Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives

Electronic Records



Kentucky law defines public records as "all books, papers, maps, photographs, cards, tapes, disks, diskettes, recordings, and other documentary materials, regardless of physical form or characteristics, which are prepared, owned, used, in the possession of or retained by a public agency" ​(KRS 171.410 (1​)). Records management standards and principles apply to all forms of recorded information, from creation to final disposition, regardless of the medium in which the records are created or stored. Information in electronic recordkeeping systems must remain accessible to the appropriate parties, until the all the legal, fiscal, and administrative retention periods have been met, in the same way as physical records.

Below are KDLA created resources offering guidance and support to state and local government agencies on managing the agency's electronic records.​

Electronic records come in many different formats. The following guidance helps to answer basic questions about what electronic records are and how to manage them. For a comprehensive look at managing electronic communication (email, voicemail, social media, video calls and chats, etc.) see the guidelines authored by the Electronic Records Working Group below. There are also guidelines here for responding to open records requests and specifics on electronic signatures. 


​Authored by the Electronic Records Working Group​​

Email messages are public records! (KRS 171.410). This means that they can be subject to open records requests (KRS 61.870-61.884) and are subject to discovery in a lawsuit.

Your emails are not private! State employees should use their government email account for agency business only. Legal issues may arise if you use your government email account for personal matters. Email communications can become informal and encourage a conversational atmosphere that may not be professional. Therefore, employees should use caution to ensure all emails maintain a professional tone. Remember, your emails are subject to open records laws, and your emails could end up as a headline in the newspaper​


Authored by the Electronic Records Working Group​​

A lot of the records created in government today are electronic. However, many agencies have paper or physical records they wish to digitize for easy access. Below are the guidelines on scanning and storing records digitally. If you have additional questions on best practices for scanning or want to discuss scanning permanent records – please contact the Electronic Records Branch!​

Contact for training opportunities in all areas listed above!

All state employees may sign up for KDLA's Records Management Training on Policies and Procedures offered several times through the year. 

  • ​To sign up, log into MyPurpose > Learning > Learner Home > Search for Session > “KDLA Records Management: Policies and Procedures" > Request.​


Reach out to the staff for any additional electronic records management questions:​​​​​​

(502) 564-1707​