Press/Journalists

Press Release
August 2, 2004


National Archives Names Companies to Design Archives of the Future

WHAT:  Just as 8-track tapes, Betamax videos, and 5 1/4 inch floppy disks have become obsolete, so too will the information on your zip drives, thumb drives, and DVDs if the problem of saving electronic information over time isn't solved.

  • The National Archives and Records Administration is developing that solution!
  • To preserve billions of pieces of information that may be otherwise lost, the National Archives is announcing the start of the construction design for an electronic archives of the future--the Electronic Records Archives.
  • Two nationally-known companies will be named to compete to design a system that will capture electronic information, regardless of its format, save it permanently, and make it accessible on whatever hardware or software is currently in use.

WHO:   Archivist of the United States John W. Carlin
Assistant Archivist for Human Resources and Information Services L. Reynolds Cahoon
Director of the Electronic Records Archives Kenneth Thibodeau

WHEN:   10 AM, Tuesday, August 3, 2004

WHERE:   The Jefferson Room,
The National Archives Building
700 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC
The media should use the Pennsylvania Avenue entrance.
Cameras must pre-set by 9:40 AM.
The announcement will be webcast beginning at 3 PM, August 3, at: www.archives.gov/electronic_records_archives

Background information:   The National Archives is responding to the challenge posed by the diversity, complexity, and enormous volume of electronic records being created today and the rapidly changing nature of the systems that are used to create them by developing the Electronic Records Archives (ERA). ERA will be a comprehensive, systematic, and dynamic means for preserving virtually any kind of electronic record, free from dependence on any specific hardware or software. When operational, ERA will make it easy for the public and government officials to find records they want, and easy for NARA to deliver those records in formats people need.

The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) ensures, for the citizen, the President, the Congress and the Courts, ready access to essential evidence that documents the rights of citizens, the actions of federal officials, and the national experience. The National Archives is a public trust that plays a key role in fostering effective and responsible government through management of the lifecycle of records in all three branches of the Federal Government and through sustained access to historically valuable records in the National Archives and the Presidential Libraries. These records enable people to inspect for themselves what the government has done, allow officials and agencies to review their actions, and help citizens hold them accountable.

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For more information, the media should contact the National Archives Public Affairs staff at 202-501-5526.

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The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration
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