National Archives Names Company to Preserve the Electronic Archives of the Future
Press Release · Thursday, September 8, 2005

Washington, DC

WHAT: The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) will announce the winner of a contract for hundreds of millions of dollars to build an electronic system that will accept, preserve and make accessible, far into the future, all types of electronic documents, regardless of their hardware and software.

This announcement marks the first stage, in a five-part program to develop this electronic system. Increment one will require two years of development to provide system functions for managing, preserving, and providing online access to National Archives electronic records. The Electronic Records Archives (ERA) system is expected to be operational by 2007. Four more yearly increments will each build on the previous increment, by providing additional functions, technology enhancements, and advanced preservation techniques. Full use of the ERA system is expected by 2011.

  • Archivist of the United States Allen Weinstein
  • Assistant Archivist for Human Resources and Information Services L. Reynolds Cahoon
  • Director of the Electronic Records Archives Program Kenneth Thibodeau
  • Chairman, CEO and President of the Corporation for National Research Initiatives (CNRI) Robert Kahn

WHEN: 10 AM, Thursday, September 8, 2005

WHERE: The Archivist’s Reception Room

The National Archives Building
700 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC

The media should use the Pennsylvania Avenue entrance.

Cameras must pre-set by 9:40 AM.

Video of the event will be available on NARA’s web site at:

Background information: The National Archives is responding to the challenge posed by the diversity, complexity, and enormous volume of electronic records being created today and the rapidly changing nature of the systems that are used to create them by developing the Electronic Records Archives (ERA). ERA will be a comprehensive, systematic, and dynamic means for preserving virtually any kind of electronic record, free from dependence on any specific hardware or software. When operational, ERA will make it easy for the public and government officials to find records they want, and easy for NARA to deliver those records in formats people need.

The National Archives and Records Administration plays a key role in fostering effective and responsible government through management of the lifecycle of records in all three branches of the Federal Government and through sustained access to historically valuable records in the National Archives and the Presidential Libraries. These records enable people to inspect for themselves what the government has done, allow officials and agencies to review their actions, and help citizens hold them accountable.

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For further information, contact the National Archives Public Affairs Office at 202-501-5526.


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