Language Translation
  Close Menu

Explore the Indiana State Archives

The Indiana State Archives collects, preserves, and makes available historical and evidential material relating to the state of Indiana. These records date from the territorial period to the present.

Archives Collections From the Vault Blog

Resources for Records Managers

Pile of IARA publications, with a County Local Records Custodian Handbook on top, and a State Records Manager Handbook on the bottom

IARA offers a constantly-expanding collection of handbooks, guides, brochures, posters, bulletins, and other material to help state agencies and county/local offices with managing their records and using our services. The following are either updated or brand new for 2023/2024.

State Records Management 

County/Local Records Management 

All Records Management

Screenshot of a State Records Managers MS Teams meeting window, showing IARA's State and Local records liaisons on camera, as well as the agenda for the meeting.

IARA's Records and Information Management team assists Indiana government employees by providing self-paced tutorials, live and recorded webinars, and specialized in-person training on a variety of records management topics and issues, as well as monthly bulletins and group chats for records managers. The following are new for 2023/2024!


Electronic Records

State Records

County Records

Photo of an open laptop with paper folders in multiple colors emerging from the screenIARA's Electronic Records Program assists state and local government employees with the special challenges of organizing, digitizing, maintaining, destroying, and applying records retention requirements to electronic records.

This includes guidelines for all electronic records, standards for digitized records and electronic records management systems, policy on destroying original records after digitization, and all the help with managingretaining, and deleting email that we can possibly provide, because we all need all the help we can get with that.

Photo of a fork truck and boxes at the Indiana State Records Center

The Indiana State Records Center provides state government agencies with secure off-site storage for Inactive paper records: those records that have not yet reached their disposition date, and the agency still owns them, but they are no longer used frequently and do not need to be stored in the agency's office.The records must be approved for Records Center transfer on the records retention schedule that covers them, before Records Center staff can accept transfer.

The Records Center also provides courtesy destruction services for records that have reached their disposition date and are scheduled for destruction, and will destroy or transfer records to the State Archives when they are stored in the Records Center and have reached their disposition date.

Before that  happens, while your records are still living in storage out at the Records Center, their staff provides records request and delivery services, any time you need a file or even whole boxes returned to your office! Those services are only available to you, not to the public. Public record requests get fulfilled by the agency, never the Records Center.

State Records Center Services

The State Imaging and Microfilm Lab (SIML) is charged with providing cost-effective imaging and microfilming services to State government pursuant to standards adopted by the State of Indiana. SIML specializes in creating high quality microfilm using standards prescribed by 60 IAC 2 and the Indiana Rules of Court, Administrative Rule 6 for permanent preservation, following these standards to ensure that documents filmed today will be accessible up to 500 years from now.

Thumbnail image of slideshow/timeline feature: At the top, an image of boxes and microfilm reels with the text THE HISTORY OF MICROFILM followed by text rendered illegible due to the reduced size of the thumbnail. Below that image, a sliding left/right timeline with visible dates extending from 1796 to 1881.

They also provide reformatting services for IARA and for government agencies, specializing in converting organizational records to any medium, to increase their accessibility and improve their preservation. Services include paper and microfilm to digital, paper and digital to microfilm, and processing and duplication of already-existing agency microfilm.

Be sure to check out their electronic exhibit on the History of Microfilm, a digital timeline following microfilm from parlor trick to gold standard in long-term records preservation!

SIML Homepage

Photo of a hand holding a records retention schedule, in front of and above an open filing cabinet drawerHow long an agency must keep a record (retention) is laid out in a record series on the records retention schedule that applies to the agency or office. Each record series also contains information on where the records can be stored, the formats in which the record most frequently appears, and (of course) the type of information covered by that Record Series.

State Agency retention schedules include the General Retention Schedule for all State Agencies and a number of agency and division-specific schedules that varies by agency.

County/Local retention schedules include the  County/Local General Retention Schedule and a number of office-specific schedules that are specific to each type of county/local office, rather than any individual government entity.

CGI graphic of two humanoid figures holding hands at a crossroads, unsure which of three green road signs to follow.

What happens at the end of a records scheduled retention period (disposition), is usually one of two things:

  • it gets destroyed (by the agency or local office, or by the State Records Center for records stored there)

  • it gets transferred to the State Archives (also by the agency/office or by the Records Center), to become part of the State's permanent research collection of records with historical value. Unlike the Records Center, the State Archives collects electronic records as well as paper, so disposition instructions to transfer records to the Archives don't change if the agency switches to maintaining them in electronic format, only the method of transfer.

Other possible dispositions for County/Local records include maintaining permanent records right there in the office, or transferring records to a local historical society or archive. Full details on that, as well as other disposition instructions, can be found in the County/Local Records Custodian Handbook.

Likewise, full details on records destruction and transfer for state agencies can be found in the State Agency Records Manager Handbook.

IARA Social Media

The Indiana Archives and Records Administration participates in social networking sites in order to share events, announcements, photos, and stories from the Indiana State Archives. Our goal is to share Indiana history and information with as many individuals as possible.

By clicking the icons below, you will be taken to a web service that is not owned by the State of Indiana and has different privacy and security policies. The State of Indiana is not responsible for, and does not endorse, guarantee, or monitor content, availability, viewpoints, products, or services that are offered or expressed on non portal websites.

IARA Facebook Account IARA Instagram Account<br />  State Archives YouTube Account IARA LinkedIn Account IARA Reddit Account

  • Social Media Policy

    Moderation and Comments Policy For All IARA Social Media Accounts

    IARA’s social media platforms are a family-friendly outlet to promote our agency’s activities, events, and programs.

    We encourage questions and comments on content. We moderate IARA-sponsored social media profiles and pages but are not responsible for content generated by users. We accept comments but are not obligated to respond to comments.

    We will moderate comments that include the following:

    • Obscene, profane, rude or vulgar language or images
    • Personal attacks or offensive terms that target specific individuals or groups
    • Threats or defamatory statements
    • Violent, hateful or racist language
    • Advocacy for any illegal activity
    • Personal information, including but not limited to addresses and telephone numbers
    • Web links to any site other than the IARA website
    • Advertisements or solicitations of any kind
    • Infringement on copyrights or trademarks

    Comments will not be deleted and banning users is largely prohibited. Both actions violate a citizen’s first amendment rights. However, the comments will be moderated. In unique and extreme circumstances, the executive director can authorize the banning or blocking of a user. These matters must be dealt with on a case-by-case basis and approved by the executive director and the public access counselor.

    Report Issues to IARA

    To advise the Indiana Archives and Records Administration staff on issues regarding the above policy, please email or call 317-232-3380, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.