National Historical Publications & Records Commission

Electronic Records

The NHPRC supports projects that preserve and make accessible electronic records. Through research, development, analysis and advocacy projects, conferences, consultancies, and other efforts, the Commission works closely with individuals and organizations concerned with establishing policies, best practices, and tools for the long-term preservation of and access to electronic records.


Organizations with electronic records projects are eligible to apply for support through the Access to Historical Records program for either Major Initiatives or Archival Projects support.

The Commission is particularly interested in projects that examine:

  • how software-dependent data objects can be retained for future use;
  • what barriers archivists must overcome to develop and implement archival electronic records programs;
  • what every archivist needs to know about electronic records.

Leadership Initiative

As part of its Strategic Plan, NHPRC is organizing meetings on a variety of professional topics related to electronic records. On September 15, 2017, with the help of the Council of State Archivists, we convened a symposium on "Government Email in an Age of Risk: Preventing Information Loss." You can read six case studies by state archives representatives

A mix of state archives and Federal records management and archival personnel provided commentary and led discussion about each case. The goal was to hone in on email policy, preservation, and access and to work toward common and scalable solutions for government email.

Our next step is to provide annotated case studies based on the presentations and discussions (and at a variety of other venues).  At the end of the investigation, we will publish a white paper to inform archival best practices and increase knowledge about current government email policies and solutions.