Hall of Records Commission
Minutes of a Meeting Held at
the Maryland State Archives on March 14, 1996
Call to Order by the Chairman
Chairman Robert C. Murphy called the meeting to order at 12:40 p.m.
The Honorable Robert C. Murphy, Chairman, Hall of Records Commission,
The Honorable Louis L. Goldstein, Comptroller of the Treasury
and Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals
The Honorable Richard N. Dixon, Treasurer
The Honorable Mary A. Conroy, House of Delegates
Mr. Richard F. Pecora, representing Gene R. Lynch, Secretary,
Department of General Services
Mr. Christopher B. Nelson, President, St. John's College
Dr. Whitman H. Ridgway, representing Dr. Donald N. Langenberg,
Chancellor, University of Maryland
Dr. Glenn Phillips, representing Dr. Earl S. Richardson,
President, Morgan State University
Mr. Richard E. Israel, Assistant Attorney General
Ms. Pat Bruce, Aide to Delegate Conroy
Edward C. Papenfuse, State Archivist and Secretary,
Hall of Records Commission
Christopher N. Allan, Deputy State Archivist
Shirley Bodziak, Administrative Aide to Edward C. Papenfuse
Patricia V. Melville, Archivist V, Maryland State Archives
Lynne MacAdam, Archivist V, Maryland State Archives
Betsy Bodziak, Database Administrator, Maryland State Archives
Ms. Julie Andrews, Secretary to Judge Murphy
Welcome and Introduction of New Members and Guests
At the suggestion of the Chairman and with the unanimous approval of the Commission Dr. Papenfuse was asked to prepare and deliver a resolution of appreciation to former Treasurer Lucy Maurer for her distinguished service as Treasurer and as a member of the Hall of Records Commission.
The Chairman welcomed Treasurer Richard Dixon to his first Hall of Records Commission meeting as the new Treasurer of Maryland, and introduced his secretary, Julie Andrews. Dr. Papenfuse introduced staff members Pat Melville, Lynne MacAdam, and Betsy Bodziak.
Reports and Minutes of Previous Meeting
On a motion by Chris Nelson, the minutes of the previous meeting, June 27, 1995, were unanimously approved as submitted. Dr. Papenfuse then introduced four special meetings of the commission for inclusion in the minutes:
- Governor's Commission on the Thurgood Marshall Memorial: Maquette Unveiling, December 19, 1995
On December 19, 1995 the Thurgood Marshall Commission, of which Dr. Papenfuse is a member, unveiled a model of memorial proposed for Lawyers Mall. Included in the materials provided to the Commission were copies of the rendering of the statue prepared by the sculptor and a list of Thurgood Marshall's achievements. Members of the Commission attended the ceremony.
The Archives staff prepared the model as a traveling exhibit and between now and October, when the memorial is completed, the model will be on display at various locations throughout the state.
- First Citizen Award, January 18, 1996
On January 18, 1996, the Senate bestowed the First Citizen Award on our chairman, Judge Robert C. Murphy and on the Chief Judge of the District Court, Judge Robert Sweeney. Members of the Commission attended the ceremony at which Dr. Papenfuse spoke about the historical importance of the award.
- Speaker's Medallion Award, February 20, 1996
On February 20, 1996, Judge Murphy and Judge Sweeney were also honored by the House of Delegates with the award of Speaker's Medallions. That evening former Treasurer and Hall of Records Commission member Lucy Maurer was also given the Thomas Kennedy Award. Both awards were designed for the House of Delegate by the Archives. Dr. Papenfuse discussed the history of the House of Delegates' mace, which forms an important design element of both awards.
- Women's Hall of Fame of the Maryland Commission on Women, March
On March 12, Mary Digges Lee was inducted into the Women's Hall of Fame, a ceremony which was attended by members of the Commission. Mary Digges Lee was nominated for the honor by Dr. Papenfuse, and the nomination was seconded by Frances Hughes Glendening. The nomination was the result of research done on the First Ladies and Official Hostesses of Maryland at the Archives, a project that was initiated at the suggestion of Mrs. Glendening. Dr. Papenfuse accepted the award for Mrs. Lee, who was the wife of Thomas Sim Lee, Governor of Maryland during the Revolutionary War. Mrs. Lee's efforts to raise funds and gather clothing for the troops and her correspondence with General Washington were discovered by Archival Intern Emily Oland in the course of her research on her Master's Degree.
