State Archives of North Carolina
United States of America. North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources. State Archives.
Publication year: 2014

Database indexing supports the public’s right of access to public records, the protection of confidential information, the
privacy rights of individuals, and the security of the records themselves. Database indexing also supports efficient
information retrieval by staff, particularly in response to a public records request. Essentially, database indexes are
intended for use as finding aids so that both staff and the public may have better control over information stored in
databases.

These guidelines provide instructions for completing database indexes and provide criteria for identifying databases for
indexing.

G.S. §132-6.1 describes one set of database documentation standards, applying equally to all state agencies, county and
municipal governments, regional authorities, and other custodians of public records. Since state and local agencies
affected by these requirements vary significantly in size, circumstance, technical expertise, and the extent and
configuration of their database hardware and software, agency personnel may require vendor or internal IT assistance
to complete their database indexing. In addition, larger agencies are likely to need additional, internal standards and
procedures for creating and managing their database indexing documentation. Contact a State Archives records analyst
with the Government Records Section for additional guidance and individual assistance with database indexing. The
advice in this document reflects professional, rather than legal, opinion; advice from legal counsel may still be advisable.