STATE ARCHIVES

ANNUAL REPORT, 2001

INFORMATION SYSTEMS MANAGEMENT

Information Systems Management provides the necessary infrastructure (technical, programmatic, network and web resources) for the attainment of the Archives' mission, vision, and goals.  The department develops and administers policies, standards, and planning processes to support the management and procurement of information technology systems, services, and equipment.  The department also oversees building maintenance projects such as the installation of a new roof, a health room and the replacement of the sprinkler system.

The Electronic Archives, which preserves permanent electronic records and makes them accessible via the Archives' website, is maintained by Information Systems Management. The department also develops, maintains, and operates information technology application systems for the State Archives and the Annapolis Campus Network. In addition, Network Specialists from the department oversee field operations for the Digital Image Reference System for Land Survey, Subdivision, and Condominium Plats (plats.net), two warehouses, and two remote imaging sites.

Information Systems Management is responsible for the Web management, Database Management; and the Electronic Archives; Local Area Network, Wide Area Network for the Annapolis campus and Electronic Publications.
 

ELECTRONIC ARCHIVES

Information Systems Management maintains the Electronic Archives. The mission of the Electronic Archives is to preserve and make accessible permanent records that have been committed to digital formats.  At the end of Fiscal Year 2002, the Archives had stored over 463 gigabytes of electronic archival records.  In Fiscal Year 2003, the Archives is expecting to take on over 990 gigabytes of land records, State Highway Administration records, and estate papers from the Registers of Wills, as well as 603 gigabytes of archival data generated from other government series for a total of 1,593 gigabytes.  In Fiscal Year 2004, this number will increase by another 2,134 gigabytes.  Archival storage capacity for electronic records at the end of Fiscal Year 2002 is 800 gigabytes.  At the present rate of electronic data accumulation, the Archives' storage capacity will be depleted by the end of Calendar Year 2002.

Land Survey, Subdivision & Condominium Plats. Systems are currently installed in all Maryland counties for plats.net (see above under Acquisition and Preservation). Baltimore City will be online by the end of November 2002. IT Network Specialists have spent a total of 95 hours on site and 111 travel hours have been spent in CY2002 to install and maintain the plats.net system of 62 personal computers and 64 printers.

Probate Records for Registers of Wills. Currently, the Electronic Archives provides access to over 15,000 pages of Maryland probate records (comprising 30 volumes) for Registers of Wills in five counties.

At mdprobate.net, are found probate records for Registers of Wills. Launched in 2000 for the use of Registers of Wills staff, mdprobate.net provides digitized record images online for five counties: Baltimore and Talbot counties (since 2000); and Cecil, Montgomery and Worcester counties added in 2001. The website includes Montgomery County estate docket information, updated daily, and searchable from 1990 to the present.

In 2001, the Electronic Archives completed a comprehensive survey of Maryland probate records. The survey enabled the division to estimate the number of probate volumes and the number of their pages (by county, date range, and type of storage media). In 2001, the division also submitted to the Office of Comptroller a proposal for comprehensive digital imaging of all Maryland probate records.

WIDE AREA NETWORKING

The Archives provides 24 x 7 Internet access, e-mail service, and firewall security to the Annapolis Campus Network of state agencies. This includes the State House, Comptroller, Treasurer, Secretary of State, Department of Budget & Management, State Board of Elections, etc. This gateway for the exchange of government information requires the Archives to maintain telecommunications, routing, firewall applications, DNS services for Internet, primary name server for over 60 domains, web servers, mail servers, configuration of security services for special applications, and support for network administrators and webmasters at a number of agencies.

During Fiscal Year 2000, 684 gigabytes (gb) of data were transferred through the firewalls. This includes (but is not limited to) e-mail traffic, HTTP traffic, FTP traffic, and telnet traffic. It represents a 73% increase over Fiscal Year 1999.  Fiscal Year 2001 statistics show a total of 1,376 gb of data were transferred through our firewalls. This is an increase of 101% over the same period of Fiscal Year 2000.  In Fiscal Year 2002, 2,671 gb of data were transferred through the firewalls, a 94% increase over fiscal year 2001.  In addition, a new network traffic monitor shows that during Fiscal Year 2002, 2791 terabytes (tb) of data was transferred over the Archivesí network.  This includes data transferred by state agencies (e-mail, HTTP, ftp, SQL, and telnet traffic) in the Annapolis campus behind the Archivesí firewall (Governors' Office, Secretary of State, Comptroller, State Board of Elections, Department of Budget and Management).  In addition, a wireless connection has recently been placed in service between the Archives and the State Board of Elections (SBE).  This integration of services between agencies will facilitate the move of candidate lists, election results and campaign finance reports which are only available in electronic format and provide long term cost savings to both agencies.
 

DATABASE MANAGEMENT

Database Management designs and develops new database management systems to help Archives' staff describe record series, locate of records in the stacks, track patrons requests for records via a work order system.  The team also develops programs to make record series database information accessible on the web.