On a motion by Comptroller Goldstein all four ceremonial meetings of the Hall of Records Commission were approved as presented by Dr. Papenfuse.
Records Retention and Disposal Schedules
Records designated for retention or disposal since the last Commission meeting were approved unanimously on a motion by Treasurer Dixon.
Dr. Papenfuse reported that there was no old business to come before the Commission.
Dr. Papenfuse noted that staff activities are reported regularly in the in-house newsletter, The Bulldog, which is incorporated into the minutes of each meeting of the Commission.
- Connecting the Annapolis Complex
The Department of General Services has worked with the Archives to develop a cooperative Internet communications network within the Annapolis complex using a portion of the fiber optic circuit installed for the Energy Management System. The Department was able to make one pair available for intra-agency use within the complex for Internet traffic. This fiber optic segment brings data traffic to the Archives which in turn directs them to SAILOR at the Enoch Pratt Free Library and then, outbound to the Internet.
As part of this work, the Archives has installed a security firewall to protect the data networks within the complex from tampering by unauthorized users. We are working with each of these agencies to improve citizen access and the dissemination of government information. Dr. Papenfuse demonstrated the use of the Internet by visiting St. John's College's web site.
Reports of state agency records and special collections were provided at the meeting. The records of the Savings Bank of Baltimore and the Metropolitan Bank were processed during last summer's internship program. The complete inventory of the collection is now publicly accessible on our web site.
We are most grateful for the support for this project provided by First Fidelity Bank and its successor, First Union Bank. They contributed a $10,000 donation to the Archives' Endowment Fund, the largest outside contribution the Archives has received since the Endowment was created in 1993.
Jack Hollerbach has left the staff of First Union to become the chief financial officer of Poole and Kent, a well known mechanical contracting firm in Baltimore, but has indicated his desire to continue working with the Friends of the Archives.
Appraisal and Transfer Issues
- Maryland Deposit Insurance Fund
The Maryland Deposit Insurance Fund is in the process of completing its administration of the receiverships created to administer the failed savings and loans. The Fund has worked with the Archives to manage the substantial archival collection, approximately 19,000 cubic feet of material. The Archives has also been funded to lease and maintain the warehouse operation in fiscal year 1997 out of appropriated and special funds.
Processing the records of three of the six receiverships has been completed. We are now working on the records of First Maryland, Community, and Old Court. For these three entities, we have inventoried over 46,000 mortgage files and 300 boxes of permanent materials. Only about half of the inventory work has been completed on the mortgage files. We anticipate a collection of record material in excess of 4,000 cubic feet at the conclusion of the project.
There have been fundamental changes in the administration of the Fund. Judge Kaplan has reduced the staff as work to complete the recovery of assets is concluded. The remaining staff has been asked to focus on the accounting issues necessary to close the receiverships. The Fund Director, Patrick McCracken, and one administrative assistant left the Fund at the end of February. There are two staff members remaining. The employee transferred from the Fund to the Archives in late 1994 is managing the collection of documents at the Hammonds Ferry warehouse and assisting with efforts to close out the remaining receiverships.
To date, four of the six receiverships have been closed. The First Maryland receivership was closed in August 1995, the auditors have completed their work, and the non-permanent records will be disposed in the next month.
Community Savings and Loan is scheduled to close in April. All of the records will have to be stored until the legislative auditors complete their work. We do not expect it will be possible to dispose of the extraneous materials until next year.
The receivership established for Old Court will continue well into the next century. Certain performing assets have been transferred to Old Court from the closed receiverships which will be disposed of over time. There are also some assets which the state will hold in perpetuity.
During the next year we anticipate that the Fund, as an entity of state government, will be dissolved. We expect the appraisal work and the inventory of the permanent records will continue after the dissolution of the Fund. This activity will be supported by the remaining receiverships.
On motion of Delegate Conroy and seconded by Treasurer Dixon the Commission unanimously approved seeking additional financial support from the receivership to complete the processing and appraisal of the collection.
- Electronic Records
Many of the state's permanent records are now being gathered and maintained exclusively in an electronic format. Indeed, the electronic record now constitutes the bulk of modern archival material being generated by state and local agencies.
In an effort to ensure the preservation of permanently valuable electronic records we are working with several agencies to develop the most cost effective means of transferring these records to the Archives. We are doing so in the context of the electronic rules and regulations already adopted.
