We’ve Moved!

We have moved

On October 1, 2017, the Utah Division of Archives and Records Service combined our two blogs into a single, new blog: archivesnews.utah.gov.

The Utah State Archives serves a diverse audience, yet we are a single institution. Our new blog is an effort to provide a single voice at a single location for all of our audiences. We will ensure that all can find the information they need, such as: preservation of records, research, administering the Utah State Historical Records Advisory Board, records management, training, GRAMA, and the Public Notice Website.

With that in mind we will no longer be posting at this web address. All new content will now be posted at archivesnews.utah.gov. Our older posts on the Researching the Utah State Archives blog will remain available while our support team works to seamlessly migrate them to the new website.

Our new blog will have a number of regular posts to highlight the different responsibilities of the Archives. Our processing team (including the Digital Archives) will post on interesting records, new finding aids and research guides, and archival best practices. Our records management team will post about training, best practices, and the popular Appointed Records Officer Spotlight. We will be adding posts on re-grant projects for the Utah State Historical Records Advisory Board, as well as quarterly reports from our reformatting team, our records center, and a variety of transparency issues.

Finally, our new blog has a number of subscription options that allows you to follow the information that pertains to your interests. Our current subscribers were moved already with instructions on updating their new profiles. Find more information on subscriptions at archivesnews.utah.gov/subscribe/.

We hope to see all of you over at archivesnews.utah.gov!

The Annual History Conference is coming!

Join the Utah State Archives and Records Service on October 11th at this year’s free annual Utah History Conference, “Local Matters: Interweaving Historical Threads of Community,” sponsored by the Utah Division of State History.

Two of our own will be presenting this year. Alan Barnett will be highlighting historic homes with names and Jim Kichas will be part of a panel on the Archives’ Joe Hill records.

We hope to see you there!

To find more information on the program schedule and to register for the free conference, please visit State History’s conference page.

Our Website Is Working Again!!

Thank you for your patience.

Our Website Is Down

We are aware that our website is down and are currently working to fix it. We’re very sorry for the inconvenience. Thank you for your patience.

New Finding Aids at the Archives: August 2017

Series 25232 Governor Leavitt Photographs

In the course of processing historical records our archivists write series inventories to describe them for research. The following list includes new inventories created during the month of August 2017:

FREE Disaster Planning Workshop

Utah State Archives and Records Service Cold Storage, Flood Cleanup

As the devastating events of Hurricane Harvey have shown us, we have little control over the disasters that impact our lives and our records. The way we respond to these disasters dictates the continuity of our operations and the preservation of our cultural resources.

Yet, not all disasters come with hurricane-force winds or earthquake shakes. Just last spring the cold storage for the State Archives microfilm collections had a minor flood that required immediate response to dry out not only the storage area but some of the microfilm. While such “minor” events seem small, without immediate attention these situations could grow to major catastrophes.

Understanding that these events can happen to any institution at any time, the Western States and Territories Preservation Assistance Services (WESTPAS), in cooperation with the Utah State Archives and Records Service, will provide a free, 2-part disaster planning workshop as part of Archives Month.

Randy Silverman, Preservation Librarian at the University of Utah, will be teaching Protecting Cultural Collections: Disaster Prevention, Preparedness, Response, and Recovery, which focuses on helping local and state agencies and other heritage institutions to:

      • Complete a disaster response & collection salvage plan
      • Learn how to train staff to implement your plan effectively
      • Set pre- and post-disaster action priorities for your collections
      • Understand practical decision-making skills needed during an emergency
      • Experience salvage procedures for books, documents, photos & objects

Workshop specifics:

Part 1 of the workshop includes 2.5 hours of online webinars about prevention and preparedness. Participants can view the webinars on their own or join with others at the State Archives to view the webinars as follows:

      • Webinar 1: Friday, September 15, 2017, 10:00 am – 11:30 am
      • Webinar 2: Monday, October 16, 2017, 10:00 am – 11:30 am

For those who wish to view the webinars at the State Archives please register on the Archives Website.

Part 2 of the workshop includes a day-long seminar about response and recovery.

