about PREPARE and explore other publications from this project, please visit CoSA’s website . ...
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At the invitation of the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), CoSA Executive Director Joy Banks, SERI Coordinator Michelle Gallinger, and cultural competency consultant Helen Wong Smith joined 25 IMLS staff to share an update on cultural competency activities that are part of CoSA's IMLS-funded BACKER* project. Anthony Smith, Associate Deputy Director/Office of Library Services/Discretionary Programs, began the conversation by stating that cultural competency is "important work with far-reaching implications." Helen Wong Smith provided an overview on the broad topic of cultural competency: definitions, challenges, and constructive approaches to incorporating ...
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Valencia Johnson, Princeton University Dawne Howard Lucas, University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill The latest edition of "In Conversation With..." features Valencia Johnson, Archivist for Student Life at Princeton University’s Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library, and Dawne Howard Lucas , Technical Services Archivist for Collection Management at the Wilson Special Collections Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, discussing reparative description/conscious editing practices in their respective institutions. The unfolding landscape of reparative description, also called conscious editing or ethical description, is a topic of great ...
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The CoSA 2022 Digital Preservation Capability Maturity Model Self-Assessment Survey was administered between January and March. Forty-five states and one territory completed the survey. This report highlights the gains state and territorial archives have made since the last self-assessment (2015), the areas where they have held fast, and the topics where they have lost ground. CoSA will utilize this data to target outreach, training, and advocacy efforts to strengthen electronic records management and digital preservation at the state and territorial government level. The 2022 Digital Preservation Capability Maturity Model Self-Assessment survey revealed relatively ...
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Valencia Johnson, Princeton University Dawne Howard Lucas, University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill Reparative description/conscious editing is the topic of this edition of "In Conversation With..." featuring Valencia Johnson , Archivist for Student Life at Princeton University’s Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library, and Dawne Howard Lucas , Technical Services Archivist for Collection Management at the Wilson Special Collections Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. There’s been a quickening drumbeat around the topic of reparative description/conscious editing/ethical description, but the fact of the matter is these aren’t simply ...
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