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Archival Regulations and Laws: Home

The State Archives is the legal custodian of the historical records of the territory and state as defined in state law, representing the official actions of all three branches of government as required by NRS 378.230 and 378.280.  It preserves those records for the continuity of government and provides public access to them for citizen accountability and the maintenance of rights and entitlements. 

Nevada Revised Statute (NRS)

DIVISION OF STATE LIBRARY, ARCHIVES AND PUBLIC RECORDS: ADMINISTRATION

NRS 378.005 - Definitions.
NRS 378.0083 - Bequests and gifts unaffected by creation of Division in Department.

NRS 378.010 - State Library, Archives and Public Records Administrator: Appointment; service at pleasure of Director; classification.
NRS 378.020 - State Library, Archives and Public Records Administrator: Qualifications.
NRS 378.050 - Biennial report.
NRS 378.060 - Employment of staff.
NRS 378.070 - Hours of State Library, Archives and Public Records.
NRS 378.080 - Powers and duties of State Library, Archives and Public Records Administrator: Operation of State Library, Archives and Public Records.
NRS 378.081 - Powers and duties of State Library, Archives and Public Records Administrator: Responsibility for statewide program of development and coordination of library and informational services.
NRS 378.083 - Powers and duties of State Library, Archives and Public Records Administrator: Development of standards and statewide master plan for public libraries.
NRS 378.087 - Powers and duties of State Library, Archives and Public Records Administrator: Establishment of program to provide grants to public libraries; amount of grants; regulations; limitations on use of grants.
NRS 378.090 - Gift Fund for the State Library, Archives and Public Records: Money to be deposited therein; nature of Fund; disposition of interest and income.
NRS 378.100 - Acceptance of federal money.
NRS 378.110 - Disposition of fines.
NRS 378.130 - Legislative appropriations.

ARCHIVES AND RECORDS

NRS 378.230 - Declaration of legislative intent.
NRS 378.240 - Maintenance of premises for archival material; employees; receipt and availability of material.
NRS 378.245 - Custody and preservation of archival material; removal of material from archives.
NRS 378.250 - Archival material of historical value; disposition; expenditure of donated money.
NRS 378.255 - Management and retention of records; provision of microfilming and digital imaging services; inspection of confidential or privileged governmental records; recovery of records.
NRS 378.270 - Furnishing copies of archival material; fee.
NRS 378.280 - Maintenance of records of Executive Branch; management of records of Department of Transportation.
NRS 378.290 - Records of Governor’s Office: Transfer to Division before Governor leaves office; availability for public inspection.
NRS 378.300 - Period of confidentiality of confidential public records.
NRS 378.310 - Restriction of access to records of constitutional officer upon agreement.
NRS 378.320 - Destruction of records transferred to Division by agency of State.

STATE HISTORICAL RECORDS ADVISORY BOARD (SHRAB)

NRS 378A.010 - Policy of this State; purpose of chapter.
NRS 378A.020 - “Board” defined.
NRS 378A.030 - Creation; membership; Secretary; recommendations to Legislature.
NRS 378A.040 - Qualifications, appointment and terms of members.

NRS 378A.050 - Meetings; salaries of members.
NRS 378A.060 - Duties.
NRS 378A.070 - Account for Historical Records: Creation; use; deposits; payment of claims.
NRS 378A.080 - Acceptance of gifts and grants of money.
NRS 378A.090 - Filing of documents with State Library, Archives and Public Records.
NRS 378A.100 - Maintenance of records.

PUBLIC RECORDS

NRS 239.001 - Legislative findings and declaration.
NRS 239.005 - Definitions.
NRS 239.008 - Designation of records official for certain state agencies; forms and procedures applicable to requests for public records.
NRS 239.010 - Public books and public records open to inspection; confidential information in public books and records; copyrighted books and records; copies to be prepared by governmental entity and provided in medium requested.
NRS 239.0103 - Privatization contracts open to inspection.
NRS 239.0105 - Confidentiality of certain records of local governmental entities.
NRS 239.0107 - Requests for inspection or copying of public books or records: Actions by governmental entities.
NRS 239.011 - Application to court for order allowing inspection or copying, or requiring that copy be provided, of public book or record in legal custody or control of governmental entity for less than 30 years.
NRS 239.0113 - Burden of proof where confidentiality of public book or record is at issue.
NRS 239.0115 - Application to court for order allowing inspection or copying of public book or record in legal custody or control of governmental entity for at least 30 years; rebuttable presumption; exceptions.
NRS 239.012 - Immunity for good faith disclosure or refusal to disclose information.
NRS 239.013 - Confidentiality of records of library which identify user with property used.
NRS 239.015 - Removal, transfer and storage of records authorized if necessary; copies to be provided upon request.
NRS 239.020 - Provision of certified copies of public records to federal Department of Veterans Affairs without charge.
NRS 239.030 - Furnishing of certified copies of public records.

