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This article first provides background, charting the scope of record retention in relation to the freedom of information, then outlining record retention through its history and development in the federal government, through its general principles and modes of practice, through a sketch of the problems that have arisen specially in the electronic era, and through an overview of its development at the state level. The article then describes the recent history of record retention law in Arkansas, up to and including the initiative enacted by the General Assembly in 2005, and the process and product of a state working group that labored on this problem in the months leading up to the 2005 legislative session. The article finally analyzes the legal models and looks ahead to the future of state record retention systems.


This article was prepared for and first published by the University of Arkansas at Little Rock Law Review in Volume 28, Issue 2 and is reproduced with its permission. Further information about the UALR Law Review is available at