This page, No. 293: Policy on permanent paper, is offered by
Executive Order

Executive Order No. 293: Policy on permanent paper

Date: 12/31/1990
Issuer: Michael S. Dukakis
Mass Register: No. 652

Table of Contents

WHEREAS, government has a fundamental obligation to record information concerning its operation, policies, procedures, etc., as the same relate to the rights, privileges and responsibilities of the Commonwealth and its citizens;

WHEREAS, government has a concomitant duty to preserve, for the public good, the records and publications by which this information is documented;

WHEREAS, much of the information regarding these activities has been recorded on paper containing destructive acids;

WHEREAS, extensive research has proven that the acid present in most writing and printing paper produced since the mid-nineteenth century has drastically reduced the life of public records, archives, books and other paper-based documents;

WHEREAS, this loss threatens the existence of significant portions of public records and state publications of enduring value;

WHEREAS, the rights, privileges and responsibilities of the citizens and the Commonwealth, as well as the continuity of our documentary heritage, are jeopardized by this condition;

WHEREAS, it will require enormous expenditures of funds during the next several decades to prevent and reverse the deterioration of acidic papers by deacidification, as well as the salvaging by reproduction of information contained in records and publications which are beyond restoration;

WHEREAS, this problem can be successfully addressed by the use of permanent paper which has a prospective life of several hundred years, and which the State Purchasing Agent has determined is readily available at a cost comparable to acidic paper and;

WHEREAS, national standards for permanent paper have been articulated in ANSI Standard Z39.48;

WHEREAS, the American Library Association, on January 13, 1988, adopted a resolution urging the use of permanent paper for works of enduring value by publishers, the United States Congressional Joint Committee on Printing, and appropriate agencies of state and local government;

WHEREAS, the Supervisor of Public Records is authorized to promulgate regulations respecting the quality of media on which public records are created (Massachusetts General Laws Annotated, Chapter 66, sections 1-3):

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Michael S. Dukakis, Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, by virtue of the authority vested in me as Supreme Executive Magistrate, do hereby order as follows:

ARTICLE I. Policy

1.1 The Commonwealth of Massachusetts shall protect and preserve its heritage and the rights and privileges of its citizens by recording textual information of enduring value on permanent paper.

ARTICLE II. Definitions

2.1 "Permanent paper" shall mean paper that meets or exceeds the requirements articulated in ANSI Standard Z39.48 as most recently revised.

2.2 "Enduring value" shall mean those documents which should be permanently preserved because of their historical significance, such as Executive Orders; agency annual reports; minutes of public meetings as defined by chapter thirty-A and chapter sixty-six of the Massachusetts General Laws; and birth, death and marriage certificates.

ARTICLE III. Implementation

3.1 All departments and executive branch subdivisions shall use permanent paper in the preparation of public records and publications of enduring value.

3.2 The Purchasing Agent is authorized and directed to assist the Supervisor of Public Records in the preparation of a regulation to be promulgated by the Supervisor regarding the use of permanent paper for public records and publications of enduring value.

3.3 All departments and executive branch subdivisions shall comply with this regulation, and other procedures which may be developed by the Supervisor of Public Records, Records Conservation Board, or State Library regarding the use of permanent paper.

3.4 The State Purchasing Agent shall collaborate with the Supervisor of Public Records to issue a permanent paper specification based on the regulation, and in adopting a schedule for the implementation of the specification.

3.5 The State Librarian shall work cooperatively with the Supervisor of Public Records and the State Archivist to further define "public records and state publications of enduring value."

3.6 The Supervisor of Public Records shall forward the regulation and permanent paper specification to all authorities, public institutions of higher education, and records custodians and purchasing agents in local government jurisdictions, who are strongly urged to adopt comparable policies and regulations.

3.7 The Supervisor of Public Records shall be responsible for administering the provisions of this Executive Order.

Given at the Executive Chamber in Boston this 31st day of December in the year of our Lord one thousand nine hundred and ninety, and of the Independence of the United States of America two hundred and fourteen.

Michael S. Dukakis, Governor
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Michael Joseph Connolly
Secretary of the Commonwealth

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