Utah Department of Administrative Services

Division of Archives & Records Service

News Archive


Finding Volunteers at the Job Fair

August 25, 2011

On Wednesday, August 24 several staff members of the Archives attended the University of Utah’s Student Job and Volunteer Fair. This event was held in the first week of classes to allow students as they arrive on campus to meet with employers offering part- or full-time jobs, internships, and volunteer opportunities for the coming year.  This was a new path of recruitment for the Archives, so a banner and flyer were quickly created in lieu of any existing promotional material, and a few “show-and-tell” items were gleaned from the permanent collection. Such items included publications from the 1947 centennial celebrations of the Mormon pioneers, a large bound book for recording Utah sheep breeds, and a pamphlet for the 1917 University of Utah’s Law School.

It was great to interact with students pursuing a variety of studies, even if finding a relevant connection between work at the Archives and, say, mechanical engineering was not always easy! If nothing else, we increased our visibility as a volunteer and internship opportunity. Volunteering and interning have been known to lead to rewarding careers. Volunteers are a vital part of the Archives mission to preserve records of enduring value and provide quality access to the public.

Learn about the Archives volunteer program.

Records preservation grant funding available

March 2, 2011

The Utah State Historical Records Advisory Board (USHRAB) seeks proposals from public and non-profit cultural heritage organizations for fundamental archival activities that promote the preservation of and public access to Utah's historical records and documents.  Funding is available for either preservation or access projects. 

Preservation Projects

The USHRAB seeks proposals for the processing and preservation of historical records in Utah. Eligible projects might include basic and detailed processing of collections, conservation and preservation treatment plans and projections on collections, and/or purchasing archival supplies for processing, or the appropriate housing of collections. Digitization is not eligible as a preservation project.  Preservation projects will be given funding priority.

Access Projects

The USHRAB seeks proposals promoting access to historical records. Eligible projects might include creating encoded archival description (EAD) finding aids. Digitization projects might be eligible as access projects if they make use of existing holdings of locally or regionally significant historical record collections. The materials should already be archivally processed so that projects can re-use existing information to serve as metadata for the digitized collection.  The original materials must be retained and maintained.  Digital versions must be available online and on the Mountain West Digital Library.  Digitization projects must adhere to the metadata standards of the Mountain West Digital Library. 

Grants fund one-time projects and are evaluated on how the project directly affects the program of the repository.  The project must provide results that are measurable and are related to the preservation and accessibility of the historical records within the collection.  Collections must be made available to the public at the completion of the project during regularly scheduled hours or by appointment.  Grants will be provided up to a maximum amount of $2,500.  This grant funding comes from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC), the grant-making arm of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA).

Draft applications are encouraged and must be received by March 28, 2011.  The application will be reviewed and applicants will receive feedback.  The final application is due by April 25, 2011.  USHRAB support begins no earlier than July 1, 2011, and projects must be completed by June 15, 2012. An application is available at online.  For further information, contact Janell Tuttle at jtuttle@utah.gov.


Utah Archives Month

September 8, 2010

The calendar of events is now available for repositories across the state "Saving Utah's Heritage." Visit www.utaharchivesmonth.org.

June 2010

Regional Repository directors meet

Participants in Utah’s Regional Repository program held their annual meeting at the Utah State Archives on April 6. The day-long workshop focused on training and developing ideas and promoting networking of repository directors. Discussion was held on possible topics for future training workshops to be held at the regional repositories and ways to improve connections with cities, towns, municipalities, and small, local repositories within the regional repositories’ geographic area. The Archives agreed to improve the networking capabilities of the USHRAB website as well as to facilitate connections between local and regional repositories.

RM training program implemented

A new training program for agency records officers has been implemented by the Utah State Archives. Four three-hour sessions are available: Records Management I and Continuity of Operations, Records Management II (Electronic Records), Records Access I, and Records Access II (Law Enforcement Records Access). Records officers may attend 2010 training sessions at the State Archives in Salt Lake City or at four different locations around the state. Register Online.

RIMM events held

The Utah State Archives and Records Service marked the annual observance of Records and Information Management Month with two free public events in April.

The division hosted an open house for state and local government records officers and the public at the State Records Center in West Valley City on April 22. The facility, which normally is closed to the public, is used to store temporary records for government entities statewide. More than 115,000 cubic feet of records are stored at the site. Behind the scenes tours of the center were provided.

