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Wyoming Digital Archives Exceeds 5 Million Documents Uploaded

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Wyoming Digital Archives Exceeds 5 Million Documents Uploaded

The Wyoming Digital Archives has exceeded 5 million documents uploaded! More specifically, the digital archives have 5,619,318 documents and are growing every day. This milestone comes less than 2 years after the 1 millionth document was added in February 2020.

In 2010, the Wyoming State Archives (WSA) and Wyoming Legislature began the search for a solution to the expense of physical storage, need to increase accessibility and searchability of records, and to aid in managing records with a keen eye to laws, regulations, and best practices, while maintaining the validity and authenticity of electronic records. This journey led the archives and legislature to create the Wyoming Digital Archives to preserve and manage born digital and digitized records that tell the story of Wyoming’s government and its people.

The Wyoming State Archives added its first document to digital archives in November 2013. Since then, it has grown exponentially.

As of June 2021, the digital archives include 189 users and host records from 19 different counties. The records originate from three City Clerks offices, 12 County Clerks offices, one School District, and three County Treasurers. The most recent partner to the digital archives is the Town of Meeteetse, Wyoming.

The Digital Archives success can be attributed to its ability to meet archival best practices, the support of the archives staff, and ease of use. The Digital Archive is able to preserve and make accessible files in a multitude of formats. In fact, the digital archives include audio visual materials, PDFs, JPEGs, and many other formats. The typical types of records found in the archives are plats, minutes, land and motor vehicle records, city ordinances, zoning records, and licensing board files, to name a few.

One digital archives user commented,“I am the type of person that gets a knot in my stomach when I realize that I have to learn and use a new computer program even though I know it will be beneficial, I still get incredibly nervous... The archiving process has been a dream come true. It has been easy, fast, RELIABLE and the people behind the scenes are so helpful and great to work with... we owe so much of that to the Wyoming State Archives Department and the HP Records Program.”

The Digital Archives is built on the premise of LOCKSS (Lots Of Copies Keep Stuff Safe) with an emphasis on security. The files are backed up daily, weekly, and monthly. There are multiple copies with at least one stored in a geographically diverse location in case of natural disasters. This allows the Archives to quickly recover from any potential data loss. The 99 levels of security controls and privileges are especially important to maintaining the confidentiality of restricted records such as birth certificates or hospital records preserved in the system.

The digital archives also includes the ability to set up notifications and semi-automate the process of records retention, making it a popular choice for many users. Records can be coded so that they align with the records retention schedules approved by Wyoming State Records Committee. These retention schedules help guide decisions on how long documents are kept and what happens to them after that. The Wyoming Digital Archives can handle both permanent and non-permanent records. This allows administrators to more easily track the amount of time a record should be kept and when it should be destroyed. This natural destruction cycle for short term records is important for risk management and allows more space and resources to be devoted to the preservation of permanent records.

As technology continues to advance, the way society interacts with information evolves. For this reason, the archives profession must continue to adapt. “The WSA continues to tackle key issues relating to preserving significant documents,” says State Archivist Sara Davis. “We provide guidance for the management of government records at all levels and educate our community about the volatility of digital files. We offer the digital archives as a solution to mitigate risk of data loss. Into the future, we strive to continue to meet the needs of our community through use of the Wyoming Digital Archives as well as traditional archival methods such as storage recommendations for physical and digital materials and ways to make materials accessible. We also eagerly anticipate seeing/celebrating the 10 millionth document uploaded in the near future.”

The State Archives is located in the Barrett Building first floor, 2301 Central Ave, Cheyenne, WY 82002. For further information, contact Sara Davis, State Archivist, by telephone at 307-777-8691 or email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The Wyoming State Archives is accessible according to the Americans with Disabilities Act guidelines. If you require special assistance, please contact the Wyoming State Archives at 307-777-7826.