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March 31, 2014 / Council of State Archivists

March 27th CoSA Member Webinar Summary

On Wednesday, March 27th, the Council of State Archivists held their monthly member webinar. The March webinar was entitled, Talking to the Top: Advocating to Your State CIO. For those members who were unable to attend the webinar in person, (or, more appropriately, via phone or computer!) here is a brief summary of the program.

The panelists for the webinar were Kris Stenson, Electronic Records Archivist for the Illinois State Archives and co-Chair of the SERI Advocacy and Awareness Subcommittee; Veronica Martzahl, the Electronic Records Archivist for the Massachusetts State Archives; and Eric Sweden, National Association of Chief Information Officers (NASCIO),Program Director, Enterprise Architecture & Governance Committee. The webinar represented an opportunity for state archives and records management staff to gain insight into ways in which communication with state CIOs might be established or ways existing lines of communication might be strengthened, to the benefit of all parties involved.


NASCIO is both a forum and advocacy arm which fosters government excellence through quality business practices, information management, and technology policy. The national non-profit association provides state CIOs and state members with products and services designed to support the role of state CIO, stimulate the exchange of information and promote the adoption of IT best practices and innovations. NASCIO holds national conferences and briefings, produces research and publications, and hosts webinars.  ImageAccording to the NASCIO website
“The Enterprise Architecture and Governance Committee was developed to enable the mission of state and local government. Government must continually reinvent itself to remain relevant by effectively and efficiently providing services to the citizens of this country. The path to this continual transformation must embrace leadership, management, coordination, communication and technology throughout government. Enterprise architecture is the discipline to appropriately define and leverage these capabilities within the complexities of government.”
Please visit to learn more about the activities and publications of NASCIO’s Enterprise Architecture and Governance Committee.

The webinar consisted of a Q&A format with Eric Sweden graciously responding to questions presented by Veronica Martzahl. Some highlights from the program included:
• key terms and vocabulary to use that will resonate with state CIOs like cyber security, open data and data management
• recommendations to consult NASCIO briefs and reports available on the website, and utilize said briefs and reports when meeting with state CIOs
• recommendations for successful interactions with state CIOs and their staff
• invitation to CoSA members to join NASCIO committees

Eric Sweden was receptive and welcoming of CoSA participation and engagement with NASCIO, in particular urging CoSA involvement with NASCIO committees, and opening up a dialogue between CoSA and NASCIO. He underscored that an excellent opportunity for cross-jurisdictional collaboration existed and encouraged the members to take advantage of it.

To experience the webinar in its entirety, visit

Mark your calendars for the next SERI Education Webinar on April 8th, Electronic Records Policy, and for the next CoSA Member Webinar on April 24th, Interns: A Two-Way Street : How to design meaningful internship opportunities. 



July 11, 2013 / Council of State Archivists

SERI Introductory Electronic Records Institute – Day Three

On day three of the SERI Introductory Electronic Records Institute, with stormy weather on the horizon, we arrived at the Indiana State Library with umbrellas in hand, ready once again to storm the doors and make the trek up to the 4th floor. After our daily breakfast and morning discussion everyone settled in for a full day of Cal Lee, Associate Professor at UNC-Chapel Hill.

03-Wednesday - Cal Lee 05

Cal began the day with explaining and discussing electronic records acquisition with great interaction, questions, and comments from the whole group.

With a huge blob of green and red heading our way, we broke early for lunch with the hope of getting back before the skies opened up and soaked us through. With umbrellas in hand again, we dispersed to find a tasty bite to eat. While busy eating the winds blew the clouds in and everyone finished up and started heading back to beat the rain. On the walk back small rain drops slowly started falling…then stopped. Everyone made it back dry and unscathed and ready to dive right into some hands-on activities.

After lunch we migrated to the computer lab to work on generating file hashes and using a hex editor. Once everyone had an opportunity to try their hand at hashing, we moved back down the hall for a great discussion on electronic records preservation to cap off the day.

03-Wednesday - Group Activity 09

Luckily the green and red blob dissolved without dropping much rain and we all had a dry, albeit humid, walk back to the hotels in the afternoon. Downtown Indianapolis can thank our group for preventing the rain from falling due to the numerous umbrellas we purchased upon arriving and seeing the weather forcast for the week.

**The SERI Introductory Electronic Records Institute is being funded by a grant from IMLS.

July 10, 2013 / Council of State Archivists

SERI Introductory Electronic Records Institute – Day Two

After a successful first day of instruction and a relaxing group dinner, institute attendees were eager to get going on day two and arrived at the Indiana State Library before the building opened. Consequently, we caused a bit of a road block on the sidewalk outside the front doors and probably caused the library staff to have heart palpitations thinking we were all waiting to flood the research rooms. I’m sure the staff was relieved to see us head directly to our 4th floor meeting room which has become our home-away-from-home this week.

