In 2007, the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC), a division of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), awarded Santa Clara County a $200,000 grant for the Santa Clara County Archives Project. The purpose of this project is to fully establish a County Archives over a two-year period by taking in a large volume of County records and by organizing them for use by the public. Goals of the project include making 1500 cubic feet of records available for research, establishing regular research hours (by the second year of the grant), and maintaining a website for the Archives. For further information on the NHPRC, visit their website at: www.archives.gov/nhprc.
The Santa Clara County Archives Project seeks to make a large volume of County records available to the public in a short time. To do so, the project follows what are known as minimal processing standards. These standards call for records to be preserved and described, but only to the extent necessary so that they may be safely used by the public without unreasonable effort. Under these standards, traditional processing activities, such as automatically placing collections in new folders and boxes, are not carried out unless required for the safety of the materials. Similarly, records are described only to the level necessary so that researchers may reasonably know what they contain and not, for example, item by item unless the collection has exceptional significance.
To assist in making records available, the Archives Project places descriptions of all its processed collections on the Online Archive of California (www.oac.cdlib.org). In addition, all databases created as part of collection descriptions will be linked to the County Archives website and will be searchable online.