Hall of Records Commission
of a Meeting
at the Maryland State Archives
April 19, 2000
Call to Order by the Chairman
The meeting was called to order by Chairman Bell at 12:18 p.m.
& Introduction of Special Guests
Chairman Bell welcomed and introduced the members of the Archives
of Maryland Advisory Board and thanked them for serving.
Dr. Papenfuse introduced members of Archives' staff: Ray Connor,
Chris Allan, Kathy Beard, Mimi Calver, Karen Dunaway, Roger Kizer Ball,
Greg Lepore, Lynne MacAdam, Maura McCarthy, Pat Melville, Emily Squires,
Hillary Thomas. He also introduced Jean Russo who will be working on the
Archives of Maryland Advisory project. Jean does staff work for the
Archives when she has time, as well as works as a volunteer.
Agnes Callum (The Chairman welcomed Ms. Callum
who arrived at the meeting at 12:33 p.m.)
Dr. Papenfuse told the Commission the sad news that two long time employees
of the Archives, since retired, had died: Gust Skordas last Friday and
Phebe Jacobsen this morning. Phebe worked for the Archives for 30
years and was responsible for helping Alex Haley find his roots.
Phebe and Alex remained good friends over the course of his life, and she
was instrumental in seeing to it that the memorial downtown was created.
Phebe understood records and published a book with Gust Skordas and Dr.
Radoff on county records She did her own book on the Quaker records
but, most of all, she was the consummate reference archivist. She
understood people and how to deal with reference issues.
Dr. Papenfuse said that everywhere you go in this Archives, you will
see evidence of Gust Skordas. He started with the WPA in the 1930s,
inventorying court records and state agency records. He was the heart
and soul of the Archives until he retired in 1973 and Dr. Papenfuse was
privileged to be his successor. When Dr. Radoff retired, the former
director of General Services, George Lewis, called Dr. Papenfuse and asked
him to offer Gust the position of Archivist of Maryland. When Dr.
Papenfuse called him in San Diego and offered him the position, Gust laughed
and said "I've done my service, Ed. It is your turn now. Tell
George Lewis that I appreciate the offer, but I am retired and I am enjoying
it." From 1973 on, he not only enjoyed his retirement, but was always
there for suggestions and advice, returning to Annapolis several times
to follow the progress on the new building and to visit old friends.
There was a brief moment of silence before moving on to the first item
on the agenda.
Reports and Minutes of Previous Meetings
September 22, 1999
Dr. Papenfuse advised the Commission that the minutes and proceedings of the Hall of Records Commission meetings are now available on the web
at http://archives.md and encouraged
the members to visit the site.
Special Meetings and Celebratory Events
On a motion by Dr. Phillips, seconded by Secretary Richkus, the minutes
(as amended, if amended), and recognition of the special meetings of the
Commission as defined by standing resolution were unanimously approved,
the Chairman concurring.
Day: Maryland Centennial Legislatures of 1700, 1800, and 1900, January
12, 2000. Remarks
by Edward C. Papenfuse
It was Dr. Papenfuse's privilege, at the request of the President of
the Senate and Speaker of the House, to speak to both houses on Opening
Day, reflecting briefly on what the Legislatures of 1700, 1800 and 1900
were like. Copies of his remarks were supplied to the Commission, and they
will also be made available on the web through the Archives of Maryland
Government House Trust dinner meeting, hosted by Frances Hughes Glendening,
February 1, 2000
The Government House Trust dinner meeting hosted by Mrs. Glendening
went very well, and Secretary Richkus did a superb job of organizing it.
Secretary Richkus thanked Dr. Papenfuse for all of his help.
Maryland Senate honors former Senate President Arthur H. Brice, February
7, 2000. Speech by Edward C. Papenfuse
At Senator Miller's invitation, Dr. Papenfuse had great fun honoring
former Senate President Arthur Brice before the Senate. The Senate
enjoyed Dr. Papenfuse's remarks imitating how quickly some bills were moved
through, as well as some of the remarks of Arthur Brice.
Washington's Birthday Ceremony, Old Senate Chamber, February 21, 1999
The Senate's annual George Washington's Birthday ceremony was held
in the old Senate Chamber with the Governor giving the address. Dr.
