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Matt Veatch Selected as 2021 Victoria Iron Walch Leadership Award Recipient

By CoSA News posted 06-08-2021 12:00 AM


Matt VeatchMatt Veatch, recently retired from the Kansas Historical Society as Kansas state archivist, is the 2021 Victoria Irons Walch Leadership Award recipient. Matt represents the best of the archival profession and has been a leader throughout his career, both in Kansas and throughout the country, providing exemplary service and leadership to state archives.

Matt began his career in Missouri, in a small repository, and then moved to the Missouri State Archives in 1990, beginning a thirty-year career in state government archives. In Missouri, he worked for a year in the Local Records Program. He then moved to the Kansas Historical Society in 1992 and held progressively responsible positions over the next twenty-eight years, becoming assistant director and assistant state archivist in 1996. Matt worked closely with State Archivist Patricia Michaelis, another outstanding CoSA leader, before becoming Kansas State Archivist in 2006.

Matt played an important role in Kansas Historical Society initiatives, including the Kansas Memory, Territorial Kansas Online, and the digital archives for Kansas government records, working closely with the legislature to ensure creation and funding of the Kansas Enterprise Electronic Preservation (KEEP) Digital Archives. Matt was instrumental in creating foundational documents on electronic records management for Kansas state government, all of which were emulated, edited, and repurposed in other state governments. Among these were:

  • Kansas Electronic Records Management Guidelines (1999)
  • Managing Electronic Mail: Guidelines for Kansas Government Agencies (2002)
  • Guidelines for Managing on Kansas Government Agency Web Sites (2004)

As noted by CoSA President, New York State Archivist Thomas J. Ruller, “Matt became a leader and a knowledgeable source of information on electronic records for the state archives community because of his early experience in Kansas with digital records. He is widely respected by colleagues within government institutions, academia, and the archival profession for his knowledge of and experience with the management of electronic records, and for being a thought leader as the profession considers new initiatives and meets increasing challenges.”

Matt was elected to the Board of Directors of the Council of State Archivists in 2012 and immediately began a term as CoSA Vice President during 2012-2013. During that year, Matt also served as the State Electronic Records Initiative co-chair. Matt’s contributions to SERI are immeasurable, as he ably led development and implementation of several SERI initiatives and grant programs and continued to make contributions to SERI during his presidential year and beyond.

As SERI co-chair, Matt coordinated CoSA’s successful grant application to the Institute of Museum and Library Services for a Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian grant for SERI training and education. Matt worked with other SERI leaders to design a three-year training program for state archives staff about electronic records, including three separate week-long SERI electronic records institutes, one an introductory week, followed by two advanced institutes for all CoSA members. Matt served as moderator for all three institutes, providing a steadying and knowledgeable influence for all in attendance, particularly those who were nervous about a week-long training on electronic records.

Matt worked closely with his co-chair Beth Shields of Kentucky and with consultants Lori Ashley and Charles Dollar to adapt their Digital Preservation Capability Maturity Model (DPCMM) for use by CoSA to evaluate the status of digital preservation in the states. Under Matt and Beth’s leadership, the DPCMM became a useful tool for measuring and improving digital preservation programs.

Matt’s presidential year was a pivotal time for CoSA, with emphasis on working with all state and territorial archives to improve electronic records management and digital preservation through the IMLS Laura Bush grant initiatives. CoSA also applied for and received a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission to create a portal for electronic records management information and technical tools and resources to supplement the assessment and training work of the IMLS grant. This grant to create the Program for Electronic Records Training, Tools and Standards (PERTTS) portal is still useful and meaningful today, as the CoSA Resource Center.

Matt was also part of the team that wrote the planning grant for ACCESS or Archives Collaborating and Cooperating with External Strategic Stakeholders that culminated in a three- year programming project to implement and enhance collaboration with other state government officials to improve digital preservation in state government that lasted through early 2020.

While Matt’s contributions to SERI were central to its success, his contributions to the wider CoSA community for almost thirty years as a CoSA member, Board member, Vice-President, and President were also pivotal. He will always be valued for his innovative, intelligent, and steady leadership. Because of his decades of valuable contributions to CoSA, CoSA is pleased to present Matt Veatch with CoSA’s highest honor, the Victoria Irons Walch Leadership Award.