Electronic Records Archives In Place

Friday - 2/18/2011, 3:41pm EST

The National Archives continues to update an Electronic Records Archives that ensures today's digital records will be accessible to future generations.

The $567 million dollar Electronic Records Archives - or ERA - is a place for federal agencies to put permanent records, which can be searched and reviewed.

These are records that are "born digital" - such as emails and databases - and are, in fact, at a higher risk of being lost to history than the oldest parchment and paper documents.

Today, the ERA holds close to 93 Terabytes, equivalent to over 23 billion pages of text, including the electronic records of the George W. Bush Administration.

This summer, the system will become the repository for an estimated 488 terabytes of citizen responses that make up the 2010 Census. Under law, those will remain closed to the public for 72 years.