Managing Records

The Records Services section of the State Archives helps state and local government agencies manage their records, from the point of the record's creation to its destruction or long-term preservation. The section has three components: Records Management, the Records Center, and Imaging and Preservation Services.

Records Management

The Records Management program helps state and local government agencies comply with the requirements of La. R.S. Title 44. They collaborate with agencies to develop agencies' records retention schedules (a document which specifies how long a public record must be retained by an agency); they review agencies' requests to dispose of public records that have met the retention requirements specified in the agencies' retention schedules; they conduct appraisals of agencies' records to determine which records have historical value and should be transferred to the State Archives for inclusion in the State Archives' collection; they assist agencies with disaster planning and recovery; and they offer free monthly records management training

Records Center

The Records Center, created by La. R.S. 44:414, accepts records from State agencies for secure, low-cost storage. Records must be inactive and have a retention period of 10 years or less. Records stored at the Records Center remain the property of the agency which deposited them and the agency retains control over who is authorized to access the records. The Records Center staff retrieves requested records for agencies, notifies agencies when records have met their retention requirements and are eligible for disposal; and destroys records after they have received approval from the depositing agencies.

Imaging and Preservation Services

The Imaging and Preservation Services program, created by La. R.S. 44:414-415, provides imaging services for state and local government agencies to facilitate preservation and promote access to public records. Imaging capabilities include the conversion of paper to microfilm, paper to digital format, and digital format to microfilm. Once the materials have been imaged, the originals can either be returned to the agency or disposed of in a confidential manner. The Imaging and Preservation Services program also provides archival storage of the microfilm produced.

Agencies that lack internally established paper conversion systems of their own or whose equipment no longer meets their needs must contract with the State Archives for conversion services or obtain the approval of the State Archives before entering into a contract with another vendor or purchasing imaging equipment. 

Disaster Planning and Recovery

The Records Management and Archives programs work together to assist agencies in safeguarding public records in the event of a disaster by providing information regarding emergency preparedness, disaster recovery, and the disposal of unsalvageable, non-permanent records. Agencies should report any damage, unauthorized deletion, or alteration of records in their custody to the State Archives.