- Associated Press - Sunday, December 20, 2015

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - Wyoming lawmakers say hundreds of thousands of dollars are needed to help preserve Wyoming’s historic documents and artifacts and set up a new electronic archive system that would make a lot of documents available on the Internet.

State Parks and Cultural Resources Director Milward Simpson said his agency needs about $500,000 to finish setting up a new electronic archive system.

“This is crucial for moving Wyoming into the modern age,” Simpson told lawmakers.

Officials say the State Archives Digital Records Repository would be used statewide to store records that have a long-term legal, administrative or historical value.

The legislature has already spent $2.5 million to study and begin rolling out the system over the past several years, but the agency said it needs more money to make it work and provide better management of records.

State Archivist Michael Strom said the new system avoids having to store documents on removable devices, such as CDs or USB flash drives.

The department plans to use software that can be updated so the technology will not become obsolete, the Wyoming Tribune Eagle reported (http://tinyurl.com/hpn2klp).

The Wyoming State Museum is also seeking funds to pay for conservators to evaluate, repair and restore damaged or threatened state artifacts.

Prior funding helped pay a Colorado firm to look at a mural in the State Capitol after the state discovered the artwork was insulated with horse hair that was treated with arsenic.

Gov. Matt Mead’s budget recommendations usually cover one-time appropriations, but the governor is supporting both requests.

The Joint Appropriations Committee will meet again early next year to vote on the governor’s recommendations.

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Information from: Wyoming Tribune Eagle, http://www.wyomingnews.com

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