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Council of State Archivists

The Council of State Archivists (CoSA) is a nonprofit membership organization of the state and territorial government archives in the fifty states, five territories, and District of Columbia.

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NOW HIRING: CoSA Executive Director

The Council of State Archivists (CoSA) is accepting applications for the position of Executive Director. To read the full position advertisement, please see our recent blog post or download the complete Position Advertisement PDF.

Our Mission & Vision

The Council of State Archivists provides leadership to strengthen and support state and territorial archives leaders and staff in their work to preserve and provide access to government records.

Core Values Statement

RELEVANT: CoSA anticipates and responds to developing trends, emerging research, and advocacy issues that meet the evolving needs of state and territorial archives leaders and staff.

INCLUSIVE: CoSA represents all state and territorial archives leaders and staff, encourages all agencies to provide equitable access to state records, and advocates for equity and inclusion within the government records workforce.

COLLABORATIVE: CoSA acknowledges, amplifies, and facilitates the creative strength and extensive knowledge of diverse members, partners, and stakeholders working together.

State Electronic Records Initiative

CoSA launched the State Electronic Records Initiative (SERI) in 2011 to focus on improving management, preservation, and access to state and territorial government electronic records in all 56 states and territories.  CoSA's SERI Steering Committee manages and oversees the work of the initiative, working with volunteers from state and territorial archives throughout the nation to collectively improve electronic records management and digital preservation for state and territorial governments.

Advocacy for Archives

CoSA advocates for advancing the needs of our members to stakeholders and the public by acting as a clearinghouse for information, participating in policy and funding discussions, developing advocacy and awareness messages, and working in partnership with counterparts in allied organizations. Prominent in this work is the CoSA Advocacy Committee.

Resources & Research

CoSA is seen as the source of reliable information about state archives and government records. CoSA regularly undertakes research on state archives issues ranging from electronic records management and digital preservation needs to advocacy. CoSA continues to expand its research and publication emphasis, and invites corporate sponsors to support report design and dissemination. CoSA uses the strength of collaboration and partnership to leverage resources, share expertise, and to solve problems.

Education & Training

CoSA’s education and training programs respond to member needs and focus on improving state archival programs, no matter their size or level of operation. Noteworthy among them is the flagship State Electronic Records Initiative (SERI). Smaller-scale education and networking occurs in annual meetings, monthly member and SERI webinars, listserv exchanges, the Awards Program, and the monthly newsletter.

Latest Activity

Discover our Latest News & Blogs

Latest Activity

Blog Posts

  • Images: Graves County Courthouse, exterior and interior of clerk's office, Mayfield, KY (provided by KDLA) The Council of State Archivists and the Friends ...

  • Blog Entry

    By Lori Ashley CoSA’s Digital Preservation Capability Self-Assessment survey is a high-level framework of requirements from ISO 14721 and ISO 16363. ...

  • By Helen Wong Smith, MLIS, CA, FSAA Archivist for University Records, University of Hawai’i and Cultural Competency Consultant on CoSA’s Building Archival ...

  • Blog Entry

    Position Advertisement: Executive Director Application deadline: February 1, 2022 Download the complete Position Advertisement PDF Overview ...

  • DPCMM 2022: Questions Part 4

    Blog Entry

    By Lori Ashley CoSA’s Digital Preservation Capability Self-Assessment survey is a high-level framework of requirements from ISO 14721 and ISO 16363. ...


  • What's on Tap for CoSA in 2022

    Jan 27, 03:00 PM - 04:00 PM (ET)
    Join President Eric Emerson, CoSA Board Members, and CoSA Committee chairs as they look forward to the exciting activities and programs for CoSA’s 2022. We’ll hear from Finance, Development, Advocacy, Education & Training, Awards, and the State Electronic Records Initiative (SERI). There will also be a discussion of the updated Strategic Plan and the search for a new Executive Director. If you are new to CoSA or curious about our planning for the year, this is a great opportunity to learn more. Interested in getting more involved? The committee reports can help you choose among the many volunteer opportunities. More information coming soon! #CoSAWebinar ​

  • Documenting the Pandemic through Digital Records

    Feb 8, 02:00 PM - 03:00 PM (ET)
    Speakers: Colin Reeve, Appraisal Archivist, State Archives of North Carolina John Horan, Oral Historian, State Archives of North Carolina Bonnie Weddle, Coordinator, Electronic Records Unit, New York State Archives Jennifer O'Neill, Supervisor, Scheduling and State Agency Services, New York State Archives Derek Clark, Manager, Electronic Records Branch, Kentucky Dept. for Libraries and Archives State archives have responded to the COVID-19 pandemic in many ways including advising state and local agencies on existing or new records series, updating records schedules, and creating new records. This panel will discuss some examples of the many and varied ways the pandemic is being documented with electronic records. The State Archives of North Carolina began a process of collecting oral histories from state employees. New York State Archives reviewed and adapted records schedules in light of the pandemic, and Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives' response included increased web and email archiving as well as specialized trainings. #SERIWebinar ​

  • Follow the Yellow Brick Road: Decision Making for Storage of Electronic Records

    Mar 8, 02:00 PM - 03:00 PM (ET)
    Many organizations with decentralized records management grapple with a variety of storage options for electronic records. Employees have access to desktop and personal network drives, shared network drives, or cloud storage systems. They can create and store records in standard office programs, specialized vendor-based software/applications, and home-grown systems. This webinar will guide attendees through Multnomah County's (Oregon) two-year journey to standardize storage recommendations for different types of electronic records while embracing agency-specific business processes. Our speakers will share their development process, discuss key content and use characteristics upon which their storage recommendations are now based, and review the tools they developed for IT partners and end users to help them answer the question: Where should I store this? Speakers: Lauren Kelly is the Records Program Supervisor for Multnomah County, Oregon. She joined the county in 2016 as a Records Management Analyst before taking on the role of Program Supervisor and Records Officer in 2018. In addition to supporting an incredible team, Lauren regularly collaborates with departments to advise on records retention, policy development, process improvement, and public records law. She promotes using plain language, digital accessibility, and human-centered design principles to improve employee and public interaction with records and information. Lauren is a Certified Records Manager. She has a Master of Archives and Records Administration from San Jose State University and a Bachelor of Arts in Integrative Biology from the University of California, Berkeley. Deidre Thieman is currently the Electronic Records Management Analyst (ERMA) at Multnomah County Records Management & Archives. She holds an MLIS from the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee and is currently completing the University of Toronto’s Records and Information Management Certificate, leading to ICRM's CRA. Prior to her arrival in Oregon, she spent almost 20 years in corporate archives, managing both archival and museum functions. Her professional interests include electronic records management (obviously), physical and digital preservation, outreach, and the intersections between archives, museums, libraries, and records programs. #SERIWebinar ​

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