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Committee Report | March 2011

Tuesday, March 15, 2011 - 11:20pm

SED Seal                                                                                   




Cultural Education Committee


Jeffrey Cannell 




New York State Historical Records Advisory Board Strategic Plan


February 15, 2011









Issue for Discussion

The New York State Historical Records Advisory Board (SHRAB) guides efforts to address the critical needs of New York’s historical records and the organizations that collect and care for them.  Discussion will focus on SHRAB’s current strategic priorities to expand access to and use of New York’s historical records.

Proposed Handling

A member of SHRAB will brief the Regents on the Advisory Board’s strategic priorities, which focus on needs and directions for the over 3,000 organizations in New York that preserve and make accessible the documentary heritage of our state.

Procedural History

SHRAB is a 13-member citizen board is appointed by the Commissioner of Education. The board works in close cooperation with the State Archives and the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC), the funding arm of the National Archives. Every state that receives grant funds from the NHPRC is required to have a SHRAB. 

Background Information

SHRAB is a strong partner of the State Archives and a respected leader in New York's historical records community, advocating on behalf of the keepers and the users of New York’s documentary heritage. In collaboration with the State Archives over the past five years, SHRAB has sought and received funding for seven grants totaling well over $1 million from NHPRC and the National Endowment for the Humanities to support historical records work in this state. 

SHRAB's current strategic priorities focus on needs and issues that must be addressed in order to ensure a future for New York's past.  Those priorities are:

  • Managing archival electronic records;
  • Emergency planning/preparedness for historical records repositories;
  • Ensuring the retention of archival records of the governor and legislature;
  • Providing education and training in archival practice; and
  • Increasing support for historical records repositories statewide.


The Board has obtained three consecutive State-National Archives Partnership (SNAP) grants to support training in electronic records preservation and access, archival security, and continuing advancement of New York’s archival programs.  The electronic records training focuses on the critical needs of archivists, librarians, records managers, and IT professionals in New York’s colleges and universities. 

Through the grant-supported training, SHRAB has educated over 200 members of New York’s records community on the pressing issues of electronic records and archival security. To sustain the learning after the workshops are over, the Board has supported the development and delivery of new web-based tools and training webinars via their web site. It has also incorporated train-the-trainer sessions, to expand the educator corps, and instituted “reunion” meetings of training participants to share lessons and challenges.