This week I’ve been looking in to archives in the news, and specifically the interaction of former President Donald Trump and the National Archives and Records Administration. The few articles I’ve read are illuminating as to public perception of the functions of archives, and how federal archives are subject to laws that other institutions don’t necessarily have to abide by. I learned that the Presidential Records Act of 1978 mandates that all presidential records automatically transfer to the National Archives as soon as the president leaves office, and they are then owned by the public. One article referred to NARA as “the nation’s filing cabinet,” which leads me to believe that the popular conception of archives is simply as storage for documents. Another article pointed out that judges arbitrating over Trump’s case against releasing his documents claimed that they were not interested in determining what each document contained, wanting rather to rule on the documents as a whole. It seems to me that no archivists from NARA were consulted during this process, and it is curious that a subject so involved with the archives appears to leave them out entirely. I would venture to say that this press coverage perpetuates public perceptions of archives as simple storage systems. They do not detail what the archives actually do with the information, other than that citizens can request certain documents via FOIA requests. I would like to hear the opinion of someone actually on staff at NARA, because the information on NARA’s involvement is rather bare-bones right now.