NARA and NTIS Sign Major Agreement To Preserve Digital Scientific Records
Press Release · Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Washington, DC

The National Archives and Records Administration and the National Technical Information Service (NTIS) have entered into an agreement ensuring long-term preservation and access to the NTIS collection of authenticated and secured digital scientific, technical, and engineering information (STEI). The results of this agreement will have a positive impact on the public, academia, corporations and federal, state, and local government agencies.

The Director of NTIS, Bruce Borzino, states: “This new relationship with the National Archives strengthens the benefit of federal agency compliance with The American Technology Preeminence Act when transferring their agency STEI content to NTIS for dissemination to the private sector, academia, state and local governments, and federal agencies. Under this new agreement with the National Archives, agency transfers of digital STEI to NTIS will be regarded the same as if the agency transferred its permanent digital STEI records to the National Archives.”

The goals of the agreement are to:

  • Focus on a total electronic solution to the collection, distribution, long-term access, preservation, and other archival processes of this important federal information for the benefit of the public and the federal government;
  • Invest in format and media conversion solutions to increase the availability of significant scientific and tangible historical content in the long term; and
  • Create, through a collaborative effort, a joint dissemination and long-term archival environment that support the future development of the NTIS e-science collection and NARA’s Electronic Records Archives (ERA) system.

The National Archives will work in partnership with NTIS to encourage and promote agency transfers of digital STEI materials to NTIS as successful fulfillment of an agency obligation to transfer permanently valuable digital STEI records to NARA. Currently, the NTIS collection consists of more than two terabytes of scientific, technical, and engineering information. Access to STEI records will be provided by NTIS. The National Archives will maintain a “dark archives” back up copy of all the STEI records, and assume legal custody of the records when they become 40 years old.

Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero, states: “ This opportunity for the National Archives and NTIS to innovate and collaborate in the stewardship, access, and long-term archival preservation of the NTIS digital scientific collections represents a major step forward in preserving America’s scientific heritage. This agreement will help assure both Congress and the American public that the NTIS collection of digital scientific, technical, engineering, and business information documenting unclassified federally funded research is preserved for the long-term benefit of future generations of researchers around the world.”

The National Archives and Records Administration is the nation's record keeper. Of all documents and materials created in the course of business conducted by the United States federal government, only 2%-3% are so important for legal or historical reasons that they are kept by the National Archives forever, and made available to researchers. National Archives holdings and diverse programs are now available to more people than ever before through modern technology and dynamic partnerships. The stories of our nation and our people are told in the records and artifacts cared for in National Archives facilities around the country. Visit to learn more about National Archives records, exhibitions, and public programs.

NTIS seeks to improve access of new cutting edge scientific, technical, and engineering information. The mission of NTIS is to permanently enlarge, preserve and provide ready access to support innovation and economic growth. NTIS promotes the development and application of this STEI collection by providing technologically advanced global e-commerce channels for dissemination to business, industry, government, and the public. To enhance its ability to fulfill these missions, NTIS has the authority under Section 3704b of Title 15, United States Code, to enter into business arrangements. In addition, NTIS supports other federal agencies in the distribution of their science and information products to the public. Visit to learn more about NTIS and the products and services it offers.

For press information, contact the National Archives Public Affairs staff at (202) 357-5300. Or Donald Hagen, NTIS at: (703) 605-6142, or e-mail:



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