A brown bag lecture by Rosemary Cundiff and Susan Mumford entitled “Transparency in Government: Accessing Utah State and Local Government Records” was given April 29.

Records and Information Management Month activities planned

April 1, 2010


The Utah State Archives and Records Service will mark the annual observance of Records and Information Management Month with two free public events in April.

The division will host an open house for state and local government records officers and the public at the State Records Center in West Valley City on Thursday, April 22, from 3-6 p.m. The facility, which normally is closed to the public, is used to store temporary records for government entities statewide. More than 115,000 cubic feet of records are stored at the site located at 2341 South 2300 West. Behind the scenes tours of the center will be provided.

An hour-long brown bag lecture by members of the Archives staff entitled “Transparency in Government: Accessing Utah State and Local Government Records” is scheduled Thursday, April 29, at 12 noon. The event will be held at the Courtyard Meeting Room in the Utah State Archives building at 346 South Rio Grande Street (455 West).

IPER records management training course now available

January 26, 2010

The first in a three-part series of training courses to help state and local governments protect records before, during, and after natural disasters and other emergencies is now available online.

The 2005 Gulf Coast hurricanes focused the attention of state archivists and records managers on how vulnerable records are and how broad an impact their loss can have on governments, communities, and individual citizens. While the effects of the hurricanes were devastating, disasters affecting records come in many guises—flooding, terrorist attack, recovery effort damage, arson, mold, and data loss.

Sound records and information management practices are fundamental to the efficient and economical operations of any government agency. When disasters strike, state and local governments with effective records and information management programs are more likely to be able to access essential records and re-establish critical business operations quickly.

The Introduction of Records and Information Management course explains the basic concepts and processes of records and information management (RIM), including: why records and information management is so important, who is responsible for records management, what are the key tools and processes used in records and information management, and how does records and information management support disaster preparedness and continuity of operations.

State, local, territorial, and tribal government employees who are responsible for creating and maintaining records of any kinds and in any format, both paper and electronic, will benefit from this course.

The course is a suggested prerequisite for the two main courses on Essential Records and Records Emergency Preparedness and Response, which are scheduled to be released later this year.

The Council of State Archivists is leading this project to develop and deliver Web- and CD-based training for state and local governments nationwide. The Intergovernmental Preparedness for Essential Records (IPER) project is made possible by a $2.6 million award from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

Links to the IPER training are posted on various state websites. Please select one:

http://arcweb.sos.state.or.us/CoSA_Rim_Final92109.swf (Oregon)
http://www.msa.md.gov/cosa/cosa_rim_final92109.swf (Maryland)
http://sos.georgia.gov/archives/who_are_we/rims/CoSA%20Rim%20Final92109.swf (Georgia)
http://www.maine.gov/sos/arc/records/cosa_rim_final92109.swf (Maine)
http://www.cslib.org/publicrecords/cosa/CoSARimFinal92109.swf (Connecticut)
http://www.kdla.ky.gov/recmanagement/cosa_rim_final92109.swf (Kentucky)


Thanks to Our Volunteers!

Posted December 16, 2009

Friends of the Utah State Archives and Records Service and staff members who have reached milestones of employment service with the State of Utah were recognized at a staff social December 14, 2009.

Staff members receiving service awards include: Alan Barnett (10 years), Glen Fairclough (20 years), Brandon Metcalf (5 years), and Darrel Pierce (5 years).

Friends of the Archives Volunteers who were presented certificates of appreciation were: Julie Barta, Allen Clark, Don Carlos Frady, Linda Frady, Allen Gugliemotto, Rebekkah Hibbert, Elder Ed White, and Sister Darlene White. Not in attendance were Amanda Larsen and Layne Nielson.

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Introduction to Oral History Workshop

Posted September 23, 2009

This free training will cover areas such as why we collect oral history, the interview process, do’s and don’ts for interviewing, and transcribing the interview. The workshop will begin at 9 a.m. and conclude at 1 p.m. We currently have two sessions scheduled with more to follow in the spring.

