Electronic Conversion of Paper Records

Reference Number: 

The County Public Records Commission may also, upon the request of any office or department of county government, authorize the destruction of original public records which have been reproduced onto computer or removable computer storage media, including CD ROM disks. The transfer of the records must be in accordance with regulations promulgated by the secretary of state in regards to the technology and the standards and procedures used.[1]  Despite the fact that copying of permanent records to electronic media is authorized by the law, be aware that the Tennessee State Library and Archives does not consider any existing format for electronic records to be of permanent archival quality.[2]Once the records have been duplicated, the official with custody of the records must apply to the County Public Records Commission for authority to destroy them. If the official does not receive a response from the records commission within six months, he or she may forward the request to the Tennessee State Library and Archives for review. If the Tennessee State Library and Archives does not respond within nine months of receiving the request, the county official or department head may destroy the records in accordance with the regulations promulgated by the secretary of state.

Prior to the destruction of any records reproduced onto electronic storage media, the County Public Records Commission is also required to advertise its intent to do so in a newspaper of general circulation in the county, and, in those counties with a population in excess of 200,000, in a weekly newspaper.[3]The notice should describe the records by title and year, indicate that the records have been electronically stored, reproduced and protected, and indicate that the county office or department has requested permission to destroy the original record.

See Electronic Records are Not Permanent Archival Records; Tennessee State Library and Archives.

            [1]  T.C.A. § 10-7-404(d)(1).

            [2]  See Tennessee Archives Management Advisory 99-006.

            [3]  T.C.A. § 10-7-404(d)(1).