The safeguarding of the permanent and historical records of local, municipal and territorial archives is a daunting challenge to governments, regardless of size. Proper environmental control, storage and security, and loss or alienation through theft and disaster are all important concerns each entity must address. The Local Government Records Round Table and the Government Records Section of the Society of American Archivists conducted a survey of local government archives in the United States and Canada in the autumn of 2014 to take a snapshot of the status of local government archives. The last survey of this nature was conducted in 1976 by the State and Local Records Committee of the Society of American Archivists. The survey instrument, in English, Spanish, and French, was designed to help better understand the location, needs, uses and best practices associated with local government archival records. It was created with the knowledge that the guardians of historic local records are important, whether they are held by a government, library, or historical organisation.