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Ensuring a Future for Our Past, 1998

The New York State Historical Records Advisory Board’s strategic plan, Ensuring a Future for Our Past, 1998, identifies priorities and goals for the preservation and use of historical records. Its development involved collection of data on historical records conditions, issues, and needs, and public review of and comment on a draft plan. 

Ensuring a Future for Our Past is summarized below.  Paper copies may be obtained from the New York SHRAB Coordinator, Cultural Education Center, Albany, New York 12230


Priority: Educating the Public 
Goal 1: Inform the public of the existence, uses, and long term values of historical records 
Goal 2: Educate people to save today the materials that will become tomorrow’s historical records 
Goal 3: Promote the use of historical records at all levels of education

Priority: Ensuring Comprehensive Documentation 
Goal 1: Ensure equitable documentation of the current and historical records communities 
Goal 2: Improve the extent and coverage of state and local government archival holdings

Priority: Providing Broad Access 
Goal 1: Ensure that all communities have equitable access to historical programs, resources, and services
Goal 2: Foster the widest possible use of New York’s historical records

Priority: Providing Professional Education and Development 
Goal 1: Enhance knowledge and skill in the archival and historical records profession 
Goal 2: Improve the preservation of the historical records of New York
Goal 3: Establish, maintain, and improve records management programs

Priority: Increasing Advocacy and Support 
Goal 1: Develop a broad base of support for archival and records management programs
Goal 2: Secure adequate and stable funding for records management and archival programs

Statewide Priorities, 2007 — Update

In 2007, the New York State Historical Records Advisory Board reviewed the 1998 plan and reaffirmed the continuing critical importance of its statewide priorities and goals. In response to evolving technology and changing conditions in the 21st century, they identified new priorities in five key areas.

Electronic Records

  • Ensure the preservation of and access to archival electronic records

Emergency Planning/Preparedness

  • Ensure that New York’s historical records repositories are prepared for natural and human-caused disasters

Legislative and Gubernatorial records

  • Advocate for the passage of legislation to require the preservation and accessibility of  New York’s legislative and gubernatorial historical records

Education and Training in Archival Practice

  • Promote development of new methods and strategies for and access to education and training

Increasing Funds for Historical Records Repositories Statewide

  • Advocate for federal/state support for historical records programs in New York