State Affairs and Government

CHAPTER 42-8.1
State Archives

SECTION 42-8.1-5

§ 42-8.1-5. Duties and responsibilities.

(a) The state archivist under the direction of the secretary of state shall be responsible for the proper administration of public records of permanent historical or other value. It shall be his or her duty to determine and direct the administrative and technical procedures of the division. He or she shall study the problems of preservation and disposition of records as defined in this chapter and based on such study shall formulate and put into effect, to the extent authorized by law, within the division or otherwise, such programs as he or she deems advisable or necessary for public records of permanent historical or other value by agencies of the state or political subdivisions thereof.

(b) The state archives shall reserve and administer such records as shall be transferred to its custody, and to accept, arrange, and preserve them, according to approved archival practices and to permit them at reasonable times and under the supervision of the division to be inspected, examined and copied; provided that any record placed in the keeping of the division under special terms or conditions restricting their use shall be made accessible only in accordance with such terms and conditions.

(c) The state archivist shall cooperate with and assist insofar as practicable, state institutions, departments, agencies, the counties, municipalities and individuals engaged in activities in the field of state archives, manuscripts, and to accept from any person any papers, books, records and similar materials which in the judgment of the division warrant preservation in the state archives.

(d) Except as otherwise expressly provided by law, the state archivist may delegate any of the functions of the archivist to such officers and employees of the division as the archivist may deem to be necessary or appropriate. A delegation of the functions by the archivist shall not relieve the archivist of responsibility for the administration of such functions.

(e) The secretary of state may organize the division as he or she finds necessary or appropriate.

(f) The secretary of state may establish advisory committees to provide advice with respect to any function of the archivist or the division. Members of any such committee shall serve without compensation.

(g) The state archivist shall advise and consult with interested federal, state and local agencies with a view to obtaining their advice and assistance in carrying out the purposes of this chapter.

(h) The state archivist shall provide a public research room where, under policies established by the division, the materials in the state archives may be studied.

(i) The state archivist shall conduct, promote, and encourage research in Rhode Island history, government, and culture, and to maintain a program of information, assistance, coordination, and guidance for public officials, educational institutions, libraries, the scholarly community, and the general public engaged in such research.

(j) The state archivist, with the approval of the secretary of state, shall cooperate with and, insofar as practicable, assist agencies, libraries, institutions, and individuals in projects designed to preserve original source materials relating to the state history, government, and culture, and to prepare and publish in cooperation with the public records administration, handbooks, guides, indexes, and other literature directed toward encouraging the preservation and use of the state's documentary resources.

(k) The state archivist shall serve as a member of the coordinating council for state library, archival and information services.

(l) The state archivist shall submit to the general assembly, as part of the annual report for the state archives, a yearly preservation plan for addressing the preservation needs and objectives for the division to be accomplished during the coming year. This report will include a review of past preservation initiatives within the department as well as the projected cost(s) for new initiatives.

(m) The state archivist shall submit a disaster preparedness plan for the state archives. The plan will be placed on file with the secretary of state, department of state library services, and the general assembly and will be updated annually.

History of Section.
(P.L. 1989, ch. 341, § 1; P.L. 1992, ch. 240, § 1; P.L. 2004, ch. 6, § 39.)