Electronic Conversion of Paper Records

Reference Number: 
CTAS-1204

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. [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. An original paper version of a record required by law to be permanently retained must not be destroyed once reproduced without a majority vote of the county public records commission.

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).