We’ve Moved!

October 2, 2017 Comments off

We have moved

On October 1, 2017, the Utah Division of Archives and Records Service combined our two blogs into a single, new blog: archivesnews.utah.gov.

The Utah State Archives serves a diverse audience, yet we are a single institution. Our new blog is an effort to provide a single voice at a single location for all of our audiences. From preserving and providing access to historical records, to administering the USHRAB (Utah State Historical Advisory Board); from registering for training or finding guidance regarding records management and GRAMA issues, to staying informed about Public Notice Website and Open Records Portal requirements; we are working to ensure that all audiences can easily find the information that they need.

WIth that in mind, we will no longer be posting at this web address. All new content will now be posted at archivesnews.utah.gov. Our older posts on the Records Keepers blog will remain available at this web address while our support team works to seamlessly transition them to the new website.

Our new blog will have a number of regular posts to highlight the different responsibilities of the Archives. Our records analysis and open government teams will continue to post about records management best practices, GRAMA issues, available training classes, and to spotlight our Records Officers (We LOVE our AROs!!). Our processing team (including the Digital Archives) will continue to post on interesting records, new finding aids and research guides, and archival best practices. We will be adding posts on re-grant projects for the USHRAB, as well as quarterly reports from our reformatting team, our records center, and a variety of transparency issues.

Finally, our new blog has a number of subscription options that allows you to follow the information that pertains to your interests. Our current subscribers were moved already with instructions on updating their new profiles. Find more information on subscriptions at archivesnews.utah.gov/subscribe/.

We hope to see all of you over at archivesnews.utah.gov!

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Can I Send Records Stored on Non-Paper Media to the State Records Center?

September 18, 2017 Comments off

We received the following question from a records officer, and thought it might be helpful for all records managers to hear the answer. So here it is in ‘Dear Abby’ form:

Dear Records Analyst,

I am in the process of preparing boxes to send to the Records Center, but heard that I should not send cassette tapes, VHS, DVDs, CDs, or flash drives. I have all of these, one or the other, in almost all of my files, some of which are from as far back as 1995. How am I supposed to archive these? Do you have any recommendations?


Ms. Multimedia

Dear Ms. Multimedia,

Thank you for your question; I’m sure you are not alone in wondering how to manage non-paper media. Although it is possible for you to send records on electronic storage media to the State Records Center, it may not be advisable.

You should consider a few factors when deciding:

  • The law requires that you maintain the records in a manner that allows full access for the length of the retention period (Utah Code 46-4-301 and 501; Utah Code 63G-2-604). That means that you must be able to view or hear the recordings on DVDs, open the data files stored on flash drives, etc. for the amount of time specified by the retention schedule.
  • Paper is a very stable medium, but other storage media such as DVDs, cassette tapes, and flash drives tend to degrade faster when not kept in a climate-controlled environment. The Records Center is not a climate-controlled archival repository.
  • The bigger concern, is media and format obsolescence. For records that need to be kept longer than 9 years, you need to convert file formats before the file type disappears, and regularly move the files onto more reliable storage media. This is referred to as data migration; having and implementing a data migration plan is an essential part of maintaining electronic records.
  • If the records are scheduled to be destroyed after the retention period ends, then the responsibility to maintain the records begins and ends with your agency, and your agency is assuming all of the risk when choosing how and where to store the records.
  • If the records are scheduled to be transferred to the State Archives after the retention period ends, then the State Archives also has a responsibility to maintain the records and needs to be consulted as you are deciding how and where to store the records. The State Archives may want to take further measures to ensure their preservation. Contact your records analyst with any questions or needs that you may have.

If you are sending non-paper media to the Records Center or to the State Archives, please notify a member of the Archives staff at the time of transfer.

It is very easy to do. Just check the box on the online Record Transfer Sheet form that says “Transfer Includes Non-Paper Records” (shown below):

RTS_Non-paper media included

Thank you for your question, and best of luck to you!


Records Analyst

Utah Division of Archives and Records Service


September SRC Retention Report

September 15, 2017 Comments off

The previously posted general schedules were heard by the State Records Committee yesterday and approved. The general schedules were previously posted on this blog for your input.

To hear the discussion regarding these schedules, please go to the State Records Committee’s page on the Public Notice Website. All are welcome to attend the State Records Committee and provide input on retention schedules being discussed. Meetings are held on the second Thursday of each month at the Utah State Archives.

