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CNMI Archivist Participates in National Conference (October 3, 2011)

As part of its ongoing efforts to strengthen the CNMI’s archival operations and to preserve the historic records of the region, the Northern Marianas College recently sent the CNMI Archivist, John Cook, to the annual meeting of the Council of State Archivists. The trip was financed by funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and was the first time that a representative from the CNMI participated in this national meeting.

The Council of State Archivists (CoSA) is an umbrella group for the state and territorial archivists of the United States. The annual meeting held in Nashville, Tennessee, was a joint event with the National Association of Government Archives and Records Administrators.

According to Cook, CoSA very warmly received the Northern Mariana Islands into its folds. At the request of Vicki Walsh, CoSA’s Executive Director, Cook brought a CNMI flag to add to the flags of the other states and territories of the United States at the conference.

“The Council of State Archivists has been extraordinarily helpful and welcoming,” Cook said. “Vicki Walsh, CoSA's Executive Director, and everyone involved with the organization have been nothing shy of wonderful.”

At the conference, Cook met with state and territorial archivists from around the United States and made connections that will be invaluable to the CNMI Archives at the Northern Marianas College. Conference events included sessions on such topics as Preserving the American Historical Record Act (legislation for federal funding for state and local archives), how various jurisdictions handle gubernatorial records, and issues pertaining to digital and electronic collections.

“Attending this conference has been extraordinarily valuable and useful,” Cook added. “Establishing ties with CoSA will provide significant long-term benefits to the CNMI Archives, to the Northern Marianas College, and to the Commonwealth.”

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