October 16 - Weber State University, Ogden, contact Sarah Langsdon at 801-626-6337 to RSVP

October 29 - Utah Valley University, Orem, contact Catherine McIntyre at 801-863-8821 to RSVP

Microfilm Inventory Continues

Posted September 22, 2009

The State Archives continues its major project to improve the intellectual control of its microfilm holdings. As of September 2009, the Archives has completed transferring our master microfilm into our environmentally-controlled repository. We have completed the initial inventory, and the results are surprising.

We located almost 2,500 reels of film that were not in our content management system. All of these reels have been evaluated based on the labels on the boxes and almost all of them are records for which permanent retention is required. We are in the process of entering information about these rolls into our management system. We found approximately 100 reels that had been misfiled. These are reels that are counted as missing in our management system and can now be reentered and once again made accessible to customers. Approximately 1,000 reels are still unaccounted for and we will need to investigate further to locate them. We found 3,740 reels that had met or passed their retention dates. These reels can be deaccessioned.

These discoveries are vital to the integrity of our collection. We expect it to take another 12 to 18 months to review the entire collection. During the review process we will make sure that all required data is in our content management system. We will reappraise all microfilm holdings and apply approved retentions. Late next year, the Archives will begin offering emergency preparedness and continuity of operations (COOP) training, part of a FEMA-grant funded project with the association of the Council of State Archivists. In conjunction with this training we intend to work specifically with agencies to ensure that their vital records are being stored appropriately.

Geospatial Records at the Archives

Posted September 21, 2009

The Archives is currently participating in a Library of Congress-funded NDIIPP project called GeoMAPP to preserve geospatial records in the State of Utah. This multi-state project consisting of both archivists and geographic experts seeks to preserve records created within GIS systems. Geospatial databases are very rich in content, with great historical value identifying how our physical world changes over time. Unfortunately, these databases are updated regularly in the course of business without the older data being saved. This project has helped the Archives inventory and capture the data on an annual basis and make each iteration available to the public. Finding aids to these records will soon be published. An FTP site has been set up for people to download the native GIS files (in shapefile or geodatabase form), and also geoPDF files, which make the records more easily readable by the general public.

Utah Archives Month programs planned

Posted September 3, 2009

The Utah State Archives will observe Utah Archives Month throughout October with weekly events each Wednesday at noon. Classes geared to community and family historians will be offered each week. The statewide theme for 2009 is “Connecting With the Human Experience.”

Janina Chilton, State Hospital historian, will examine the history of the State Hospital on October 7.

Laurie Bryant, retired paleontologist and citizen historian, will present “Away from the Smoke and Dust: A Century on Salt Lake City’s East Bench,” a slideshow and talk on the history of the 15th & 15th neighborhood, on October 14.

Alan Barnett, lead reference archivist at the Utah State Archives, will discuss the growth and development of Sugar House, including a history of the territorial prison, on October 21.

“Wake the Dead,” a popular class on family history sources and research in Utah, will be presented by Tony Castro, reference archivist at the Utah State Archives, on October 28. A tour of the research center is included.

All events will be held in the Courtyard Meeting Room in the State Archives Building, 346 S. Rio Grande Street (455 West), Salt Lake City. An exhibit of capitol artifacts is on display in the lobby of the Archives building. The display includes notable artifacts, such as a capitol dome light, original office furnishings, historic photographs, design submission competition entries, program of competition booklets, a piece of granite, and commemorative items.

Public Meeting Notice Website, Developer Win 2009 Digital Awards

Posted September 2, 2009

News Release - The Utah Public Meeting Notice Website and NICUSA, Inc. (parent company of Utah Interactive, the site developer) have been selected as 2009 award winners by the Center for Digital Government.

The Digital Government Achievement Awards (DGAA), which recognize outstanding agency and department websites and projects at the application and infrastructure level, selected the Utah Public Meeting Notice Website as a winner in the government-to-government category. Award winners were announced September 1. They will be honored in Hollywood, California, September 18 at an awards dinner.

NICUSA, Inc. received a Best Fit Integrator Recognition Award in August. The award recognizes private sector companies who work closely with government to tailor solutions to suit the unique needs of government.

The year-old Utah Public Meeting Notice Website, which is administered by the Division of Archives and Records Service, provides greater accessibility to public meeting information, which encourages greater participation by the public. The information makes it possible for citizens to get their voices heard by knowing where and when meetings are being held with current topics of discussion.

