If you have a personal or professional interest in ensuring that the official records of presidents, governors, attorneys general, mayors, and other elected executives are preserved and made accessible, you might want to come to Albany, New York on 20-21 May -- and make arrangements to do so by 17 May.
The records of elected executives document important policy and resource allocation decisions. However, in New York and many other states, the records of elected executives are not always transferred to the state archives or to other repositories. The gaps in New York State laws concerning the disposition of gubernatorial records have gotten some media attention lately, but other states, local governments, and the federal government face similar problems. Moreover, many executive records are now created or maintained in electronic systems; as a result, the days of acquiring executive records via dumpster diving or negotiation with an executive's heirs are pretty much over.
On 20-21 May 2010, the New York State Archives Partnership Trust and the Albany Law School’s Government Law Center will join forces to highlight the need for effective executive recordkeeping at all. Documenting Leadership: A Symposium on Public Executive Records in the 21st Century will explore the importance of preserving the records generated by governors and other elected public executives, including presidents, attorneys general, and mayors.
Former U.S. Attorney General and Governor of Pennsylvania Richard Thornburgh will deliver the symposium's keynote address, "The Legacy of an Executive: A Governor’s Perspective," and nationally recognized Presidential historian Richard Norton Smith will deliver an address entitled "Telling the Executive Story: The Thrill of the Chase."
In addition, attorneys, journalists, and past and current government officials will take part in panel discussions focusing on:
- Public Policy and the Public Interest
- Transparency, Executive Records, and the Media
- Executive Records: Access and Disclosure
- Access in the Digital Age
- Executive Records as Legacy