Papenfuse discovered that George Washington's Farewell Address was published
in full by the General Assembly in the session laws immediately after its
promulgation. The Archives did a special edition from this printing
for presentation to the members of the Senate, again at the invitation
of Senator Miller. This publication is available on paper as well
as on-line from the Archives web site.
Event at the State House re: release to the Federal Reserve Banks
and the public of Maryland's commemorative quarter, March 13, 2000
Dr. Papenfuse advised the Commission that on March 13, the commemorative
quarter for Maryland, with the design of the State House dome on it, had
been released. There was quite a bit of discussion about the use
of the "Old Line State" motto. The Archives was quoted rather extensively
in the Washington Post. The motto is in appreciation of how
George Washington looked upon Maryland troops during the American Revolution
and referred to them as the Old Line, hence the name of the Old Line State.
Opening of The Lady of the House exhibit, March 14, 2000
Dr. Papenfuse expressed his appreciation to Emily Squires and staff
for the outstanding job they did in putting the Lady of the House: First
Ladies and Official Hostesses of Maryland, 1777-2000 exhibit together.
He encouraged the Commission members to go to Government House to see the
exhibit. A copy of the brochure is included in today's packet.
Society of Senates Past Annual Dinner, March 16, 2000. Speech
by Edward C. Papenfuse
Dr. Papenfuse gave a talk to the Society of Senates past which has
been very supportive of our summer intern program and has given the Archives
a total of almost $5,000 for the Endowment Fund, which will be used to
research the lives of those who have served in the Senate.
Maryland Colonial Society ceremony honoring Walter Sondheim, Jr. at the
Cecilius Calvert Monument, Clarence Mitchell Court House, March 24, 2000
Dr. Papenfuse attended the Maryland Colonial Society ceremony honoring
Walter Sondheim, Jr., where he gave the Colonial Society essay contest
awards, one of which went to the Key School. Charlie Flanagan is
the teacher of the young lady who submitted the winning essay this year.
The two winners were offered the opportunity to participate in the Archives
summer internship program.
Records Retention and Disposal Schedules
Upon motion by Secretary Richkus and seconded by Dr. Ridgway,
the Records Retention and Disposal Schedules were unanimously approved
as presented, the Chairman concurring.
Report of the subcommittee on newspaper preservation (on hold)
Dr. Papenfuse stated that he would like to leave old business on the
agenda. It is an issue he has tried very hard to get general funding
for this last session, but it was eliminated at the Governor's budget cutting
Archivist's Report & Staff Activities
(see the Maryland State Archives
for additional details)
State House Trust: Supplemental Budget Request for State House exhibits
and Historic Structure Report;
It is Dr. Papenfuse's understanding that the State House Trust's request
for an Historic Structure Report has passed and is in the Board of Public
Works' budget. This means that at last we will have work underway
this summer to bring all of the material relating to the history of the
State House on-line and retrievable so that it will be useful for the Historic
Structure Report, as well as the book on the history of the State House.
Audio/video presentations of the Governor's Inaugural, the State of the
State, the State of the Judiciary, and President
The extraordinarily historic visit of President Clinton is live on
the web. It is the first time a sitting president of the United States
has ever attended a state bill signing. It represents a very strong
affirmation of what the president has argued -- that there needs to be
much closer cooperation between state and federal initiatives.
Status Report on Preserving Oversized Materials:
A Model System for the Courts for Recordation and Access to Survey Records
dependent upon renewal of the Land Records Improvement Fund [HB 641 (crossfiled
with SB 214), Circuit Court Real Property Records Improvement Fund];
The money that provides the Archives with the largest single aspect
of its income comes out of the Land Records Improvement Fund. This
fund was renewed by the legislature this session for the next five years.
Dr. Papenfuse included on the agenda the comments he made as part of the
legislative intent of the bill to make very clear that the money from the
fund could be used not only for land records that are still out at the
court houses, but also for a whole range of land record related items that
are here (chancery, patents, patented certificates, unpatented certificates,
etc.) that need to be scanned, brought into an image environment and made
part of plats.net. This has become a very successful, cost-effective
way to deal with oversized materials out of the courts. Dr. Papenfuse
advised that Baltimore County, Montgomery County, Worcester County (and
soon Queen Anne's County) are all on-line with their oversized plats and
accessible through the web. It has become very popular with surveyors
by cutting down on the amount of time spent looking for and accessing plats.
Dr. Papenfuse demonstrated how plats.net works. He reiterated
that plats.net is the Archives major source of income that allows us to
do what we are supposed to do with archival material.
