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This 2012 proclamation for Rosenwald Schools Day is just one of the hundreds of thousands of records from the Perdue administration preserved by the State Archives

This 2012 proclamation for Rosenwald Schools Day is just one of the hundreds of thousands of records from the Perdue administration preserved by the State Archives

Though the transition to the new gubernatorial administration is only a few weeks old, the State Archives has been working behind the scenes for months to keep government transparent and ensure that all records from the previous administration are retained for posterity.

Since October, nearly 400,000 digital records from the Perdue administration have been transferred to Archives for permanent storage. These files include more than one terabyte (1 TB) of videos, images, emails, databases, press releases, Executive Orders, Proclamations, speeches, appointments, reports and more. To put it in perspective, 1 TB of information is the equivalent of about 330,000 photos, 250,000 songs or 1,000 hours of digital video.

The Archives and State Library have also regularly captured more than 35 websites and social media accounts managed by the Office of the Governor, including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Flickr accounts.

For more than 100 years, the State Archives has captured the paper records of gubernatorial administrations, but since the dawn of the computer age the Archives has added digital transfers like this one to its normal preservation practices to ensure that all records are retained.

To ensure the authenticity of records, the Archives uses strict file integrity protocols, and as a result of those protocols, the Archives can demonstrate that the files currently stored in its repository are the exact files transferred to it from the Office of the Governor.

Perhaps the most amazing part of this story is that the work of the Archives isn’t finished yet. Staff members are still in the process of preserving several email accounts and other records. Check out the Digital Collections of the State Archives and State Library, the State Government Web Site Archive and the beta State Government Social Media Archive to browse records from the Office of the Governor and other state agencies from the comfort of your own home.

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The N.C. Department of Cultural Resources has been particularly busy these last few weeks helping with the transition from one gubernatorial administration to the next.

Staff at the State Capitol Historic Site are helping elected officials and advisors move out of their stately home and new leaders move in. They’re also helping plan the ceremonies surrounding the swearing in of the governor’s cabinet, the Council of State and the governor.

Tryon Palace staff will host Governor Pat McCrory’s eastern regional visit to take place January 8, and a number of historical interpreters associated with the Cultural Resources—from Tryon Palace’s Fife and Drum and Jonkonnu groups to Fort Dobbs’s militia to Roanoke Island Festival Park’s Silver Chalice Boat and crew and beyond—will also take part in the inaugural parade on January 12.

The State Archives are making sure that records of departing officials are being appropriately transferred and providing reference and research services to various planning committees—including coming in during the holidays to provide copies of films from previous inaugurations.

Archives staff have also helped select the historic Bibles that will be used in the oath taking, and, as caretaker of the Great Seal of the State of North Carolina, State Archivist Sarah Koonts will take part in the private, “Transfer of the Seal Ceremony,” which is held just before the governor takes the Oath of Office.  Archives photographers will also be on hand to document these and other transition activities.

Our Historical Resources Division is providing research reports on previous inaugurations and the state seal to the inaugural committee, while the N.C. Museum of History has mounted its always popular Governor’s Exhibit, which is updated and re-opened every four years to coincide with gubernatorial inaugurations. This year’s exhibit Leading the State: North Carolina’s Governors will run through April 28, 2013.

Filled with artifacts that include personal items, clothing and portraits, Leading the State highlights the changes in the office of governor and the role of first spouses. The exhibit also focuses on how governors have campaigned and been elected. In addition to this exhibit, the Museum of History also accessioned a number of gifts from Governor Beverly Perdue to help document her time in office and is currently working with Gov. McCrory’s staff to decorate and equip the Executive Mansion living quarters and office in the State Capitol.

These activities are just a few of the ways, we, as the state agency charged with preserving the state’s memory, are helping support that crucial mechanism of democracy and the all-too-rare occurrence in the history of humankind: the peaceful transfer of power.

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