Paving the Towpath for Born Digital Records: ERMS Improvement Project


Project started on Jan. 1, 2016 (Completed)

A challenge for small local governments is records management, particularly digital ones, known as “born digital records.”

The most efficient way for local governments to maintain these records is digitally throughout the record’s life cycle, however, this presents a challenge to local governments with limited technical capacity.

Currently, many of these governments rely on paper output and manual processes that consume staff time, slow down operations, increase costs, and ultimately affect citizens’ ability to access government services and information.

Digital Towpath (DTP), a nationally recognized digital government shared service comprised of medium and small local governments throughout New York State, is partnering with CTG UAlbany to mitigate these challenges.

CTG UAlbany helped DTP improve its electronic records management system so local governments can operate more efficiently, easily comply with records management laws, increase public records access for citizens, and be more open.

This project has several components:

  • Provide DTP with the capacity to provide local government members with functionality to manage “born digital” records throughout the record’s lifecycle in a cost and time effective manner, allowing for greater public records access
  • Help local governments look at their information by addressing the policies, management practices, as well as technical issues, so they can be more transparent
  • Allow individual governments to better safeguard information and comply with records management laws

Student Involvement

Overseen by CTG UAlbany Director of Technology Innovation and Services, Derek Werthmuller, and Web Application Developer, Jim Costello, four UAlbany College of Engineering and Applied Sciences students will analyze the existing electronic records management system (ERMS) to include a comprehensive mapping of the current code.

This work will help minimize the costs of developing the new software needed to enhance the ERMS.

Experiential learning opportunities such as working with CTG UAlbany and DTP are designed to have lasting effects on a student’s future career by providing them with real-world, practical experience to supplement their classroom education.

For more information on Digital Towpath, visit their website.

Funding Sources

This project was funded by the NYS Archives’ Local Government Records Management Improvement Fund (LGRMIF).