Public Records Request Forms

According to North Carolina’s public records law, N.C.G.S. 132, the people of North Carolina have a right to inspection of public records. N.C.G.S. 132-1(b) states, “Therefore, it is the policy of this State that the people may obtain copies of their public records and public information free or at minimal cost unless otherwise specifically provided…

How Anonymous are Anonymous Tips?

Frayda Bluestein of the UNC School of Government published a useful blog post on comments, e-mails, and messages received from citizens and whether or not they may be confidential. Like many questions about confidentiality and public records, the short answer is “it depends.” But Frayda does a great job here of sorting that out.  

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How do you decide what to keep?

Some years ago, several archivists joked that the selection of records was comparable to a grab bag: simply toss in administrative and legal needs, add a bit of historical significance along with some ambiguous “characteristics of records,” shake vigorously, and voilà! The archivist is left with a perfect sense of the value of records. Thankfully,…

Protect Those Pipes

I hope everyone enjoyed the recent warm weather, as it looks like North Carolina is in store for another arctic blast.  Forecast for the mountain counties are calling for below freezing temperatures for up to 96 continuous hours this week.  As the last cold spell reminded us, these bitter cold temperatures can cause real havoc…

Example File Plan

File Cartography

In our Files & Filing workshops for local governments and state agencies, we recommend development of a file plan. The file plan is the “road map” to an office’s filing system. The file plan specifies the logical order of paper and electronic files, and the arrangement by which all documents may be identified, stored, and…

Do not underestimate the risk mold presents to your health. The Northeast Document Conservation Center warns: “Exposure to mold can lead to a debilitating allergy even among people not prone to allergies. Some molds are also toxic. Everyone who works with moldy objects must be properly protected. Gloves, goggles, and masks are the bare minimum. Exposure to mold will sensitize exposed individual’s systems, and the resulting sensitivity will lead to an allergy. This allergy, if care is not taken with protection or health concerns, will lead to severe mold-related health problems.”

What we mean by “custodian of the record.”

The maintenance, preservation, and accessibility of North Carolina’s public records are all under the purview of the records custodian. The Society of American Archivists publication, A Glossary of Archival and Records Terminology defines custodian as “the individual or organization having possession of and responsibility for the care and control of material.”   It is important that records…

Filing

Why the Box List

When packing your state agency’s records for transfer to the State Records Center, remember the box list! Among the services offered by the State Archives of North Carolina is records storage for state agencies. Any state agency, licensing board, and independent commission can transfer a records series to the State Records Center for storage when the…

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Is it a “record”?

NC General Statute 132-1 provides the baseline definition for public records: (a)        “Public record” or “public records” shall mean all documents, papers, letters, maps, books, photographs, films, sound recordings, magnetic or other tapes, electronic data‑processing records, artifacts, or other documentary material, regardless of physical form or characteristics, made or received pursuant to law or ordinance…

Bridging the Gap

Bridging the Gap between Archivist and Records Manager

If I may be permitted to make a brief introduction: My name is Kyna Herzinger, and I am a new Records Analyst with the State Archives. I have spent over eight years working with manuscript collections, institutional archives, oral histories, and even rare books.  Though my professional background has focused on historical records—and indeed, I’ve…