National Historical Publications & Records Commission

Electronic Records Projects and Reports

As recordkeeping moves from paper to electronic systems, it is essential that policy makers, managers, and the public create and maintain records that are complete and authentic. The NHPRC supports efforts to confront the challenges facing archivists and records managers in the proliferation of electronic records.

Through research, development, analysis and advocacy projects, conferences, consultancies, and other efforts, the Commission works closely with those individuals and organizations concerned with establishing policies, best practices, and tools for the long-term preservation of and access to these records. Commission-supported projects explore what is necessary to manage electronic records in accord with archival requirements.

The Commission welcomes projects that examine:

  • how software-dependent data objects can be retained for future use;
  • what barriers have prevented archivists from developing and implementing archival electronic records programs;
  • what archivists need to know about electronic records; and other vital questions that make up its electronic records research agenda.

As part of its Strategic Plan, NHPRC is organizing meetings on a variety of professional topics related to electronic records. Most recently it offered, with the help of the Council of State Archivists, "Government Email in an Age of Risk: Preventing Information Loss" on September 15, 2017. At the symposium in September, state archives representatives presented six case studies, and a mix of state archives and federal records management and archival personnel provided commentary and led discussion about each one. The goal was to provide a venue to discuss specific topics within email policy, preservation, and access and to work toward possible common and scalable solutions for government email. Expected outcomes are a set of annotated case studies based on the presentations and discussions at a variety of venues, and a white paper intended to inform archival best practices and increase knowledge about current email policies and solutions.