ARCHIVIST OF THE HALL OF RECORDS 43
1967, and the land records on January 1, 1968, using the same pro-
cedures and type of equipment employed in Prince George's County.
As a part of our microfilm service in the past, we provided the
Commissioner of the Land Office with microfilm copies of the currently
recorded land records of the respective counties and Baltimore City.
These records were filmed especially for the Hall of Records by the
Clerks of Court or were a part of the projection print recording program
carried on through Hall & McChesney, Inc. Our personnel supervised
the filming, inspected the film, and delivered it to the Land Office.
With the abolition of the office of Commissioner of the Land Office and
the transfer of the duties and functions of the Land Office to the Hall
of Records, the preservation of security microfilm copies of current
land records now becomes a legal, rather than a de facto, responsibility
of the Hall of Records.
As a result of this transfer, the Records Management Division was
given responsibility for receiving, indexing, filing, and providing copies
of subdivision plats transmitted by the Clerks of Court as required by
Article 17, Section 61, Annotated Code of Maryland, 1957 Edition.
While this program has been in operation for a number of years, im-
provements are needed. Some counties, through local legislation, have
restricted the size of plats to manageable proportions, but State legisla-
tion is needed to insure that all plats are limited to a size that will
make the storage and reproduction of the plats easier. We hope that
such legislation can be obtained in the near future.
The Records Management program continues to be based upon
the establishment of realistic records schedules governing the retention
and disposal of State and local records. The importance of the schedule
cannot be overemphasized, for it is, in a single document, a complete
program for the disposition of records. However, the widespread use of
computers by State agencies presents problems in establishing and
applying the schedules. Among these are the ability of the machine
to produce paper at a tremendous rate and the difficulties of evaluating
records which exist only in the more exotic magnetic forms.
The computers continue to produce greater and more unmanage-
able masses of paper, much of which must be destroyed within a short
time, out of sheer necessity. Generally, this destruction of paper is
justified on the premise that the record copy exists in other record
forms, such as magnetic tapes and disc files. Actually there is no prac-
tical way to insure that a record copy does, in fart, continue to exist
even in altered form.