January 25, 2022

Vermont: Retiring State Archivist Ushered the Past Into the Future

From the Burlington Free Press:

“Government creates vast amounts of information, but we never treat it as a business asset,” [Gregory] Sanford said. Over 30 years he has employed patient persistence to help policymakers see the value of government information, historic and current, and begin to adopt policies to make it accessible, usable and available to future generations.

Information, Sanford believes, “isn’t going to tell you what to do, but it gives you context.”


It’s a whole new world, and one Sanford said he is willingly handing off to his successor, [Tanya] Marshall. She already has laid the framework for the future, he said, by working with agencies to define the purpose of records and with the state’s technology experts to create systems to sort and save records.

“Other states are beginning to pay attention,” Sanford said.

“Archivists have been trying to figure out how to maintain electronic records,” said [Vickie] Walch [executive director of the Council of State Archivists] of the national organization “Vermont is way ahead.”

“If I had to pick a state to be optimistic about the handling of electronic records, it would be Vermont,” Walch added. Marshall “is already providing leadership to our whole profession. We are grateful to Gregory for finding her.”

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About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.