|SHRAB Minutes - October 24, 2006|
Nevada State Historical Records Advisory Board
Guy Louis Rocha, State Coordinator, called the meeting to order at 10:23 a.m. at the Nevada Historical Society.
Board members present: Guy Louis Rocha, Nevada State Library and Archives; Victoria Ford, UNR Cooperative Extension; Peter Michel, UNLV Special Collections; Jacque Sundstrand, UNR Special Collections; James C. Smith, Lawyer; Bill Watson, Foundation 36.
Absent: Sara Jones, Nevada State Library and Archives; Sabrina Mercadante, City of Henderson; David Millman, Nevada State Museum and Historical Society, Las Vegas; Shayne Del Cohen, Consultant.
Staff Present: Jeffrey Kintop, Nevada State Library and Archives; Elizabeth Moore, Nevada State Library and Archives.
Item #1 – Welcome and Introductions:
Mr. Rocha asked for introductions from the Board Members and Board Staff, including new Board Member Bill Watson from Foundation 36 and new Board Staff Elizabeth Moore of the Nevada State Library and Archives.
Mr. Rocha gave a brief history and overview of the State Historical Records Advisory Board (SHRAB). The Nevada SHRAB was created by statute in 1989 as the first in the United States.
Action Item #2 – Approve February 2, 2006 Minutes:
Mr. Rocha asked if anyone had changes or corrections to make to the February 2, 2006, meeting minutes. The following changes and/or corrections were recommended:
Page 2: In the bullet point at the bottom of the page, delete the extra “school” so that the line reads “Blue Diamond Elementary School.”
Page 3: In the center of the first paragraph of Item #5, “Jarbage” should be changed to “Jarbidge,” “historians students” should be changed to “history students.” “That the perhaps SHRAB” in the second paragraph should be changed to “that perhaps the SHRAB.”
Page 4: Should read “Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) Camps” not “Mining Camps.”
Page 5, Objective 1.5: the name of the University and Community College System of Nevada (UCCSN) has been changed to the Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE).
Page 6, Objective 2.2: Insert a period (.) after “local governments” and cross out “and implement same.”
Page 8: Name correction from “Goy” to “Guy” Rocha.
Ms. Sundstrand moved to approve the minutes of February 2, 2006, as amended. Mr. Watson seconded the motion. Mr. Watson abstained from the vote as he was not present at the meeting in question. The rest of the board members present approved adoption of the amended minutes of February 2, 2006.
Jarbidge History Project Update:
Digitized copies of all oral histories, inventories, etc., associated with the Jarbidge project have been given to UNLV special collections.
A story about Jarbidge came out through the Associated Press, profiling the two principal women involved, and the SHRAB can take some pride in having been associated with this project. Jarbidge was also mentioned in the most recent issue of the Humanities newspaper Touchstone with more photos included; the project received some funding from the Humanities Committee.
The Blue Diamond project was also written up in the Touchstone.
These items indicate that the SHRAB mission is advancing due to the involvement in historical documentation projects throughout the state.
Action Item #2 is concluded.
Information Item # 3 – NSLA Visit to the Washington State Digital Archives - Jeff Kintop:
Teri Mark, the Nevada State Records Manager, Guy Rocha, the Nevada State Archivist, and Jeff Kintop, the Nevada State Archives Manager, visited the Washington State Digital Archives on the Eastern Washington University campus in Cheney, Washington, during the last week of June 2006. The Nevada State Library and Archives (NSLA) staff met with Adam Jansen, the Washington State Digital Archivist, and Jerry Handfield, the Washington State Archivist. The Washington Secretary of State, Sam Reed, is very proactive had the idea for the digital archives. Some of the $2.5 million cost for the project was generated through a $1 fee added to filings; an existing building and infrastructure were used to help defray the expense.
The Washington Digital Archive is not data warehousing or backup but is functioning as an actual archive. Information is converted into a selected archival electronic format (i.e. TIF files, XML, or PDF-A, etc.) and that is archived. A use copy is generated at the same time using XML markup to provide searchable and retrievable online internet access to the records. Images and digital objects are wrapped in meta data with all the background information, including the time received, allowing verification of the record’s authenticity so that certified original copies may be generated for a court proceeding or legal filing. Everything that comes in has to be converted immediately into one of the archival formats and the XML markup.