- Imaging Projects: Register of Wills Image Management Program
The Registers have formed a committee to examine the most effective means of utilizing scanning equipment and computer retrieval systems to manage the probate records maintained in their offices. The Comptroller has been very supportive of this initiative and has worked closely with the Registers to develop specifications and obtain a statewide contract for equipment and software that will allow them to utilize this technology in their offices.
The Comptroller's staff asked the Archives to assist the Registers with this project and we met with their committees in December.
As a result of our discussions, we were asked to review the specifications and participate in the technical review of the proposals received. Chris Allan represented the Archives in this venture. Over 150 bid packages have been received.
- Vital Records Legislation
Dr. Papenfuse appeared before the Senate and House Committees in support of proposed revisions to the 1987 Vital Records Law. The changes proposed include reducing restrictions on access to birth, death, marriage and divorce records filed with the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.
In pursuing these changes we have worked with the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene including addressing the issue of the transfer of permanently valuable records that exist only in electronic form.
- Court Records Imaging Project
Dr. Papenfuse reported that he had participated in a review panel which recommended a pilot program to place Prince George's County Court records into an optical imaging system. This afforded him a excellent opportunity to review available equipment and to help ensure that any such scanning project would concern itself with permanent preservation issues.
Finding Aids and Reference
- Maryland Newspaper Guide
One of the most impressive additions to the Archives web site is the Maryland Newspaper Guide. This is the culmination of 15 years of work to identify and preserve Maryland newspapers. The finding aid is a comprehensive list of over 1,200 titles and gets researchers to a collection of over 5,000 reels of microfilm available here. Dr. Papenfuse demonstrated The Guide by visiting the Archives' web site.
- Who Are Your Elected Officials?
In conjunction with CITEC, the Citizens Information Technology Education Committee, the Archives has developed a proposal for enhancing internet access to information about the General Assembly. This proposal is currently under consideration by the General Assembly. Included in the proposal is a new service, "Who Are Your Elected Officials?" developed by Dr. Papenfuse and Gil Funk of Global Access Communications which permits citizens to determine who represents them by simply entering a home address. Dr. Papenfuse demonstrated the service using Judge Murphy's home address.
Preservation and Processing
- Geographical Services, Allegany and Baltimore County Plats
In cooperation with the Administrative Office of the Courts the Archives recently completed conservation of oversize survey materials and other plats for the period 1805 to 1993 from the Allegany County Circuit Court. This collection contained over 2,600 instruments many of which were in very poor condition. All but a fraction of these have been conserved and aperture cards are available for use at the court.
The Archives has undertaken a similar project for the Baltimore County Circuit Court. It involves some 10,125 plats that date from 1851 to 1988. Over 6,000 of these will require some conservation treatment, before they can be scanned and/or filmed. Word is expected to be completed by June 30th.
Maryland Manual & The Organization of Maryland State Government
We plan to issue the Maryland Manual this summer. Publication was delayed so that the new edition can reflect the substantial changes in Maryland government that have been proposed and are now being considered by the General Assembly.
While the paper copy has been delayed, much of the most current information about Maryland state government appears on the Archives' web site.
The paper edition will be limited to the legally mandated free distribution and to the estimated number of copies necessary to meet sales demand. The recommended price for casebound copies is $53 and for paperbound copies, $35. Distribution to schools and libraries, with the approval of the Hall of Records Commission will be made either on CD ROM or via the internet, which would effect substantial savings in both the publication and the postage costs normally incurred.
Dr. Papenfuse requested support for the pricing and distribution plans for the next edition of the Maryland Manual which on the motion of Comptroller Goldstein were unanimously approved.
Treasurer Dixon suggested that the electronic version of the historical chronology published in the Maryland Manual be expanded to include more detailed explanations. For example, he suggested that the move of the General Assembly to Frederick in April of 1861 was such a significant event that it deserved fuller treatment than the space limitations of the previous editions of the Manual permitted. On motion of Treasurer Dixon the Commission unanimously encouraged Dr. Papenfuse to seek the resources necessary to enhance future editions of the Maryland Manual with appropriate historical explanations and materials.
- Archives of Maryland
In 1990, the Archives published the first volume of the new Archives of Maryland series An Historical List of Public Officials of Maryland. With the approval of the Commission, this year, the series will move to a CD-ROM format with two publications, The Civil Office Index and Teaching in the Age of the Internet: Documents for the Classroom. A request for a motion in support of both of these publications was unanimously approved by the Commission.
