The Council of State Archivists (CoSA), a national organization representing the heads of the country’s 56 state and territorial archives, presented the Library of Virginia’s Governor Tim Kaine Email Project Team with its Rising Star award in recognition of being the first state government archives in the United States to make the emails of a previous administration freely available to the public online. The award, which recognizes outstanding contributions by individual staff members or teams to their state archives and constituencies, was made at the joint meeting of the Society of American Archivists/National Association of Government Archives and Records Administrators/Council of State Archivists in Washington, DC, on 14 August.
The Kaine Email Project Team put Virginia’s state archives on the forefront of open government in the modern age. The Library received approximately 1.3 million email messages from the administration of Governor Kaine (2006-2010). To date, the Library has reviewed 667,000 emails, and placed 130,644 archival records online in an organized searchable database, Kaine Email Project @ LVA. Users can search and view email records from the Governor’s Office and his cabinet secretaries; learn about other public records from the Kaine Administration; go behind the scenes to see how the Library of Virginia made the email records available; and read what others are saying about the collection.
The lead project … read more »
“Lost and Found,” the Library of Virginia’s new exhibition, explores how the loss and discovery of items affects personal and collective memory. The exhibition was inspired by the records “found” in bank safety deposit boxes by the Department of Treasury’s Division of Unclaimed Property. In Virginia, the Unclaimed Property Act (Code of Virginia, 55-210.1 to 55-210.30) establishes the Department of Treasury and its Unclaimed Property Division as the official custodian for property left in safety deposit boxes when no owner or heir appears to claim the assets.
By 2001, roughly 300 cubic feet of Department of the Treasury records sat unused in the stacks of the Library of Virginia. Changes in the retention and disposition schedule for this series of records have allowed State Records archivists at LVA to review their contents and make them available to the public for the first time. These records, managed by the Unclaimed Property Division, consist of personal papers culled from abandoned safe deposit boxes throughout the state. Previously, the collection was scheduled to be retained permanently, but was restricted and could be used only by Treasury employees.
Should attempts by Treasury employees to locate the owners or rightful heirs of the unclaimed property prove unsuccessful, the property in question legally reverts to the state. As the contents of abandoned safe deposit boxes arrive in the Unclaimed Property Division, … read more »