REPRODUCTION OF RECORDS

NRS 239.051 - Requirements before destruction.
NRS 239.052 - Fees: Limitations; waiver; posting of sign or notice.
NRS 239.053 - Additional fee for transcript of administrative proceedings; money remitted to court reporter; posting of sign or notice.
NRS 239.054 - Additional fee for information from geographic information system.
NRS 239.055 - Additional fee when extraordinary use of personnel or resources is required; limitation.
NRS 239.070 - Use of microfilm or digital images by county recorder for recording; Division to provide microfilming, digital imaging or similar service; requirements; sale of duplicate; disposition of money.

DISPOSAL OF OBSOLETE RECORDS

NRS 239.073 - Committee to Approve Schedules for the Retention and Disposition of Official State Records: Creation; composition; meetings; rules and regulations.
NRS 239.077 - Committee to Approve Schedules for the Retention and Disposition of Official State Records: Duties.
NRS 239.080 - State records: Schedules for retention and disposition.
NRS 239.083 - State records: Program of education and training on retention and disposition; letter of reprimand or other discipline for knowing and willful disposition of state record in manner contrary to schedule for retention and disposition.
NRS 239.085 - State records: Disposition by Department of Transportation.
NRS 239.090 - State records: Preservation of obsolete and noncurrent records by Division; right to control records.
NRS 239.110 - Judicial records: Destruction; reproductions.
NRS 239.121 - Local governmental records: Definitions.
NRS 239.123 - Local governmental records: Submission to Division; accounting; return or reclamation.
NRS 239.124 - Local governmental records: Exclusive procedures for destruction.
NRS 239.125 - Local governmental records: Program for management; regulations of State Library, Archives and Public Records Administrator.

RESTORATION OF LOST OR DESTROYED RECORDS

NRS 239.130 - Rerecording of instrument if county records lost or destroyed.
NRS 239.140 - Certain deeds prima facie evidence of regularity of proceedings after destruction or loss of records.
NRS 239.150 - Restoration of liens, mortgages and judgments if records lost or destroyed; procedure; limitations.
NRS 239.160 - Proceeding to establish contents and record of lost or destroyed deed or will; parties defendant.
NRS 239.170 - Procedure to establish contents of lost or destroyed deed or will: Complaint; summons; hearing; decree.
NRS 239.180 - Character of evidence which court may admit.
NRS 239.190 - Proceedings brought in county where property is situated.
NRS 239.200 - Where proceedings are brought when county divided after destruction of records.
NRS 239.210 - Limitations affecting restored records.
NRS 239.220 - Restored records validated.
NRS 239.230 - Restoration of judicial records not affecting real property or water rights: Procedure.
NRS 239.240 - Restoration of judicial records not affecting real property or water rights: Contents of affidavit filed with court.
NRS 239.250 - Court to issue citation upon filing of affidavit.
NRS 239.260 - Service of citation on parties residing outside of county or State.
NRS 239.270 - Counter-affidavits; hearing; decree.
NRS 239.280 - Limitation of record of judgment which has been restored.
NRS 239.290 - Taxation of costs.

PENALTIES

NRS 239.300 - Stealing, altering or defacing records, documents or instruments.
NRS 239.310 - Removing, injuring or concealing public records and documents.
NRS 239.320 - Injury to, concealment or falsification of records or papers by public officer.
NRS 239.330 - Offering false instrument for filing or record.

Nevada Administrative Code (NAC)

RECORDS OF STATE AGENCIES

239.570 - Definitions.
239.575 - “Administrative value” defined.
239.5755 - “Authorized personnel” defined.
239.577 - “Committee” defined.
239.578 - “Convenience copy” defined.
239.582 - “Disposition” defined.
239.585 - “Division” defined.
239.597 - “Historical value” defined.
239.620 - “Legal custody” defined.
239.630 - “Long-term record” defined.
239.660 - “Received” defined.
239.663 - “Record series” defined.
239.665 - “Records center” defined.
239.668 - “Records management” defined.
239.670 - “Records officer” defined.
239.677 - “Retention value” defined.
239.680 - “Schedule” defined.
239.690 - “State agency” defined.
239.692 - “State Archives” defined.
239.696 - Records management program: Establishment.
239.697 - Records management program: General requirements.
239.699 - Protection and preservation of records: General requirements; training for employees.
239.700 - Records officer: Designation and replacement; responsibilities; duties of Division.
239.705 - “Official state record” and “record” interpreted.
239.711 - Destruction of nonrecord materials.
239.722 - Disposal of confidential records.
239.740 - Storage of records: Transfer of records to records center; storage of records not transferred to records center or office space owned by state agency; private facilities.