      • Monday, October 23, 2017 9:00 am – 4:00 pm

Participation in the in-person workshop requires viewing the online webinars BEFORE attending the Part 2 in-person workshop AND completing the workshop assignments given during the webinars.  Register Here for the in-person event. (This URL opens the WESTPAS calendar: register by clicking the month and day of the workshop desired.)

Who should attend?

Administrators and staff responsible for emergency preparedness and continuity of operations (COOP) planning, response, and decision-making should attend. This also includes local and state appointed records officers and chief administrative officers.

Participating institutions will be invited to join an informal network of WESTPAS trained personnel to provide mutual aid in the event of emergencies involving collections in your region.


This event is FREE for all attendees. The funding is provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities.


All individuals must register for the event.

Register to view the webinars at the State Archives here: https://axaemarchives.utah.gov/cgi-bin/traininglist.cgi.

Register online for the in-person session at: http://tinyurl.com/ot4kve2(This URL opens the WESTPAS calendar: register by clicking the month and day of the workshop desired.)

 For assistance with registering for the webinar viewings at the State Archives contact: Rae Gifford, rgifford@utah.gov.

For in-person seminar registration assistance contact: Wendy Cao, caow@plsinfo.org

For general & content information contact: Randy Silverman, randy.silverman@utah.edu, 801-585-6782

Jim Kichas Receives CoSA-Ancestry Leadership Award

At this year’s Council of State Archivists (CoSA) Annual Meeting Work Session in July our own Jim Kichas reported on his learning opportunities as part of the CoSA-Ancestry Leadership Award he had received. Patricia Smith-Mansfield and Ken Williams nominated Jim for the award to help him in his new position as Archives Manager here at the Utah State Archives and Records Service.

CoSA paired up with Ancestry to award the CoSA-Ancestry Leadership Award in an effort “to facilitate next generation leadership development.” The COSA-Ancestry leadership award funds a leadership opportunity for mid-level managers at state and territorial archives. The goal of these opportunities is to support the up-and-coming managers, to “improve job performance, professional knowledge and skills, and to enhance leadership capabilities, particularly as they relate to fostering collaboration, interdisciplinary project management and strategic thinking.”

With this understanding, Jim used his opportunity to attend a Dale Carnegie Leadership Training for Managers. This three-day training focused on a number of topics through interactive group training and exercises and was a prime opportunity for Jim to evaluate his personal leadership style.  Jim described it as

an important professional development opportunity that has led to real, identifiable changes in myself, my leadership style, and how that style directs action at my institution. My single biggest takeaway is that, while I’m far from a perfect leader, I do have the capability to learn from my successes and my mistakes and iteratively improve my overall leadership capacity and capabilities.

Congrats on your award, Jim!

Newly Processed: June-July 2017

Salt Lake City County Building

All public records at the Utah State Archives are accessible through the Research Center. However, once processed the records are easier to use with proper storage and descriptions, including these series inventories. The following list includes record series that were processed during the months of June and July 2017:

The changes continue…..

Last week we said good-bye to Patricia Smith-Mansfield. This week we said hello to Kenneth Williams, appointed by the Governor’s Office as the new director of the Utah Division of Archives and Records Service. So, I sat down with Ken to talk to him about his past and what he sees as the Archives’ future.

Ken has been working with the Archives for a long time. He celebrated his 25th anniversary in July and loves it here. His favorite thing about our archives is our great staff and the chance he has to get his “hands dirty” working with the records.

Ken earned his bachelors and masters degrees from Utah State University. During his graduate studies in history, Ken’s mentor Dr. Norm Jones helped Ken secure a fellowship in the University’s Special Collections. Ken’s work with the Special Collections, under the guidance of  Brad Cole and the late A.J. Simmonds, cemented his love for the Archives. Eventually he enrolled at Florida State University to complete his post graduate course work.

Ken looks forward to his new position and the opportunities he has to build upon the solid archival foundation already in place here at the Archives. He hopes to continue to increase public access through Open Government initiatives and outreach opportunities with the goal of meeting the needs of all of our constituencies, both governmental and public. He is also going to work to have our archives certified as one of the few trusted digital repositories in the United States.

Thanks Ken for taking on the new responsibilities. Congratulations and good luck!