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Third Report of the Advisory Committee on the Records of Congress, Dec. 31, 2000


Compiled by Karen D. Paul, under the direction of Gary Sisco, Chairman, and Jeff Trandahl, Vice Chairman

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A people who cannot document their rights cannot exercise them.

--John W. Carlin, Archivist of the United States, September 15, 2000

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Preface: Three recent trends threaten the integrity of the records of Congress. First, the volume and complexity of individual members' records are increasing dramatically, while members typically are finding less time to oversee the preservation of these materials. Second, over the past five years, the nearly revolutionary conversion to electronic records in member and committee offices poses major new challenges for the preservation of this inherently unstable form of information storage. And finally, seemingly random dispersal of members' papers to numerous institutions within each state is seriously impeding efforts to organize strong, state-based public-service resources centers. The following report further identifies these disturbing trends and provides a framework for ensuring that the American people continue to have full and timely access to useful information about the work of the United States Congress.

Table of Contents

Executive Summary

Members' Papers

Electronic Records Management, Preservation, and Access

Congressional Documentation

National Archives Building Renovation

Preservation Plans and Surveys at the Center for Legislative Archives

Access

Outreach Projects

Status of Recommendations from the First and Second Advisory Committee Reports and Analysis of Resource Requirements

Appendices:

A: Senators Who Made Provisions for their Papers

Prior to Retirement

B: Preservation Survey

C: Electronic Records Survey

D: Center-Repository Cooperative Ventures Survey

E: Congressional Web Sites

F: Committee Member Biographies

G: Statute Establishing Advistory Committee

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