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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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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.

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Events/Webinars


  • Starting from the Bottom

    Apr 18, 02:00 PM - 03:00 PM (ET)
    After advocating for 30 years for the creation of an Electronic Records Program, the New Jersey State Archives finally established a program in 2022 when Preservica was acquired and two archivists, Tara Maharjan and Danielle "Dani" Marchetti, were hired. Starting from the ground up, Tara and Dani collaborated with BACKER consultant Nick Connizzo to create a comprehensive guide, using best practices to create a workflow. Join the SERI Education and Programming Subcommittee on April 18, 2024 from 2-3pm EST for a presentation by Nick Connizzo, Tara Maharjan, and Danielle Marchetti as they discuss their ground up approach to build the New Jersey Electronic Records Program workflow. #SERIWebinar #CoSAWebinar

  • Hiring for State Archives: Insights for Applicants to Government Archive Positions

    Apr 25, 03:00 PM - 04:00 PM (ET)
    This session will build on the information gathered in the March webinar and is geared to provide information to candidates who are seeking to apply for governmental archive jobs. Discussion will take place on where an applicant might look to find the job announcements, generalized information about the application process itself. and how to reach out to the individual state archives. #CoSAWebinar

  • 2024 SERI STEER (State & Territory Excellence in Electronic Records) Unconference

    May 16, 12:00 PM - 05:00 PM (ET)
    The Council of State Archivists’ State Electronic Records Initiative (SERI) is hosting its second annual virtual Unconference, SERI STEER (State & Territory Excellence in Electronic Records) on Thursday, May 16 from 12:00-5:00pm Eastern. The 2024 Unconference will feature attendee-led discussions on current aspects of managing electronic records in state and territorial archives. The overall theme this year is ACCESSIBILITY and will begin with a large group discussion on Accessibility in Digital Records with Lydia Tang from Lyrasis. New for 2024, the other sessions are grouped by theme rather than by professional title to allow for more robust discussions. Each session will also have a subject expert who has worked with that topic and can help "STEER" the discussion forward. Attendees will have the opportunity to send questions to these experts ahead of time to help shape the discussion in addition to the robust, in-the-moment conversations that made STEER such a success last year. SCHEDULE 12:00-1:30: Special Focus Discussion: Accessibility in Digital Records 1:35-2:30: Session 1 2:30-3:00: Break 3:00-3:55: Session 2 4:00-4:55: Session 3 Zoom Meeting Links for Concurrent Sessions Session 1A (1:35-2:30): Documenting Workflows Session 1B (1:35-2:30): Email Management Session 2A (3:00-3:55): Navigating File Migrations Session 2B (3:00-3:55): Confidentiality in Digital Records Session 3A (4:00-4:55): Facilitating Transfers of Digital Records from Other Agencies Session 3B (4:00-4:55): Machine Learning and AI Thank You to our SERI Sponsor

  • 2024 SERI STEER Unconference

    May 16, 12:00 PM - 05:00 PM (ET)
    The 2024 Unconference will feature attendee-led discussions on current aspects of managing electronic records in state and territorial archives. The overall theme this year is ACCESSIBILITY and will begin with a large group discussion on Accessibility in Digital Records with Lydia Tang from Lyrasis. New for 2024, the other sessions are grouped by theme rather than by professional title to allow for more robust discussions. Each session will also have a subject expert who has worked with that topic and can help "STEER" the discussion forward. Attendees will have the opportunity to send questions to these experts ahead of time to help shape the discussion in addition to the robust, in-the-moment conversations that made STEER such a success last year. #SERIWebinar #CoSAWebinar #STEERUnconferenceWebinar

  • Christmas Leak at the Colorado Archives

    May 23, 03:00 PM - 04:00 PM (ET)
    Colorado State Archives will discuss our experience with surviving our worst nightmare - a massive leak on Christmas Eve affecting over 4,000 cubic feet of archival records. Discussion points will include ongoing challenges of an insufficient storage facility that finally failed, navigating bureaucratic red tape, extreme weather conditions, and adapting to evolving circumstances under chaos on the biggest holiday weekend of the year. Also covered will be how to distribute staff according to their strengths and weaknesses, and why maintaining a sense of humor is vitally important. In short - what to do when your Home Depot bucket ain't worth a damn. This session will provide real life examples on how to improve efficiencies in workflows during disasters and how to translate academic theory into a real-life scenario." #CoSAWebinar

  • Chatting with CoSA

    Jun 12, 03:30 PM - 04:30 PM (ET)
    #CoSAWebinar

  • First Amendment Auditors

    Jul 25, 03:00 PM - 04:00 PM (ET)
    More information coming soon! #CoSAWebinar

  • Chatting with CoSA

    Aug 14, 03:30 PM - 04:30 PM (ET)
    #CoSAWebinar

  • Chatting with CoSA

    Oct 9, 03:30 PM - 04:30 PM (ET)
    #CoSAWebinar

  • State Archives Spotlight

    Oct 24, 03:00 PM - 04:00 PM (ET)
    More information coming soon! #CoSAWebinar

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