New NARA online database makes Federal schedules available to the public

With no fanfare and a minimal announcement (a comment on the NARAations blog is the only public announcement I’ve seen), the National Archives and Records Administration has made available:

a records control schedule website that allows the public and Federal agencies to browse scanned copies of unclassified, NARA-approved records control schedules. We currently have NARA-approved schedules from 1985 to the present loaded, with more schedules added weekly. For more context and information about this online resource, and to browse the repository itself, please go to our records control schedule website at: http://www.archives.gov/records-mgmt/rcs/

I, of course, applaud this development since this was a recommendation I made here several weeks ago. I do find it a bit curious that no one from NARA bothered to respond to that post and let us know that such a system was, in fact, in the works and would be launched very soon, although I do know that they were aware of my comments. Can I take credit for having pushed them to make the system public earlier than expected? I’m far too modest to jump to that conclusion, but you can decide for yourself. ;)

The important thing is that the schedules are being made available, and that NARA is continuing to add to the repository. So, bravo to NARA for taking this important step in government transparency. I’m sure it will be the first of many.

UPDATE: This morning, Eric Hennekam on the Archieven.org blog also posted a story on this topic. He however has a quote from Archivist David Ferriero that appears to come from a press statement, but there is no announcement yet on the NARA press area of their web site.

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One Response to New NARA online database makes Federal schedules available to the public

  1. Paul Wester says:

    Thanks for the post about our Records Control Schedule repository!

    I’m biased, but our staff did a wonderful job developing and executing this project over the past number of months. While it was begun to address several internal business process needs and better deal with an important vital records challenge, it became clear that this repository of records schedules would be important to others outside of our agency, like archival and records management professionals, a wide variety of researchers, and citizens interested in the workings of their government.

    As noted in the previous post, an online repository of records schedules or disposition authorities has been discussed at NARA for a number of years.

    In addition to latest encouragement from Kate T @ archivesnext, a number of public interest groups also called on NARA to provide online access to records schedules. There has been an uptick in interest in this issue with the new Administration and with the Open Government Directive in December. Over the years, a number of Federal agencies also requested online access to schedules to support their records management needs. It is fair to say that a number of different stakeholders have been pushing us on this issue, and it is great that we were able to establish this resource.

    The official NARA press release, with comments from the Archivist of the United States, David S. Ferriero, is available at http://www.archives.gov/press/press-releases/2010/nr10-69.html

    Thanks again!

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