FREE Disaster Planning Workshop at the Archives

September 14, 2017 Comments off

Are you worried about your preservation or COOP plans?  If you lost your essential records would you still be able to get your work done?

As the devastating events of the recent hurricanes have shown us, we have little control over the disasters that affect our records. The way we respond to these disasters dictates the continuity of our operations and the preservation of our records.  Even “minor” disasters (such as a broken pipe) could grow to major catastrophes without immediate attention.

Understanding that these events can happen to any institution at any time, the Western States and Territories Preservation Assistance Services (WESTPAS), in cooperation with the Utah State Archives and Records Service, will provide a free, 2-part disaster planning workshop as part of Archives Month.

Randy Silverman, Preservation Librarian at the University of Utah, will be teaching Protecting Cultural Collections: Disaster Prevention, Preparedness, Response, and Recovery, which focuses on helping local and state agencies and other heritage institutions to:

  • Complete a disaster response & collection salvage plan
  • Learn how to train staff to implement your plan effectively
  • Set pre- and post-disaster action priorities for your collections
  • Understand practical decision-making skills needed during an emergency
  • Experience salvage procedures for books, documents, photos & objects

Workshop specifics:

Part 1 of the workshop includes 2.5 hours of online webinars about prevention and preparedness. Participants can view the webinars on their own or join with others at the State Archives to view the webinars as follows:

  • Friday, September 15, 2017 10:00 am – 11:30 am
  • Monday, October 16, 2017 10:00 am – 11:30 am

For those who wish to view the webinars at the State Archives please register on the Archives Website. For those that wish to view the webinars on their own, please move to Part 2.

Part 2 of the workshop includes a day-long seminar about response and recovery.

  • Monday, October 23, 2017 9:00 am – 4:00 pm

Participation in the in-person workshop requires viewing the online webinars BEFORE attending the Part 2 in-person workshop AND completing the workshop assignments given during the webinars.

Register Here for the in-person event. (This URL opens the WESTPAS calendar: register by clicking the month and day of the workshop desired.)

Who should attend?

Administrators and staff responsible for emergency preparedness and continuity of operations (COOP) planning, response, and decision-making should attend. This also includes local and state appointed records officers and chief administrative officers.
Participating institutions will be invited to join an informal network of WESTPAS trained personnel to provide mutual aid in the event of emergencies involving collections in your region.


This event is FREE for all attendees. The funding is provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities.


All individuals must register for the event.

For assistance with registering for the webinar viewings at the State Archives contact: Rae Gifford, rgifford@utah.gov, 801-531-3836.
For in-person seminar registration assistance contact: Wendy Cao, caow@plsinfo.org
For general & content information contact: Randy Silverman, randy.silverman@utah.edu, 801-585-6782

Attorney Records Retention Schedule for Your Input

August 30, 2017 Comments off

We would like to propose new general retention schedules for criminal and civil case files to the State Records Committee at their next meeting on September 14th. You can see them all on our website here. If you have any questions, or changes you would like to see to these general retention schedules, please notify Rebekkah Shaw at rshaw@utah.gov or 801-531-3851.

Higher Education Retention Schedules for Your Input

August 25, 2017 Comments off

We would like to propose new general retention schedules for higher education records to the State Records Committee at their next meeting on September 14th. You can see them all on our website here. If you have any questions, or changes you would like to see to these general retention schedules, please notify Rebekkah Shaw at rshaw@utah.gov or 801-531-3851.

Upcoming Training

July 27, 2017 Comments off

The following is a list of August training events offered at the Utah State Archives located downtown Salt Lake City. All employees of a governmental entity are invited to participate, especially records officers, chief administrative officers, information technology specialists, and legal advisors.

Instructions on how to register for Archives’ events can be found hereUtah State Archives’ training events are free of charge. Questions regarding training events may be directed to recordstraining@utah.gov or 801-531-3863.

Next week, August 3rd from 9:00 a.m. to noon:

Records Management 2: General Retention Schedules

This class explains what the general retention schedules are and provides practice in using them. Participants will learn about their roles in creating and updating the general schedules, and will hear about future plans for updates.

Two weeks later on August 15th from 9:00 a.m. to noon:

Records Management 1: Records Management Essentials 

This class covers best practices and legal responsibilities of government agencies in managing records, as well as practical steps for implementing a records management program and resources that are available through the State Archives. The online course can be accessed here.