The Archives and Records Administration (formerly the Commission on Public Records) was created by Public Law 1035, chapter 219, on 11 March 1935. The Indiana General Assembly expanded and modified the Administration's organization and responsibilities in 1961, 1971, 1979, 1983, and 2015.
The Administration became an independent state agency in 1979, and consists of: Forms Management, Records Management, State Records Center, State Archives, State Imaging and Microfilm Lab, and the Conservation Lab, thereby serving the entire life cycle of information and records. Together with the administrative staff, these divisions create, manage, distribute, and preserve the information of the State of Indiana through efficient and fiscally responsible policies and procedures.
The life of all information record keeping begins with a well-designed form (Forms Management) which after distribution and use becomes a record. This record is then destined, through a retention schedule (Records Management), for ultimate destruction or preservation. Depending on the retention schedule, the record can be stored temporarily and then destroyed (State Records Center), or it can be preserved permanently as an historic record (State Archives). Some important records are converted, digitized, or microfilmed (State Imaging and Microfilm Laboratory), or are restored and/or repaired (Conservation Lab).
The Oversight Committee on Public Records functions as the policy-making body for the Administration, and consists of the Governor, the Secretary of State, the State Examiner for the State Board of Accounts, the Director of the State Library, the Director of the Historical Bureau, the Director of the Archives and Records Administration, the Commissioner of the Department of Administration, the Public Access Counselor, and two lay members appointed by the Governor for four-year terms.
Since safeguarding public information is a vital function of government, the Administration's role is to reduce paperwork, preserve Indiana's history, and improve the efficient operation of state government.