In the beginning, their research room was set up with high-tech computers for public use. When they realized people were accessing their information from the web and that the computers in the research room were unnecessary and they were moved to another area to be used to convert documents. The servers and memory are all in that area with a lot of room for expansion is available. A legacy museum of older computer equipment is maintained and the legacy lab will be used for conversion of older formats and other electronic media.
Mr. Kintop passed around a brochure about the Washington Digital Archives.
Over 6.5 million records have been converted at this time, including county records, and new information is being added constantly. They are working with a staff of five. Copies are free when printed out at home and a fee is charged for certified copies; part of the certification fee goes to the archive and the rest is given to the government entity that originated the document.
Mr. Rocha read some background information on the Washington Digital Archive.
Mr. Watson requested clarification on the disposition of the original documents once they have been converted to the digital format. Mr. Rocha and Mr. Kintop explained that the original document must have intrinsic value for the analog copy to be saved; the state constitution would be maintained in analog format, but not documents associated with a normal records retention schedule. Mr. Watson then asked whether microfilm backups are available. He recommended that Nevada consider microfilm backup for purposes of disaster preparedness.
The backup to the Washington Archives is in Olympia, on the opposite side of the state from the Cheney location. Backups should be kept in distant locations (perhaps even other states) in order to preserve them in case of emergency situations.
For more information on the Washington Digital Archive: www.digitalarchives.wa.gov; click on the “about us” link for a PowerPoint presentation (the Digital Archives Overview). A 158-page white paper is also available.
Mr. Michel asked if the Washington Digital Archives is affiliated with Eastern Washington University and whether they use the University’s information technology staff at all. The Archives is not affiliated with the University and they do not use the University staff.
Nevada is in need of a state digital archive and the SHRAB is one of the bodies that may help to move the idea forward. To proceed, the state might work with the Southern Nevada Shared Technology Group, consisting of the City of Las Vegas, the Metro Police, Clark County, the State Department of Information Technology, and the State Library and Archives. This group wanted to operate out of a shared computer facility due to the large systems necessary to handle certain information that they need to share among themselves (not with the public). The discovery of the need for long-term preservation of some items led the inclusion of the State Library and Archives. The technology group hired a company called SAIC to interview everyone involved; Jeff Kintop met was interviewed yesterday so they could find out what the State Library and Archives is hoping to get out of the group. During the course of the interview, Jeff learned that the other local government entities involved in the technology group knew nothing about retention schedules.
The schedules have been in the Nevada Administrative Code (NAC) for nearly 20 years and have been sent out to various agencies. An updated manual may be available next year.
Ms. Sundstrand asked about the format of the information sent to the Washington digital archive. The local government entities do the retrospective conversion of the files before sending them on to the digital archives.
Mr. Smith requested clarification on the structure of the digital archive and their interaction with the department of information technology as well as the role of the Secretary of State in the project. The Washington archive falls under the Secretary of State’s office. As a constitutional officer, the Secretary of State does not have to work with the state department of information technology. The information technology people are not normally interested in preserving anything digital because they are tool managers not content managers.
Mr. Smith briefly left the meeting.
The Washington digital archives also captures web sites and e-mail accounts (i.e. the Governor’s) as an official is about to leave office. This is considered to be a form of “transparent government.” Mr. Michel indicated that the capture of e-mails could create a problem as not all e-mail messages can be considered public record; records are determined by their contents and not just the fact that they are e-mail. A booklet was provided to the SHRAB members about the legal requirements for Nevada’s Electronic Government Records that discusses the state e-mail policy.
Mr. Watson asked what he should take away from the discussion of Item #3. This item was meant to be informational for the SHRAB members because they have not yet been able to travel to Washington to see the Digital Archives for themselves. The Washington Digital Archives is thought to be an excellent model for the future of the State of Nevada.
This agenda item can be carried forward to the next meeting. Many changes will occur in the state government over the next few months due to the upcoming election and discussion of the future of a potential Nevada State Digital Archive should be held when those changes have been made.