- Doing Good to Posterity
At the last meeting Doing Good to Posterity, the first pamphlet in a local history series was distributed to the Commission. This series is published in conjunction with the Maryland Historical Trust and the Anne Arundel County Trust for Preservation, Inc. It is edited by Jane McWilliams and Ann Jensen.
The second pamphlet in the series, Providence, 1649, written by the archeologist for Anne Arundel County, Al Luckenbach, was published last fall. Mr. Luckenbach has written about his archeological findings on what we now call the Broadneck Peninsula. He has been able to link many of the artifacts of domestic life found at various sites there to a trade with Holland that was far more extensive than anyone suspected.
A third volume in the series, From Paths to Plats, Planning the City of Annapolis should be published in the fall. The author is Tony Lindauer, one of the Archives' dedicated volunteers.
Education & Outreach
Using the Archives' web site, Dr. Papenfuse reviewed a number of the projects currently underway relating to education and public outreach including the cooperative program with the Anne Arundel County Schools, the summer internship program, and recent biographical research on the Treasurers of Maryland and the First Ladies. He also mentioned that in cooperation with the Walters Art Gallery, the Artistic Property Commission has placed an exhibit of drawings by Alfred Jacob Miller on display at Government House. Miller was a well known Baltimore artist during the 19th century. The drawings on display are scenes from Baltimore.
Administrative Matters & Fiscal Issues
- Peabody Art Collection
Revisions to the law governing the Artistic Property Commission of the Archives were enacted last session making the Archives responsible for the art collection of the Peabody Institute at such time as ownership is transferred to the state. Funds effecting the transfer have been provided for in the capital budget. Favorable action is expected and the Archives' staff has begun to prepare for assuming management responsibility for the collection which should take place at the end of June.
The Archives will work carefully to conclude fiscal year 1996 operations without a deficit. Reductions in appropriations for the current fiscal year (known as cost containments) amounted to $24,000. Fortunately no staff reductions were necessary to meet this requirement.
The fiscal year 1997 budget process began with a presentation to the Governor's Chief of Staff in October. Support for the management of electronic records and the educational program, Documents for the Classroom was requested. In addition, funds were requested for staffing and rental of a warehouse at Hammond's Ferry which we are currently administering with the Maryland Deposit Insurance Fund.
The Department of Budget and Fiscal Planning recommended publishing the Maryland Manual once every four years and suggested there be no appropriation for this activity in fiscal year 1997. We successfully advocated funding the contractual staff and making more of the Manual accessible on the web site.
Funds for the Carroll Papers Project were eliminated from the budget, but later reinserted into the supplemental budget.
The budget currently under consideration by the Legislature includes funds the warehouse, general funds for the position managing the records of the Fund, contract monies for the Manual, and a new position for an Archival Intranet/Internet Administrator. Both the House and Senate have concurred with the Governor's allowance. Final approval is pending.
Planning has begun for fiscal year 1998. Additional support will be sought for the preservation of electronic records. This will include a request for funds to plan for a facility here to manage the electronic archives of the state.
- Archives Building
The Archives' staff is completing a thorough review of the condition of the building to ascertain the near term maintenance needs and begin the process for making improvements. We will be working with the Department of General Services to address these needs as a part of our fiscal year 1997 budget process.
The 10th anniversary of the opening of the present building will occur on September 11, 1996. The building is regarded as one of the premier archival facilities in the world. Visitors have come from all over the country and from abroad, including patrons, and colleagues in the archival profession who are planning new facilities.
Dr. Papenfuse suggested a motion which was proposed by Comptroller Goldstein and approved unanimously by the Commission that a day of celebration be held on September 11, 1996 to mark the 10th anniversary of opening of the present building.
Coping with Limited General Fund Support
- Tax Exempt Status of the State Archives Fund
The Treasurer and Comptroller offered to work with the Dr. Papenfuse to obtain a clear ruling from the IRS with regard to the tax exempt status of the State Archives Fund.
- Promoting Friends of the Archives
It was agreed that the 10th anniversary celebration of the opening of the Hall of Records building would be the focus for promoting the Friends of the Archives.
- Working with the Coalition for Maryland History
Discussion deferred to a future Hall of Records Commission meeting.
There being no other business to come before the Commission, the Chairman adjourned the meeting at 1:56 p.m.
Approved by the Hall of Records Commission - June 19, 1996
The Honorable Robert C. Murphy, Chairman
Dr. Edward C. Papenfuse, Secretary
Dr. Edward C. PapenfuseMaryland State Archives
350 Rowe Boulevard
Annapolis, Maryland 21401
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