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Volume 465, Page 45   View pdf image (33K)
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was a major weakness of our records retirement program. The need
for such depositories was recognized from the beginning and, in fact,
Records Engineering, Inc., in a survey of State records made just prior
to the initiation of the records management program, recommended
that the State erect a records center of approximately 12,000 square
feet of storage space. Since the State had already made plans for two
new State office buildings, one in Annapolis and trie other in Baltimore,
it was decided to provide records storage space in the basements of
these buildings, rather than erect a separate structure. The Records
Center in Annapolis was opened in August, 1958, and the one in Balti-
more began receiving records in June of 1959. In the meantime, make-
shift storage was provided, in a few critical cases, in the Department
of Budget and Procurement warehouse. In other cases, relief was af-
forded to the agency by the substitution of microfilm copies for the
original record, out for the most part agencies were obliged to main-
tain non-current records in their offices or storage areas.

The two Centers are as similar in design as the areas allocated
and the funds available permitted. The one in Annapolis occupies an
area of 5700 square feet and includes an office, microfilm room, search
room, and stack area. The Baltimore Center is larger, containing 7100
square feet, with the microfilm and research facilities located between
the two sections of stacks. Together, the Centers contain sufficient
shelving to house 20,117 cubic feet of records. Air conditioning, asphalt
tile floors, fluorescent lights, and a smoke detector and fire warning
system add to the utility and convenience of these areas.

The operation of the Records Centers is governed by rules estab-
lished by the Archivist and the Assistant Records Administrator. Rec-
ords must be controlled by schedules before they will be accepted for
deposit. Since the records of all but a few agencies were already
governed by schedules, it was necessary to establish only a few addi-
tional ones, but some of the early schedules had to be amended to
indicate what record series were to be transferred and at what time.
Center personnel service the records from the time they are received
until they are destroyed according to schedule. This service includes
shelving the records, maintaining the necessary control forms, micro-
filming records to be preserved on film, providing the records or infor-
mation from them upon request, and supervising their destruction.

The acquisition of the two Records Centers has been of major
importance in reducing the cost of maintaining non-current records
and in establishing more effective control over them. First, these Cen-
ters have made possible the removal of inactive records from prime
office space and filing equipment, releasing the equipment for re-use,
and contributing to more efficient office operations. Second, they have
enabled us to eliminate most of the individual storage areas of agencies
where conditions were far from desirable and effective control almost


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