In 1901 Alabama established the first independent government archives in the United States. The founding of the Alabama Department of Archives and History (ADAH) preceded that of the National Archives by more than thirty years. Other states had sponsored history programs, assigning the responsibility for public records to state libraries, secretaries of state, or state historical societies, but Alabama was the first to create an official state agency. This concept of government-supported, but independent, archives would become a model for others in the United States.
"Thomas Owen and the Founding of the Alabama Department of Archives and History,"
Provenance, Journal of the Society of Georgia Archivists
Available at: http://digitalcommons.kennesaw.edu/provenance/vol21/iss1/3