239.742 - Storage of records in space or facility other than records center or office space owned by state agency.
239.745 - Records management program of Nevada System of Higher Education.
239.750 - Procedure upon abolishment or disbanding of state agency; procedure upon reorganization or reinstatement of  defunct state agency.

MINUTES OF PUBLIC BODIES

239.850 - Transfer for archival preservation and public access; maintenance in Nevada; legal custody; return from archival repository.

AVAILABILITY AND INSPECTION OF PUBLIC RECORDS

239.860 - “Readily available” interpreted.
239.861 - “Readily available medium” interpreted.
239.862 - Certain information concerning availability of public records to be made available by agency on Internet.
239.863 - Form to inspect, copy or receive copy of public record.
239.864 - Fee for providing copy of public record: Estimate of fee; deposit.

239.865 - Records official authorized to request additional information or clarification relating to request to inspect, copy or receive public record.
239.866 - Requirements for inspection of public record.
239.867 - No requirement to create public record that does not exist.
239.868 - Agency prohibited from disposing of requested public record; disposal of unclaimed copy of public record.
239.869 - Adoption by reference of Nevada Public Records Act: A Manual for State Agencies.

RECORDS MANAGEMENT

239.900 - Definitions.
239.902 - “Authorized personnel” defined.
239.904 - “Disposition” defined.
239.906 - “Electronic record” defined.
239.908 - “Governmental entity” defined.
239.910 - “Historical value” defined.
239.912 - “Local governmental entity” defined.
239.914 - “Migration” defined.
239.916 - “Official state record” defined.
239.918 - “Record” defined.
239.920 - “Record of a local governmental entity” defined.
239.922 - “Records management” defined.
239.924 - “Records officer” defined.
239.926 - “Schedule” defined.
239.928 - “State agency” defined.
239.930 - “State Archives” defined.
239.935 - Sealed records.
239.940 - Transfer of electronic records of historical value.
239.945 - Electronic records.

Copyright

 

U.S. Copyright Law protects works is the following categories:

(1) literary works;

(2) musical works, including any accompanying words;

(3) dramatic works, including any accompanying music;

(4) pantomimes and choreographic works;

(5) pictorial, graphic, and sculptural works;

(6) motion pictures and other audiovisual works;

(7) sound recordings; and

(8) architectural works.

 

What is Protected?

A work is protected when it is “fixed” in a tangible medium of expression when its embodiment in a copy or phonorecord, by or under the authority of the author, is sufficiently permanent or stable to permit it to be perceived, reproduced, or otherwise communicated for a period of more than transitory duration. A work consisting of sounds, images, or both, that are being transmitted, is “fixed” for purposes of this title if a fixation of the work is being made simultaneously with its transmission.

How Can I Tell if Something is Published or Unpublished?

The law defines “publication” as offering for distribution or actually distributing copies of a work to the public by sale or other transfer of ownership, or by rental, lease, or lending. Publication has been interpreted by the courts as distribution to numerous individuals who are under no explicit or implicit restrictions with respect to the use of the contents. An informational text, such as this one, is published if it is distributed to the public, whether or not it is offered for sale. Generally, material is considered unpublished if it was not intended for public distribution or if only a few copies were created and distribution was limited.

How Long is Copyright for Unpublished Work?

Copyright in an unpublished work lasts for the life of the author plus 70 years. If the author (or the author’s death date) is unknown or if the author is a corporate body, then the term is 120 years from the creation date for the work. Therefore much unpublished material in archives or manuscript collections is likely to still be under copyright.

What is Fair Use?

