Thursday, 30 April 2015

Members of Congress: preservation of files

The Library of Congress has an interesting article in "The Signal: Digital Preservation" newsletter, titled "Helping Congress Archive Their Personal Digital Files."  The article points out that "official records" are defined by House and Senate rules as any records, regardless of format, that are created or received in the course of the business conducted by congressional committees. These official committee records are eventually transferred to the National Archives and Records Administration and preserved. However, papers from a Member's congressional office are outside the scope of official records; Members maintain ownership of records created in the course of their congressional service, are responsible for effectively managing them, and determine the ultimate disposition of these papers. Members’ papers comprise both textual and electronic records and include things like personal notes, legislative research files, photos and correspondence with constituents. Members are encouraged to properly preserve these documents on their own, with guidance provided by the House and Senate archivists.

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