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Volume 466, Page 49   View pdf image (33K)
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land. We prepared schedules for those records in which the proper
officials of the city concurred. Some records were to be sent to the Hall
of Records for permanent storage, some others, we decided should re-
main as they were in the City Offices, and some others were set aside
for disposal, in this case, destruction.

Subsequently a private citizen asked the Comptroller of the City
of Cumberland whether he might not have one of the records which
had been set aside for destruction. The Comptroller has referred the
matter to us. I am not at all sure whether the Hall of Records Com-
mission can control the distribution of records by an agency of govern-
ment. From time to time county libraries and county historical so-
cieties, and certain individuals have asked that records no longer needed
in the office of origin, nor desired for permanent storage by the Hall
of Records Commission, be given to them.

We have managed in the past to prevent this dispersal of public
records by persuasion, but I feel now that the time has come when we
ought to know what precisely our powers are in the matter—whether
we have any control at all, or whether it is possible to establish control
by legislation, and if so, whether that is desirable.

I should be most grateful to you for your opinion in this matter.
Sincerely yours,

Morris L. Radoff

December 4, 1963
Dr. Morris L. Radoff

Dear Dr. Radoff:

You inquired as to whether or not public records can be given to
private citizens, particularly those records which have been set aside
for destruction.

Article 41, Section 177 of the Annotated Code of Maryland, in
part provides:

"Every state, county, city, town or other public official in the
State in custody of public records * * * is hereby authori-
zed * * * in his discretion, to turn over to the Commission


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