Amendments to the Open and Public Meetings Act passed by the Utah State Legislature in 2007, require state agencies, schools, and most local government public bodies in Utah (with few exceptions) to publish their public meeting notices on the new Utah Public Meeting Notice website, http://pmn.utah.gov. The site became operational in 2008.

Cathliea Robinett, executive director of the California-based Center for Digital Government, announced the winners. Nominations were made last spring. The Center for Digital Government is a national research and advisory institute on information technology policies and best practices in state and local government.

Draft FY2010 Strategic Plan

August 18, 2009

View our strategic plan for this fiscal year and send comments to Patricia Smith-Mansfield at pmansfie@utah.gov.

Oral History Workshop on September 17, 2009

Posted August 18, 2009

The Utah State Historical Records Advisory Board (USHRAB) and the Utah State Archives are pleased to sponsor an Introduction to Oral History Workshop as part of the Utah State Historical Society Annual Meeting. This workshop will be held on Thursday, September 17th at the Utah State Archives Building located at 346 S. Rio Grande Street from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. This free training will cover areas such as why we collect oral history, the interview process, do’s and don’ts for interviewing, and transcribing the interview. Historian Kent Powell will present this workshop. Seating is limited to 50 people. Please RSVP to Janell Tuttle, Executive Secretary of the USHRAB, at jtuttle@utah.gov by September 15th.

Microfilm Inventory Is Underway

Posted July 1, 2009

The State Archives is engaged in a major project to improve the intellectual control of its microfilm holdings, inventorying over 120,000 reels of microfilm.

While the driving impetus for the move is the economic recession, we are using the move as an opportunity to complete a full inventory of the microfilm collections. This is a critical project that the Archives had planned to take on in future years however the recession has moved up the timetable. This process will greatly improve the intellectual control over the collections and access to government records. We will also be able to test a random selection of microfilm reels to determine deterioration, if any.

The project began two years ago to advance the Archives’ goal of improved access. The micrographics staff began by retrieving a few rolls at a time from the off-site storage location to survey the microfilm’s intellectual information. It became apparent that a full inventory of the microfilm would be necessary and that, in order to inventory that many reels, the Archives would have to move microfilm from the off-site storage facility to the Archives.

The Archives was already engaged in other large-scale projects and we thought that we could do a microfilm inventory project after their completion. However, during the Special Session of the General Legislature in 2008 and the General Session of the Legislature in 2009, the Archives budget was cut 19 percent, including a 25 percent cut in personnel.

There were many considerations for the Archives in this move and the Archives sought the assistance and advice of a regionally renowned preservationist, Randy Silverman from the University of Utah Library, and the architects who designed and constructed our repository. We received support and encouragement from them about the environmental safety, security, and stability of our facility and their assurance regarding the safety of government records of all formats, including microfilm. The Archives has a state-of-the art repository, with a stable 60 degrees Fahrenheit/40 percent relative humidity environment, which meets state seismic standards.

As part of this project, the Archives will assess the long-term storage needs of the microfilm and will move forward with an initiative, as appropriate, to ensure the environmental safety, security, and stability of the state’s essential and vital records at any off-site storage location.

Records preservation grant funding available

Posted June 4, 2009

News Release - Grant funding for historical records preservation projects is available to non-profit organizations and local governments that apply through the Utah State Historical Records Advisory Board.

Funding can be used to help repositories statewide preserve at-risk, historic records and to provide access to important collections.  Historical records preservation projects might include purchasing archival supplies to house historical records, processing or organizing historical records, rebinding severely worn records, or performing a records inventory.  Grant funds are not available for digitization projects. 

These mini-grants are intended for short-term projects and the maximum award will be $500.  All grants require a one-to-one in-kind and/or cash match. Grants must be completed with reimbursement forms submitted by December 15, 2009.  A portion of the money to fund the preservation of historic records in Utah was appropriated by the state legislature during the 2007 session.  Additional funding comes from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.

Applications are required and must be received by July 15, 2009.  The grant guidelines are available at http://archives.utah.gov/USHRAB/grant-menu.html.  An application is available at http://archives.utah.gov/USHRAB/forms-menu.html.  For further information, contact Janell Tuttle at jtuttle@utah.gov.