Address to the Court Clerk's Association Meeting on May 3 in Crisfield,
and meeting the same day with Charles Simpson, who serves on the Board
of Directors of the Crisfield Heritage Foundation in Crisfield, MD at the
J. M. Tawes Visitor's Center concerning the appraisal of the J. Millard
Frontiers International project to place Archives of Maryland Documents
for the Classroom CD's in the Anne Arundel County Public Schools;
For Black History Month, the Archives did a CD of two of its most popular
document packets which was partially funded by the Frontiers International
Chapter in Annapolis. Frontiers International gave copies of these
CDs for use in every classroom in Anne Arundel County, as well as in the
Anne Arundel County Public Libraries.
SHA Field Notebooks imaging proposal;
One of the Archives next major projects for making State archival materials
accessible is to help the State Highway Administration bring its field
notebooks and other materials into an imaging program similar to plats.net.
It is hoped that this project will be funded in part by ISTEA money as
well as other aspects of the SHA budget. It is estimated that this
project will cost approximately $2-3 million, based upon the quantity of
materials/records they have.
HB 825 (crossfiled with SB 411), Land Patents - Property Line Surveyors;
This session, HB 825 passed for the land patents law that incorporates
property line surveyors. Dr. Papenfuse explained that there is a
group of 300-400 people who are very good surveyors but were prevented
from surveying for land patents. This bill, with the unanimous support
from the House and Senate, incorporates them into the existing law so that
they can survey for land patents.
MPT's Anne Arundel's Legacy;
Dr. Papenfuse, as well as others on the Archives staff, had the pleasure
of participating in a program by Maryland Public Television on the
history of Anne Arundel County.
Atwood S. Barwick Collection of transcripts of Somerset Judicial Records
Mr. Barwick worked in the search room a number of times and became
interested in the judicial records of Somerset County which are virtually
impossible to read. He returned home to New Jersey where he bought
himself microfilm and a microfilm reader and transcribed all of the judicial
records for Somerset County. This is a wealth of information about
slaves, free men owing property and every aspect of life in Somerset County.
These transcripts are all on-line, searchable and usable in the Archives
of Maryland series. The Archives is very grateful for Mr. Barwick's
William Turpin donation of two rare books on architecture and carpentry
Dr. Papenfuse directed the Commission's attention to an exhibit case
in the room adjacent to the electronic classroom containing a wonderful
book on architecture by Isaac Ware published in 1730-40, with a revised
edition in 1767. The builder of one of the major townhouses in Annapolis,
James Brice, bought the book and used it in the creation of the magnificent
Brice House. He had the book in his library and John Shaw, the great
carpenter and furniture builder of Annapolis, bought the book because he
was in charge of maintaining the State House. The Archives not only
got the book, which cost close to $3,000, on permanent deposit here, but
was also given the original receipt from John Shaw for borrowing the book.
Mr. Turpin, who gave Historic Annapolis the Ware book, also gave us
one of the finest books available on the history of carpentry. It
is very worn because it was heavily used. This copy was owned by Fort McHenry
and used in the construction of the barracks in Fort McHenry.
Dr. Papenfuse explained that the money is not given to the Archives
directly for the purchase of the item. A donation is given to the
Archives Trust Fund and it purchases out of the interest from that trust
fund something that would be appropriate to the gift. That way the
Archives can build up its Endowment Fund and continue to have interest
off of the Endowment for purchases of this kind.
Yatman donation of a copy of Parks Laws (1727) owned by John Paca and James
Brice and of the receipt signed by John Shaw for borrowing the Isaac Ware
book from James Brice.
Samuel Chase's personal copy of the Maryland Constitution of 1776 from
Mary Elizabeth Kirby
The Archives was given Samuel Chase's own copy of the 1776 Constitution
of Maryland and the declaration of rights, a hitherto unknown printing
by the Greens of this pamphlet. There are places where Chase has annotated
it in relationship to those articles of the declaration of rights that
he had a hand in crafting. In the back of the book is a hitherto
unknown printing of the articles of confederation. This was done
in 1779, three years prior to Maryland signing the articles of confederation.
This, too, will be available on the web and accessible through the Archives
collection materials relating to Constitutional development. Dr.
