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Maryland Manual, 1994-95
Volume 186, Page 492   View pdf image
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492 /Independent Agencies

Edward C. Papenfuse, State Archivist &
Commissioner of Land Patents
Richard H. Richardson, Deputy Commissioner
(410) 974-3916

The State Archives became responsible for the
functions of the Land Office and its collections in
1965. The Records Management Division, then a
part of the Archives, took charge of recording and
filing plats. When the Division was separated from
the Archives in 1975, plats and other Land Office
records became the responsibility of the Archives.
The State Archivist is designated as the Commis-
sioner of Land Patents and is responsible for issuing
land patents and conducting court hearings (Chap-
ter 355, Acts of 1967). In performing these duties,
the State Archivist acts independently of the duties
imposed as State Archivist (Code Real Property
Article, secs. 13-101 through 13-504).
The land patent process is the mechanism for
granting land in Maryland. Land patents were is-
sued by the proprietors during the colonial period,
and later by the State. Virtually all land in Maryland
has been patented. Through survey errors or due to
the inaccessibility of a tract, however, some land
never may have been included in a parent. This land,
when it is discovered, may be patented, with title
passing to the patentee upon payment of the fair
market value of the land to the State.
An applicant for a patent must present evidence
based on a title search of the property in question
proving that no former patent encompasses any
portion of the land. Information concerning the
land patent process and an application for a patent
can be obtained from the Commissioner of Land

Mame Warren, Curator
(410) 974-3916

Preservation of the photographic record is an
essential part of the work of the State Archives. The
State Archives is the repository for thousands of
photographs that document Maryland's cultural
diversity. These images provide an invaluable asset
to understanding the historical record from the
mid-nineteenth century to the present.
The first major gift of photographs was received
by the Archives in 1941. Today more than three
hundred collections include photographs, many by
the State's foremost photographers. The State Ar-
chives specializes in images taken in Maryland: out-
door scenes; city and townscapes; portraits of
citizens; domestic life; commercial, agricultural and
leisure activities.
Archives photographs come from many sources,
both as gifts and as loans to be copied and preserved
as part of the public record. Photographs from

Maryland Manual 1994-1995

Special Collections of the State Archives have been
used to illustrate books, articles, motion pictures,
and video productions. Copies of photographs may
be purchased for reference, exhibition, commercial
use, or publication.

Teresa M. Fountain, Director
(410) 974-3916

Photographic Services began in 1935. This of-
fice supports all aspects of State Archives work by
various forms of imaging. An in-house photo lab,
Photographic Services helps preserve and make ac-
cessible copies of records through the creation and
duplication of microfiche, microfilm, photocopy,
photography, and digital imaging. In this way, Pho-
tographic Services assists government agencies;
promotes Maryland scholarship by aiding students,
historians, and genealogists; provides evidential
materials for legal matters; and supports State Ar-
chives exhibits and publications.
Services to Government Agencies. Photographic
Services preserves the records of State and county
government agencies while providing those agen-
cies with working copies. In some instances, the
office processes and inspects microfilm from other
Services to the Public. Photocopies, photographs,
microfilm, and other forms of imaging of archival
material may be ordered from Photographic Serv-
ices. Through this office, microfilm of records is
prepared and made available for interlibrary loans.
Preservation Microfilming. Records are micro-
filmed to archival standards that allow for the best
resolution and density. These standards are defined
by the American National Standard Institute
(ANSI). Duplicates are provided on diazo and ve-
sicular film. Other media, such as aperture cards,
also are available.
Digital Imaging. Photographic Services scans
record material to convert images into electronic
form. By this process, a document can be repro-
duced in many formats.

Douglas P. McElrath, Director
(410) 974-3914

Conservation Laboratory. The Conservation
Laboratory preserves the physical integrity of ar-
chives in many forms, including manuscript papers
and record books, microfilm, microfiche, photo-
graphs, published books, government publications,
maps, newspapers, and electronic files. The Conser-
vation Lab monitors environmental conditions in
temperature- and humidity-controlled storage ar-
eas. Where appropriate, conservation measures are
used. These include chemical deacidification, repair


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Maryland Manual, 1994-95
Volume 186, Page 492   View pdf image
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