Maryland Archives Management System. During 2001, work was undertaken to complete the Maryland Archives Management System (MAMS), which DataSource, Inc., designed and developed as part of the State's Year 2000 remediation project. This was to have been an enterprise system to which all departments would link and from which data could be shared throughout the agency. Unfortunately, in January 2001, the project was dropped and abandoned when it was determined that DataSource, Inc., no longer could staff the project, and that the Archives no longer had the resources or staff to maintain such a vast system. Work then was undertaken to export data from the MAMS system back into a dBASE/SQL environment. The data related to the correspondence system was successfully exported in October 2001.

In June 2002, the data associated with the registration system was successfully exported from the MAMS system into an SQL environment. During 2002, scripts were written in SQL to handle the migration of data. Programming was also undertaken in ColdFusion to create a user interface to the registration system that can be run from any browser. This project completed the exportation of all data from the defunct MAMS system.

Extensive programming in dBASE was also required for providing web access to the Guide to Government Records. This Guide details inventories to all state, county and municipal records maintained at the Archives. Future plans include migrating all of this data into an SQL environment and creating Cold Fusion programs to handle the accessibility of data on the web.

Additionally, considerable scripting and programming was done this year to migrate several Archives' SQL 6.5 databases into SQL 7.0 databases for placement on new servers.

Within Excel, Database Management designs workbooks to provide statistical analysis to the administration in areas including (but not limited to) work output, network bandwidth use, and budgetary issues. These projects include programming in Visual Basic for Applications (VBA).

PROGRAMMING

During 2002, Information Systems Management continued to provide programming support for plats.net and static htmls files were replaced with dynamic templates written in ColdFusion. On October 1, images of right of way plats from the State Highway Administration were incorporated into plats.net and a combined search engine was created so that users can locate both county and state right of way plats through the website.

In October 2001, the U.S. Department of Education awarded a grant in the amount of $997,354 to the Baltimore County Public Schools for the Teaching American History Project. Through partnerships with leading historical institutions, including the Maryland State Archives, the UMBC Center for History Education, the National Council for History Education, the B&O Railroad Museum, and Maryland Public Television, the Teaching American History Project provides training for history teachers from lower-performing schools in Anne Arundel and Baltimore Counties.  As part the Teaching American History Project, Information Systems Management created three new websites available from mdhistoryonline.net to provide research support for teachers creating required lesson plans for the grant program.

Additional programming support was provided to the Department of Special Collections, resulting in the creation of a dynamic web-based catalog of holdings, updated weekly, so that revisions to the catalog are available to the public in a timely manner.
 

WEB MANAGEMENT, LOCAL AREA NETWORK (LAN) & ELECTRONIC PUBLICATIONS

Website Maintenance. Web Management maintains websites not only for the State Archives and the Maryland Electronic Capital, but also for other State and county government agencies. In CY2002, this department billed over 109 hours for client website maintenance.

In Fiscal Year 2002, the Archives received 53,422,258 requests for 463 gigabytes of data on the our website at http://mdsa.net (a 54% increase over Fiscal Year 2001).  At the end of Fiscal Year 2002, some 4.16 million files (html, gif, tif, max, or jpg) were made available to the public.  Approximately 39% of the files are textual materials, such as the Maryland Manual On-Line, biographical research, educational materials, transcriptions, and finding aids derived from 8,280  database inventories, containing 1.7 million records.  The balance of the site holds roughly 2.9 million images of records in Archives' custody.  Although the Archives initiated its website in 1995, over 85% of the content has been placed in service during the last three years through two initiatives: the Archives of Maryland Online, and the Digital Image Reference System for Land Survey Subdivision, and Condominium Plats (plats.net).  These initiatives represent significant achievement to ensuring long term access to important records.  In addition, this approach to automating archival records allows the wide use and appreciation of archival material and greatly enhances public access to documents without damage to original records.

In August 2002, Information Technology Management initiated a survey on the Archives' website so that patrons could provide feedback relating to the content and quality of the materials posted electronically. Results from the survey will be used in the Archives' MFR submission for the next fiscal year.

Who Are Your Elected Officials?: Would you like to know who represents you in the Maryland General Assembly and in Congress? All you need to know is your street address and the zip code of your residence to use the look up form to find your elected officials.  Redistricting information has been added to the lookup feature, candidate lists are available and the newly elected officials will be online within days of the November election. This site had over 790,000 hits in fiscal year 2002 and contributed to the total hit count on the Maryland Manual On-Line as the elected officials are linked to their biographical information on the Manual web site.  The two sites mesh well to provide customers with data on their elected officials in a timely and cost effective manner.

Archives of Maryland Online: The Archives of Maryland Online website provides access to historical documents that form the constitutional, legal, legislative, judicial and administrative basis of Maryland's government.  The Archives of Maryland Online currently provides access to over 377,000 pages of historical material, 377,000 tif images, 107,000 gif images and about 270,000 textual pages converted (OCR) from the original tif.

During 2002, Web Management maintained the following State Archives' websites:

Other government agencies' websites maintained in 2002:

© Maryland State Archives