Information Item # 4 – Digital Projects, Electronic Records Meetings - Jeff Kintop:
The California State Archives is hosting a National Electronics Commerce Coordinating Council Conference in Sacramento, California, December 4-6, 2006 (see page four of the large handout). The conference will include a presentation of the results of the symposium on Digital Archiving: Preserving Institutional Memory and Culture held in Bellevue, Washington, in June 2006. Symposium participants reviewed, evaluated, and proposed guidance on the challenges, current practices, legal framework, technology, and costs associated with implementing digital archives programs. Participants included: Secretaries of State, State Archivists, State CIOs, Technology Directors, and representatives from the academic community and private sector of the western states. A subcommittee could be formed to attend this conference if anyone is interested; this could be a specific recommendation of goal two of the plan. This agenda item is also informational and can be addressed in greater detail during the strategic planning portion of the agenda during the afternoon portion of the meeting.
Information Item # 5 – National Projects of Council of State Archivists (NAGARA) - Guy Rocha and Jeff Kintop:
A Governor’s records manual has been provided to all the Governors in the United States to provide guidance as to how to manage their records. This is very important because a Governor’s staff won’t always understand what they should be doing and each state has a different system. No more important records exist than those of the office of governor. Any time a Governor takes office the staff should start the records management right away. Governor Guinn has been transferring his documents to the records center throughout the course of his term and the new governor and chief of staff should be approached immediately upon taking office to be sure that they do the same. Once the Governor leaves office the records will be transferred to the Archives and become accessible to the public. The new manual should be available in time for the next meeting. Texas was critical in the creation of this manual as a result of the disposition of Governor George W. Bush’s executive records (New York also had a hand in the manual’s creation). In 1983, statutes identified the Governor’s files as public domain; Nevada was on the leading edge of the process when other states were still considering the documents to be the personal property of the governor.
Mr. Kintop described two initiatives. The first is the National Association of Government Archives and Records Administrators (NAGARA) online assessment for local governments that will hopefully gather enough information to create training, a manual, and critical issue reports. Information about the assessment should be sent to all the local government record-keepers along with encouragement to participate; local governments are affected by the same federal requirements as the state government that certain records be kept. The second initiative is the implementation of an emergency preparedness framework for each state. A questionnaire had to be filled out detailing the state’s capabilities and the relationship with other emergency programs; the information will be released in a report. Each state archives is being asked to take the lead in emergency planning to maintain continuity of state records. A portable pocket disaster plan template is available online to allow personalization of the plan for each organization; the document can then be printed and folded into a small Tyvek envelope that can be carried in a pocket or purse to be available at all times.
Mr. Rocha mentioned that he attended a combined meeting of the Society of American Archivists (SAA), NAGARA, and COSA (Peter Michel was also in attendance – a total of seven people from Nevada were there) and he found that a lot was learned in the wake of hurricanes Katrina and Rita; especially that FEMA had no provision for reconstituting governments. FEMA was in attendance at the meeting and was made aware of the deficiency. Volunteers worked or are working to save documents and vital records in New Orleans, but there was no coordinated oversight through FEMA. The determination of what constitutes a vital record and where they are located is very important. The archival community is working together with FEMA representatives in Washington, DC, to make this a critical element of any emergency response plan. Tremendous losses had to be sustained in Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi, and parts of Alabama to get to that point. United States Archivist Alan Weinstein would like to go before Congress and make this a national initiative for the profession.
Benchmarks have been created to track the number of staff, size of budget, and number of FTEs; and a blue ribbon panel will also create performance measures for each state as well.
Adjourned for lunch at 12:15pm – meeting reconvened at 12:47pm.
Action Item #8: Change Bylaws regarding Meeting Days
(This item was moved up on the agenda due to time constraints.)
Discussion was held on the possible revision of Article VI of the Nevada State Historical Records Advisory Board bylaws. The current language reads as follows: Meetings. The board shall meet regularly at least three times a year, on the first Wednesday of February, June, and October and, within the limits of legislative appropriations, may hold additional meetings upon the call of the chair. A quorum will be made up of five voting members of the board.
Mr. Watson moved to strike “on the first Wednesday” from the bylaw, but to maintain the rest of the language.
Mr. Kintop re-read Article VI with the language amended as follows: Meetings. The board shall meet regularly at least three times a year, in February, June, and October and, within the limits of legislative appropriations, may hold additional meetings upon the call of the chair. A quorum will be made up of five voting members of the board.
