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Thirty-Sixth Annual Report of the Archivist of the Hall of Records, FY 1971
Volume 473, Page 2   View pdf image (33K)
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One of the goals of the Archivist during the past year has been
the return of obvious Maryland archives which have somehow strayed from the
custody of the State over the years. A good many of these are contained
in the J. Thomas Scharf Collection now in the custody of the Maryland
Historical Society. Some of these, for example, are the early rent rolls,
early tax lists, the statewide assessment of 1783, etc. The Archivist
requested consideration of the return of these archives of the State by
the Director of the Society, who in turn offered to take the matter up
with the Council of the Society. That is where the matter is at present.

The whole question of the dispersal of Maryland archives will

have to be considered. Only recently it was called to the Archivist's attention
that a large collection of Frederick County original court records of the
eighteenth century was offered for sale by a Baltimore dealer. When I
advised the Clerk of the Court of Frederick County of the facts in the case,
he immediately took steps to repossess the records. He asked the Court
for a Writ of Replevin which was granted and with the cooperation of the
Sheriff of Baltimore County, the records were returned. Some of them are now
in the Frederick County Courthouse and others at the Hall of Records. They
await the defendant's answer at a hearing in court which has not yet been

To replevy strayed records is a harsh method indeed for effecting
their return, but it has been used by other states. The Hall of Records
has avoided it, but perhaps now it should be used. Taking into consideration
the thirty-five years we devoted to the recovery of records from the Library
of Congress, it may be preferable method.

From time to time, we have removed from the various recesses of
the Frederick County Courthouse attic, records of the Clerk fo the Circuit
Court and Register of Wills. Last year we obtained permission to remove
the early records of the County Commissioners, More than two hundred volumes
were transferred. The minutes of the County Commissioners and their
predecessor, the Levy Court, date from 1795 to 1891, but there are several
extensive gaps. The Assessment Books, which are often useful in tracing land
titles or the history of old houses, cover the period 1798-1896. Other
records of interest are the Levy Lists, which record county expenditures,
the Road Records and the Almshouse Minutes.

Our explorations further produced a number of iteMs which
supplemented our holdings of the records of the Clerk of the Circuit Court,
notably three Judgment Records, a number of Minute Books and Dockets and
a volume containing records of Certificates to Free Negroes.

Since 1947, when Governor Herbert R. O'Conor agreed to transfer
the papers of his administration to our custody after he left office, such
transfers have been made routinely. However, the sudden emergence of former
Governor Spiro T. Agnew as a figure of national prominence, made the transfer


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Please view image to verify text. To report an error, please contact us.
Thirty-Sixth Annual Report of the Archivist of the Hall of Records, FY 1971
Volume 473, Page 2   View pdf image (33K)
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