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Maryland Manual, 1994-95
Volume 186, Page 490   View pdf image
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490 /Independent Agencies

The State Archives is the historical agency for
Maryland. It serves as the central depository for
government records of permanent value. These re-
cords date from the founding of the Maryland
colony in 1634 to the 1990s. Among the holdings
of the Archives are colonial and State executive,
legislative, and judicial records; county probate,
land, and court records; records of religious bodies;
business records; State publications and reports;
and special collections of maps, newspapers, pho-
tographs, and private papers.
Origins of the State Archives trace to the State's
tercentenary celebrations in 1934. As the 300th anni-
versary of Maryland's founding approached, the
Maryland Tercentenary Commission made a modern,
centralized archives a key feature of the State's com-
memoration. A "Memorial Hall of Records" was pro-
posed as early as 1928 and in 1931 the General
Assembly appropriated funds to erect an archives
building. Construction began in 1934; the Hall of
Records opened to the public a year later. It was the
first building in this country designed specifically to
hold state government archives.
The General Assembly provided for the manage-
ment of the public records to be housed in the new
facility. A 1935 statute created the Hall of Records
Commission and provided for the collection, cus-
tody, and preservation of the official records, docu-
ments, and publications of the State (Chapter 18,
Acts of 1935). The Hall of Records was formed in
1935 as an independent agency of State govern-
ment and remained so until its incorporation into
the Department of General Services in 1970 (Chap-
ter 97, Acts of 1970). In 1984, the Hall of Records
was renamed the State Archives and became an
independent agency within the office of the Gover-
nor (Chapter 286, Acts of 1984). The 1984 law
defined an advisory role for the Hall of Records
Commission and placed the Commission on Artis-
tic Property under the State Archives (Code State
Government Article, secs. 2-1513(b), 3-404(b),
7-213(a), 9-1001 through 9-1027, 10-604
through 10-608, 10-631 through 10-634, 10-637
through 10-642, 10-701, 10-702). In 1986, the
State Archives moved to the new Hall of Records
located on Rowe Boulevard across from the Courts
of Appeals Building.
Within the State Archives are the Commission
on Artistic Property, and a number of units, includ-
ing Education and Outreach; Exhibits; Geographi-
cal Services; Government Publications and Library;
Land Patents; Photographic Collections; Photo-
graphic Services; Preservation and Conservation;
Publications; Reference Services; Special Collec-
tions; and State and Local Records. The State
Archives is aided by the Hall of Records Commis-

Maryland Manual 1994-1995

Chairperson: Robert C. Murphy, Chief Judge,
Court of Appeals
Secretary: Edward C. Papenfuse, Ph.D., State Archivist
(410) 974-3867

The Hall of Records Commission was created in
1935 (Chapter 18, Acts of 1935). As an advisory
body to the State Archives, the Commission reviews
and comments upon policies of the Archives that
concern proposed budgets, publications, and pub-
lic access to records.
The Commission is composed of eleven mem-
bers. Nine serve ex officio. Two are members of the
General Assembly: one senator, appointed by the
Senate President, and one delegate, appointed by
the House Speaker (Code State Government Arti-
cle, secs. 9-1001 through 9-1006).

Oden Bowie, Chairperson
Elaine M. Rice, Curator

State Archives
350 Rowe Blvd.
Annapolis, MD 21401 (410) 974-3867

The Commission on Artistic Property was
formed in 1969 (Chapter 111, Acts of 1969). It was
incorporated into the State Archives in 1984
(Chapter 286, Acts of 1984).
The Commission keeps a continuing inventory
of all valuable paintings and other decorative arts
located in a public area of any State building in the
Annapolis area, except a State room of the Gover-
nor's Mansion. The Commission also provides for
the acquisition, location, proper care, custody, res-
toration, display, and preservation of these paint-
ings and decorative arts. Every person, agency, or
organization desiring to acquire a painting or other
decorative art work for display in a State building
or premises in the Annapolis area, except in a room
of the Governor's Mansion, must secure from the
Commission both prior approval and final accep-
tance of the painting or decorative art work. In such
instances, the Commission considers the compe-
tence of the artist, the proposed location, and the
quality, historical significance, and appropriateness
of the work.
The Commission may, with the approval of the
Governor and the State Archivist, receive and ac-
cept gifts and loans of paintings and decorative art
works. With the approval of the Governor, the State
Archivist may accept gifts of money for the Com-
mission from any source, public or private, and
thereafter administer and expend the funds accord-
ing to the conditions and terms of the gift.
The Commission consists of eight members ap-
pointed by the State Archivist with the approval of
the Governor. At least one member must represent
a cultural institution in Maryland. Three members


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Maryland Manual, 1994-95
Volume 186, Page 490   View pdf image
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