Mr. Michel moved to adopt the amended language of the bylaw as read by Jeff Kintop. Jim Smith seconded the motion. Mr. Rocha called a vote to approve the amended language of Article VI of the Nevada State Historical Records Advisory Board as read by Mr. Kintop. The motion passed by acclamation.
Action Item # 6 – Strategic Planning:
A discussion of the Proposal of Grant Funding Board Operations adopted at the February 2006 State Historical Records Advisory Board meeting in order to make a determination as to what strategies and activities are necessary to achieve the objectives.
Goal #1 – Nevada Shall Achieve Best Practices in Record-Keeping:
Objective 1.1: Create partnerships with both public and private sectors to develop a sense of shared responsibility for records and to foster the highest possible standards for their care.
The State Historic Records Advisory Board (SHRAB) has met with the League of Cities, the Association of Counties, the Library Association, Fiscal Officers, etc. What would be the best method to achieve this goal?
Mr. Smith mentioned the necessity of continuing with as much training as possible. The extended studies program approached Mr. Kintop regarding the possibility of setting up the same type of training as the Lohrman Training on Public Records that could be offered for a certificate and continuing education units (CEUs). Educational strategies need to be discussed in order to be sure that both public and private entities understand records management procedures.
More should be done with the Humanities Committee and others who give out grant funding. For example, the Blue Diamond history project received money from the Nevada Humanities Committee for oral history projects; the SHRAB might want to consider becoming more involved in such projects in order to build a strong constituency for future project support and funding. The SHRAB could also create awards to recognize projects with historic preservation merit to help create partnerships. Reciprocity is important.
Mr. Kintop proposed that the SHRAB attend the Cultural Affairs biennial OASIS conference at the Siena Hotel in Reno during the third week of April 2007; OASIS is held every other year during a legislative session
Mr. Watson mentioned the “brick-and-mortar” aspect of certain types of grant funding. Some grants are only available to develop and improve infrastructure, buildings, etc. and will not be given out for projects such as oral histories or archival preservation items. Mr. Smith mentioned the possibility of approaching the foundations, such as E.L. Cord, for funding. Other potential partnerships might include working with the Arts Council for folk arts; the Western Heritage Folklife Center has their own archivist who could be invited to a SHRAB meeting. The goals and objectives of the SHRAB should be considered as they relate to the goals and objectives of potential funding partners.
Objective 1.2: Ensure uniform application of Nevada’s Open Records laws to provide access to public records.
One objective from last time was to try to get the Attorney General’s office to create workshops and training publications on open records law similar to what was done for the open meetings law. This is still a valid activity. The state will soon have a new attorney general and this will be a good way to involve them.
Objective 1.3: Encourage the development and/or expansion of training curricula for courses in archives and records management and information technology. Insure that courses include information and training in preservation and disaster preparedness.
An ARMA meeting will be held in Las Vegas in 2007.
The Society of American Archivists (SAA) will sponsor “May Day” training as a reminder to update plans on the local, state, and national level. This is something the SHRAB should be involved with in order to remind people around the state to update their disaster plans.
Also, two courses on emergency planning and plans are available on the Redfield Campus: one is about the principles of emergency planning and the other is about how to develop an emergency plan. More information is available through the extended studies web site. The SHRAB might endorse and promote these types of training.
Objective 1.5: Encourage the Regents and administration of the University and Community College System (now the Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE)) to institute records management programs.
New regents are about to be elected and the University of Nevada, Reno has a new president, Milton Glick, so this would be a good time to approach NSHE and continue with this objective. The system is now more involved in crisis planning and has a new risk manager so this could also open the door. Southern Nevada also has new people to approach.
Ms. Sundstrand and Mr. Smith will work together as a subcommittee in order to approach the new administration and continue with this objective.
Goal #2 – Nevada Shall Achieve Best Practices in Electronic Record-Keeping:
Objective 2.1: Facilitate identification, description, protection, preservation, migration, and improved access to electronic records scheduled as permanent.
Should a portion of the best practices deal with protection of the access information attached to a record?