The fair use doctrine (as codified in Section 107) recognizes that there are uses that do not infringe on the rights of copyright holders and provides a defense for the use of copyrighted works without permission from the copyright owner. The statute does not say what is or is not fair. Rather, courts evaluate fair use cases based on four factors, no one of which is determinative in and of itself:

The purpose and character of the use:

How are you using the copyrighted work, and in what context? The statute lists several examples of the kinds of uses that might be fair—“criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research.” This list is not all-inclusive and some uses that fall under one of these might not be fair. Commercial uses can be fair, but courts tend to give more weight to noncommercial uses. Recently, courts have primarily been asking if the use is transformative; does it “merely supersede” the original work or does it add “something new, with a further purpose or different character, altering [it] with new expression, meaning, or message?” [Campbell v. Acuff-Rose Music]

The nature of the copyrighted work: 

Is the work you are using published or unpublished? Is it highly creative or primarily factual? Courts give more protection to works that are “closer to the core of copyright protection,” such as unpublished or highly creative works. [Campbell v. Acuff-Rose Music]

The amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole:

There is no predetermined amount of a work that constitutes fair use or that is automatically an unfair use. Determining factors include how much of the copyrighted work was used, the relative importance of the amount used to the work as a whole (whether the portion used constituted “the heart of the work,” for example), and whether the amount used was justified by the purpose and character of the use. [Harper & Row v. Nation, Campbell]

The effect of the use upon the potential market for, or value of, the copyrighted work:

This factor assesses how, and to what extent, the use damages the existing and potential market for the original. Courts have recognized that where uses are highly transformative under the first factor, the affected markets receive less protection. [Castle Rock v. Carol]

How Do I Determine Fair Use?

Determining that a use may be fair involves conducting an analysis along a continuum of "less likely fair" to "more likely fair." Helpful aids in conducting such an analysis can be found at the resource page of the Society of American Archivists' Intellectual Property Working Group

Legal Ramifications of Improper Use of Materials Under Copyright

Because of the case-specific nature of fair use, you can only know whether a use is fair if a court rules it to be so. However, several authorities have produced guides to help people take advantage of this vague, but very useful, exception to copyright. If there is a question about whether a particular use is fair, it is always safe to seek permission.

Resources to Determine Copyright

The Society of American Archivists’ Intellectual Property Working Group has created Selected Copyright Resources, designed to provide guidance on this dilemma—commonly known as the Orphan Works problem—and that suggests search strategies for identifying the creator of a work, identifying the work’s copyright holder, and for locating the copyright holder. 

 

Confidential Records in the State Archives

 

NRS 378.300 Period of confidentiality of confidential public records.  

Except as otherwise provided in NRS 239.0115, public records acquired by the Division which have been declared by law to be confidential must remain confidential for 30 years or, if the record relates to a natural person, until the death of the natural person, whichever is later, unless another period has been fixed by specific statute.

      (Added to NRS by 1983, 1302; A 1995, 242; 2007, 2096)

NRS 239.0115 Application to court for order allowing inspection or copying of public book or record in legal custody or control of governmental entity for at least 30 years; rebuttable presumption; exceptions.

  1. Except as otherwise provided in this subsection and subsection 3, notwithstanding any provision of law that has declared a public book or record, or a part thereof, to be confidential, if a public book or record has been in the legal custody or control of one or more governmental entities for at least 30 years, a person may apply to the district court of the county in which the governmental entity that currently has legal custody or control of the public book or record is located for an order directing that governmental entity to allow the person to inspect or copy the public book or record, or a part thereof. If the public book or record pertains to a natural person, a person may not apply for an order pursuant to this subsection until the public book or record has been in the legal custody or control of one or more governmental entities for at least 30 years or until the death of the person to whom the public book or record pertains, whichever is later.
  2. There is a rebuttable presumption that a person who applies for an order as described in subsection 1 is entitled to inspect or copy the public book or record, or a part thereof, that the person seeks to inspect or copy.
  3. The provisions of subsection 1 do not apply to any book or record:

      (a) Declared confidential pursuant to NRS 463.120.

      (b) Containing personal information pertaining to a victim of crime that has been declared by law to be confidential

(Added to NRS by 2007, 2062; A 2009, 290)

NRS 239.012 Immunity for good faith disclosure or refusal to disclose information.  

A public officer or employee who acts in good faith in disclosing or refusing to disclose information and the employer of the public officer or employee are immune from liability for damages, either to the requester or to the person whom the information concerns.

      (Added to NRS by 1993, 1230)

NRS 239.013 Confidentiality of records of library which identify user with property used.  

Any records of a public library or other library which contain the identity of a user and the books, documents, films, recordings or other property of the library which were used are confidential and not public books or records within the meaning of NRS 239.010. Such records may be disclosed only in response to an order issued by a court upon a finding that the disclosure of such records is necessary to protect the public safety or to prosecute a crime.

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