Managing Records:

Services for State Agencies

What's New

Selected New Accessions

New accessions consist of New York state agency records that have been received by the State Archives, and are available for use. Researchers should be advised that, in some cases, access to records may be restricted due to their unprocessed nature or for legal reasons.

Contact the reference services department at 518-474-8955 or with questions or to request access to particular records.

Restacking Project

Since October 2011, the New York State Office of General Services has been leading an effort to consolidate agency space. Several agencies have been or will be affected by this “restacking” project. For guidance on Archives’ services, refer to:

Records Management Advice and Training

The Archives can advise you in managing your records throughout their lifecyle from creation to destruction or preservation. We offer advisory services on any issue in records management including:

  • archival records
  • disaster planning and recovery
  • electronic records management
  • files management
  • imaging
  • inactive records
  • inventorying records
  • micrographics
  • preservation of records
  • policy development
  • records management program development
  • retention scheduling
  • security and access

The Archives offers free workshops for agency Records Management Officers and other staff. Please visit the Archives workshops page to see what sessions are being offered this season. The Archives also offers customized, onsite training.

Contact the State Agency Services unit or the Retention Scheduling and Appraisal unit for advice or more information.

Retention Scheduling and Appraisal

The Archives has developed the General Retention and Disposition Schedule for New York State Government Records to address the retention periods of many of the more common records state agencies create. Agencies that have not already adopted the General Schedule and wish to do so may complete and submit this General Schedule Adoption Form.

In addition, the Archives works with individual state agencies to develop schedules for their unique records not found on the general schedule. See State Agency Records Disposition Request Forms for information on developing individualized retention schedules, as well as instructions on how to complete the required scheduling forms. All agency records must be scheduled prior to destruction or transfer to the Archives or State Records Center.

State agencies submitting records disposition schedules to the State Archives that propose to substitute imaged records for original records for retention purposes should complete an Imaging Certification Statement [MS Word version or PDF version].

Contact the Retention Scheduling and Appraisal unit. For more information about scheduling, visit the retention and disposition page.

Transferring Records

To transfer your agency's scheduled archival records to the State Archives, please follow the steps outlined in the Instructions for Transferring Archival Records to the New York State Archives. Each transfer must be accompanied by a transfer memo that outlines what records are being transferred and a transfer/container list. To assist you in developing a transfer list, the Archives has prepared a set of guidelines.

Contact the Accessioning unit.

Inactive Records Storage and the State Records Center

For agencies that maintain their inactive records onsite, consult the Archives' publication titled, Developing an Inactive Records Storage Facility (Pub #48).

The State Records Center is an inactive records storage site that offers safe, low-cost storage, retrieval, and destruction services to New York State agencies. For more information about the Records Center, or to download transfer forms, please visit the New York State Records Center page.

For agencies that wish to use commercial offsite storage, the Archives maintains a list of records storage vendors.

Contact the State Records Center.

Reference Services

The Archives provides access to over 100,000 cubic feet of archival records of New York State government (executive, legislative, and judicial branches). We also assist researchers in locating archival records held by government agencies and historical repositories. For more information about how to find records and reference room hours and directions, refer to the Research section of the website.

Contact the Reference Services unit.

Electronic Records

There are many challenges with managing and preserving records in electronic format. Agencies should be prepared to maintain access to these records for their entire retention period by the use of standard or open formats, migrating to new versions or systems as needed, periodic refreshing of media, the use of backups, and other appropriate strategies. The Archives has developed materials relating to the following types of electronic records: email, voicemail, geographic information systems, and digital images (Imaging Production Guidelines and Managing Imaging and Micrographics Projects).

For assistance in creating new electronic recordkeeping systems or records and managing active electronic records, contact the State Agency Services unit. For assistance in scheduling electronic records, contact the Retention Scheduling and Appraisal unit. For assistance in transferring electronic records to the Archives or preserving electronic records, contact the Electronic Records unit.

Preservation of Records

The Archives has staff available to assist you in answering questions relating to preserving records in various formats, storing records in appropriate environmental conditions, and conserving records.

Contact the Collections Management unit.

State Laws and Regulations

The Archives is charged with the responsibility of protecting the State's archival records and establishing the requirements for the disposition of State government records, as per the Arts and Cultural Affairs Law, Section 57.05. The responsibilities of the Archives, as well as agency records management programs and their records management officers (RMO), are further defined in the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education, Part 188.

Other Resources

Catalog of agency records in the Archives

Consultant and Vendors lists