The National Archives’ strategic plan is a major step toward 21st-century records management, the Deputy Archivist of the United States said last week during a major conference of archival professionals.
Debra Steidel Wall joined other senior leaders from the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) to detail the agency’s digital goals during an August 17 panel discussion at the joint annual meeting of the Society of American Archivists, the Council of State Archivists, and the National Association of Government Archives and Records Administrators held August 12–18 in Washington, DC.
“One particularly bold initiative . . . we’ve set is that we will no longer take records in paper form after December 31, 2022,” Wall said. “Although that goal sounds dramatic and is going to be a major milestone for us, it’s really part of a long evolution at the National Archives. We started our first electronic records program 50 years ago, and we’ve been taking a series of steps over the last decade or more to help Federal agencies transition to fully electronic recordkeeping.”
With additional goals of advancing electronic recordkeeping for all government agencies and digitizing 500 million pages of the collection, Wall called the strategic plan a major step toward modernizing records management.
“We think our strategic plan respects our traditions as archivists and our responsibilities,” she said. “[It] also helps the Federal Government take its modern recordkeeping responsibilities very seriously for the benefit of government transparency, not just for today, but for well into the future.”
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