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Archives Management Policies and Procedures
for Tribal Organizations




Preserving the historical records of your tribe for future use is a massive but manageable responsibility. Tribal records hold enduring cultural value and may even provide the legal foundation for your tribe’s government.

Creating and maintaining archives is a large undertaking for most tribes. Not only does the archive facility need the monetary backing of the tribal council, but political autonomy to ensure that all documents are protected and available to everyone. Rules, regulations and standardization procedures must be created and implemented to keep an archives operation running smoothly and maintain the condition of archival documents.

This class will help you carry out these responsibilities with confidence and ease. You’ll learn how to preserve the records that you have now and how to anticipate what your archival needs will be as your tribe’s economy continues to develop. You’ll also discover ways to start or expand your own archival program. Plus, you’ll be able to apply the information learned in this class to develop a customized program.

Don’t miss this opportunity to network with other archivists and learn today’s best archival practices!



T O P I C S   I N C L U D E
Identifying Archival Records
  • Defining value
  • Cultural value
  • Historical value
  • Legal value
Setting Up Your Archives
  • Planning the program
  • Finding and training staff
  • Building archive holdings
  • Establishing control
  • Locating money
  • Importance of political autonomy
  • Keeping records
  • Buying equipment
  • Supplies
  • Space and environment
  • Archives protection and disaster planning
  • Availability of government records to the public
Finding, Arranging and Describing Your Holdings
  • Who has archival material?
  • Buying or photocopying material
  • Tracking and recording provenance
  • Organizing collections
  • Accurately describing collections for paperwork
  • Telling the story of your tribe through its documents
  • Organizing and storing
Duplication and Use of Archived Documents
  • Public’s right to view archives
  • Duplication to preserve originals
  • Creating rules and regulations
  • Limitations on viewing
  • Proper handling of originals
  • To photocopy or scan
  • Respecting wishes of donors
Copyright and Fair Use Law
  • Protecting yourself and your holdings
Current Preservation Techniques
  • Textual records
  • Photographic records
  • Visual and audio material
  • Living memories — integrating oral history
  • When damage tells a story — properly preserving damaged documents
  • Preserving access as technologies age
  • Selecting new technologies that will not become obsolete
Evaluating Future Needs
  • Dealing with funding and space limits
  • Staff retention
  • Resources
  • Continually updating your archives
  • Keeping the community involved and interested
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