May 16, 2022

Council of State Archivists (CoSA) Releases Statement on Essential Characteristics of the Archivist of the United States

From the Council of State Archivists (CoSA):

The Council of State Archivists (CoSA) represents the repositories of official government records of state, territorial, and District of Columbia governments. As the primary organization representing the custodians of state records, CoSA is obligated to articulate its expectations for the role and relationship between the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) and the various state and territorial archives.

Our federal system of government establishes a close and interdependent relationship between the national and state and territorial governments. Information is shared, aggregated, reported, and exchanged between levels of government, creating complex and interdependent information systems. These systems create some of the most significant records in our nation, and elements of these records are captured at both the state and national levels. A full representation of our nation’s history is not possible without a strong collaborative relationship between the national and state archives to ensure that the records essential to our republic and its constituent parts are adequately managed, preserved, and accessible.

The Archivist of the United States, as the leader of NARA, is central to facilitating the relationship between the state and national archival repositories. Therefore, CoSA recommends the following essential characteristics of the Archivist of the United States.

Click here to download the complete statement and see a list of current endorsements.

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( 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, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.