Records from local government (ie below the state level) which are required for transparency and may be in many diverse forms, but in which the local authority may lack the capacity to manage the complex digital preservation requirements that arise.

Critically Endangered small 

Group: Public Records

Trend: New Entry


Added to List: 2019

Last update: 2019


Imminence of Action

Action is recommended within three years, with detailed assessment in 12 months

Significance of Loss

The loss of tools, data or services within this group would impact on many people and sectors.



Born digital records of small and medium-sized agencies; fasting-changing internal manuals, advice or policies shared electronically; records of care services; Documentation supporting long-lived contractual relations like Public Finance Initiatives; Organizational Slack channels; network drives; EDRMS; Email.

‘Critically Endangered’ in the Presence of Aggravating Conditions

Lack of preservation infrastructure; conflation of backup with preservation; loss of authenticity or integrity; Long-lived business processes; poor storage; churn of staff; significant volumes or diversity of data; poorly developed digitization; ill-informed records management; poorly developed migration or normalization; longstanding protocols or procedures that apply unsuitable paper processes to digital materials; encryption; political instability; lack of sustained funding.

Vulnerable in the Presence of Good Practice

Well managed data infrastructure; preservation enabled at the point of creation; carefully managed authenticity; use of persistent identifiers; finding aids; well managed records management processes; recognition of preservation requirements; strategic investment in digital preservation; preservation roadmap; participation in digital preservation community.

2019 Review

This is a new entry which the Jury introduced in 2019 based on an earlier larger entry for ‘Records of long duration from Local Government or Other Government Agencies’.  The split is intended to allow greater concentration on the challenges that these different types of agency face. Local government typically operates across a broad range of digital formats and services but it is unclear, and unlikely that relatively small archival agencies are properly funded locally to support the wide range of digital preservation requirements that arise.

Additional Jury Comments

Significant research by the UK National Archives into Local Government Archives in England underlines the digital skills shortages that exist, especially with respect to preservation.

There may be a benefit from splitting into a) legally required public record and b) additional information that may enrich our digital preservation of society. My assumption was that the roles and requirement for records management is clearly defined, but if this is not the case and there is inadequate resource to match the requirement then the risk goes up.

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