Distinguished Service Award: Council of State Archivists

The Council of State Archivists (CoSA) is a 2018 recipient of the Distinguished Service Award given by the Society of American Archivists (SAA). The award recognizes an archives institution, education program, nonprofit organization, or government organization that has given outstanding service to its public and has made an exemplary contribution to the archives profession.

CoSA’s archival leadership, training, publication, and advocacy work between 2005 and today, combined with its earlier accomplishments as the Council of State Historical Records Coordinators between 1989 and 2005, continually reflect its deep commitment to the long-term preservation of and access to the documentary records of America’s fifty-six state and territorial governments.

In recent years, CoSA’s work has significantly contributed to the development of new archival theory and practice related to the management and preservation of digital records, the establishment of practical emergency preparedness protocols for government records, and the training of nonarchivists. Among its many initiatives, CoSA’s Digital Best Practices Series founded in 2017, State Electronic Records Initiative started in 2012, Intergovernmental Preparedness for Essential Records Project begun in 2007, and Preserving the American Historical Record Act initiated in 2005 stand out for their innovativeness and shaping of new archives management and preservation practices across the profession.

The awards committee praised CoSA’s “tireless visionary leadership, sensitive listening to the archives profession’s needs, and the development of practical new initiatives to address preservation and access demands over time.”