Mr. Michel asked why information should be kept on people accessing the records as this seems to be an unnecessary violation of personal privacy. He pointed out that the information about what a library patron checks out is not public information. Mr. Smith mentioned that access issues are still under consideration in the courts.
A distinction must be made between information technology and archival best practices. Objective 2.1 might need clarification through the addition of further terminology. The determination was made to include “authenticate” so that the objective reads: Identify, describe, authenticate, protect, preserve, migrate, and improve access to electronic records scheduled as permanent.
This issue should be revisited in the future and the SHRAB should meet with the Nevada Electronic Records Committee (NERC) to share information on the legal requirements for electronic records.
Goal #3 – Nevada’s People and Governments Will Share Responsibility to Preserve and Make Our Unique Documentary Heritage Available:
Goal #3 can be connected with Goal #1 both share the key component of educating Nevada’s people and governments about records preservation. Creating the partnerships mentioned in Goal #1 will help fulfill the requirements of Goal #3.
Mr. Smith suggested that the need for a digital archive be reiterated under Goal 3.4: Improve access to records statewide by encouraging the creation of traditional finding aids and directories, as well as through the wider use of standard online descriptions. Mr. Kintop clarified the difference between a digital archive and a digital (collaborative) library.
Steve Davis of the Nevada Humanities Committee mentioned to Mr. Kintop the possibility of creating a grant-funded “circuit rider” traveling archivist. Mr. Michel mentioned that Georgia has a similar type of position tied to a re-grant project.
Mr. Watson indicated the importance of privacy rights when making documentary heritage available and stated that nothing should be to the detriment of the privacy rights, safety, or well-being of our citizens. Mr. Smith proposed that new language be added and Ms. Sundstrand asked whether the new language should be added to 3.1 instead so that the goal remains broad and the objective more specific.
Goal #4 – Foster and Support Programs to Protect Nevada’s Shared Documentary Heritage from Disasters, Deterioration, and Neglect:
Participation with the national May Day project and distributing information about the SHRAB will help meet the requirements of this goal. Toby Murray, UNLV preservationist and disaster planner, may be of assistance in organizing a statewide group.
Goal #5 – Mobilizing Collective Funding Resources to Support Documentary Heritage Programs:
This goal also connects back to Goal #1. Private foundation money can be raised for an NHPRC matching grant.
Objective 5.1: Obtain a secure, appropriate funding base for staff and programs of SHRAB. One strategy would be to support the re-grant cost initiative by writing to legislators. Another would be to create a state historic preservation model based on the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) funding; each state gets a certain amount of money with a percentage going to the administration of the grants and the rest being re-granted out on a grant proposal basis.
Discussion on Action Item #6 was concluded with Mr. Rocha calling for a motion. Mr. Smith moved that the strategic planning goals and objectives be approved as amended. Mr. Michel and Ms. Sundstrand both seconded the motion. The amended strategic planning goals and objectives were approved by acclamation.
Action Item #7 – Discussion of Project Activities for 2006-07 SHRAB Operating Grant:
SHRAB should plan two statewide conferences during the grant year (see page 14 of the handout). Involvement with the OASIS conference may fulfill part of this requirement. A Records Management in the Digital World Conference will be held in conjunction with Archives Week in October of 2007.
A meeting may be held with the California SHRAB, possibly at the Thunderbird Lodge, in June of 2007 (page 16 of the handout). The requested date should be e-mailed to Bill Watson as soon as possible in order to reserve the Thunderbird for the meeting; June is a heavy wedding month and weekdays are preferable. Nevada SHRAB members should also be sent to a California SHRAB meeting.
The February meeting of the SHRAB will be held in Southern Nevada at Lorenzi Park (contact David Millman to verify) with some discussion about the digital collaborative library. Members will be polled by e-mail to finalize the date; February 19, 2007, is the President’s Day holiday.
Informational Item #9 - New Business:
Mr. Michel requested inclusion of the “circuit-rider” archivist proposal as an agenda item for the February meeting.
Mr. Watson thanked Mr. Kintop for the comprehensive Board Binder.
Mr. Smith mentioned that a discussion about the Nevada Constitution will be held on October 31, 2006.
Informational Item #10 – Public Comment:
No members of the public were in attendance.
Meeting Adjourned at 2:19pm
Respectfully submitted by,