While fueling-up for the day, attendees had the opportunity to discuss the previous day’s presentations and ask questions. Then we got right back into the presentations with Mike Wash’s wrap-up of electronic records policies & strategies.

Short breaks during the day provide attendees the opportunity to mingle and share ideas and strategies.

02-Tuesday - Group 07

02-Tuesday - Group 03

Rolling right along we heard from Doug Robinson, Executive Director of NASCIO, who gave a presentation on state IT priorities and trends and provided tips for collaborating with the state CIOs.

02-Tuesday - Doug Robinson 06

After re-energizing with lunch we heard from Pat Franks, MARA Program Coordinator at San Jose State University. Pat closed out day two with a presentation on electronic records management.

02-Tuesday - Pat Franks 05

And of course the week wouldn’t be complete without a group photo. This photo was actually taken while getting everyone organized for the “official” group photo which we hope to share soon.

02-Tuesday - Group 08

**The SERI Introductory Electronic Records Institute is being funded by a grant from IMLS.

July 9, 2013 / Council of State Archivists

SERI Introductory Electronic Records Institute – Arrivals and Day One

On Sunday, July 7, 2013 archivists, records managers, and IT professionals from 26 states, 4 territories, and the District of Columbia flocked to Indianapolis and the Indiana State Library for the State Electronic Records Initiative (SERI) Introductory Electronic Records Institute. The Introductory Institute is one of three Electronic Records Institutes being organized and offered by CoSA through an IMLS Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program grant.


We started the week off with an “early bird” dinner to welcome the institute attendees and instructors and to begin the process of getting to know everyone and networking.

Sunday - Group Dinner 1

Sunday - Group Dinner 2

After dinner, Jim Corridan, Indiana State Archivist gave the group a private tour of the Indiana Capitol.

Sunday - Capitol Tour 1

Monday morning, before getting into the heart of the information, each attendee introduced themselves and gave a brief summary of their program in general and what they are hoping to get out of the institute. By the time we took our morning break, it was clear that there were many similarities between programs in terms of where they stand with their electronic records program and the struggles in getting a program up and running.

After introductions, we spent the day learning about electronic records policies and strategies from Mike Wash, Chief Information Officer for the National Archives and Records Administration.

01-Monday - Mike Wash

We then capped the evening off with a group dinner and enjoyed good conversations and had a chance to decompress after a full first day.

01-Monday Group Dinner 5

01-Monday Group Dinner 4

01-Monday Group Dinner 3

01-Monday Group Dinner 2

01-Monday Group Dinner 1

More information about the grant and institutes can be found on the CoSA website.

May 6, 2013 / Council of State Archivists

ACTION ALERT: Stop the Impending Fiscal Disaster for Historical Records in the United States!

Tell the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services to Provide Level Funding for the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.

In a year in which natural disasters have rocked many parts of the United States, a fiscal disaster is brewing in Washington, DC, for archives, manuscripts, and records organizations nationwide. The potential result is a severe crippling of the National Historical Publications and Records Commission’s (NHPRC’s) ability to carry out its legal mandate – which in turn seriously impedes the capacity of repositories nationwide to care for our nation’s heritage and make it available for use by our citizens.

Please join the effort to ask the House of Representatives Appropriations Committee and its Subcommittee on Financial Services to provide level funding for the National Historical Publications and Records Commission. Here’s what you can do to help avert this crisis:

If your Representative is a member of the Financial Services Subcommittee—or of the House Appropriations Committee—fax, email, or call your member to express your support for level funding for NHPRC as part of the National Archives budget. In your letter or call, address the specific benefits of NHPRC for your organization/state/users. The more your Congressperson understands that his/her constituents are affected directly, the more convincing your message will be.

Financial Services Subcommittee Members:

  • Republicans
    • Ander Crenshaw, Chairman (Florida)
    • Jo Bonner (Alabama)
    • Mario Diaz-Balart (Florida)
    • Tom Graves (Georgia)
    • Kevin Yoder (Kansas)
    • Steve Womack (Arkansas)
    • Jaime Herrera Beutler (Washington)
  • Democrats
    • José Serrano, Ranking Member (New York)
    • Mike Quigley (Illinois)
    • Marcy Kaptur (Ohio)
    • Ed Pastor (Arizona)

View a list of the full House Appropriations Committee.

Find contact information for your committee member.

If your representative is not on this Subcommittee, you can still help! Send a fax or email to Subcommittee Chair Ander Crenshaw (Florida) or Ranking Member José Serrano (New York) to express your support for level funding for NHPRC.


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