Papenfuse passed the book around in its box and asked that the book not
The Chairman asked who Mary Elizabeth Kirby is. Dr. Papenfuse
advised that she found this book in the trash in St. Mary's County and
called the Archives to ask if it was something we would be interested in.
It was owned at one point by a very famous collector of rare books who
lived in St. Mary's County.
A general Resolution of Appreciation for the recent gifts, including
other special collections received but not described, was made by Dr. Ridgway,
seconded by Dr. Phillips and unanimously approved, the Chairman concurring.
Dr. Papenfuse will write thank you letters to individuals.
Dr. Papenfuse encouraged the Commission members to take a look at the
number of Government records received since the last Hall of Records Commission
Finding Aids, Reference Services, and Publications
of Senates Past Biographical Research Project
For the past two years, with the help of the members of the Society
of Senates Past, the Archives has published a roster which includes more
information each year.
Collection Catalogue on line
Dr. Papenfuse advised that the Archives' web site now has a new special
collections catalog on-line which enables the user to search through our
special collections down to the item level for every collection that has
been inventoried to that level.
launching the Electronic Archives
of Maryland series and volumes in progress
One of the most important things Dr. Papenfuse has had the
opportunity to do as a scholar and archivist has been bringing archival
material that has had value added to it (good transcripts or interpretations
that help people understand, as well as use, the records) to the web.
The apex of an archival activity is to edit and present the best of what
constitutes the records of the State. The Archives has launched the
electronic Archives of Maryland series with the help of a grant
from the Information Technology Fund. First, all 72 published volumes
of the Archives of Maryland was brought on-line and are searchable
and accessible. Then, we have added to it by putting on-line Volumes
73 through 108. This includes one of the most important books ever
published relating to the land systems in Maryland, Kilty's Land-holder's
Assistant and Land-Office Guide. This rare, hard-to-find book
is now on-line and searchable. Eventually all of these laws will be brought
on-line so they are completely searchable. In the meantime, we are
also going to have film available with images of the book in which the
laws appear, as well as other sites that have the laws available.
We hope to have one of the finest depositories of legal information relating
to the State of Maryland on the Archives web site. The Governor approved
and provided general funds in the current budget. It is now a line
item in our budget, and we hope that in future years it will be a fully-funded
project for bringing a wide range of materials on-line and accessible.
We are also looking for grants to help support this project.
Prince George's County Slave
Freedom Records (MSA Index 38)
Dr. Papenfuse received a request from Senator Mike Miller's
office for information concerning records the Archives has on slaves, slavery,
and freedom prior to the Civil War. It is very difficult to trace
slave families. It can be done, but requires a wide range of resources
and one of the most important ones in Maryland are slave statistics that
were taken by each of the counties and recorded in the county courts, because
slave owners thought they were going to be reimbursed for their slaves.
This summer, one of our interns is going to bring Louise Joiner Hienton's
(a volunteer at the Archives who created an index of freedom records for
Prince George's County) index on-line. We are then going to link off of
that index to the records themselves which have been enhanced so they can
be read. Dr. Papenfuse demonstrated a sample. The Archives
does not have sufficient funds to do this for all the counties, but we
hope that the new commission on slavery will help find the resources.
Dr. Papenfuse advised the Commission that there is a new commission
that has been created relating to slavery in Maryland. The Archives
is expected to partially staff this commission, and Dr. Papenfuse accordingly
has submitted a budget request.
Senator Miller said that his interest was peaked by the initial report
from the commission on slavery. Senator Miller thanked Dr. Papenfuse
for moving forward on this project and said it would be great if the Archives
could move forward for all counties.
Education and Outreach
Teaching in the Age of Internet:
web-based courses to be taught by the State Archivist:
Maryland History (Fall 1999, Johns Hopkins University)
American History as Fact and Fiction (Spring 2000, Johns
The History and Future of Public History (Spring 2000, University
Dr. Papenfuse mentioned to the Commission that the subjects
he will be teaching can be seen on his web site at teachers.md.
Dr. Papenfuse has been advised by the State Ethics Commission
that his teaching appears to be separate and distinct from his work as
State Archivist and that, based upon the information he supplied, it is
appropriate and within the guidelines of the ethics laws of Maryland for
him to be compensated in addition to his salary as State Archivist for
2000 Summer Internship Program (Interns' first day, June
Dr. Phillips moved for a Resolution of Appreciation
to St. John's College for providing matching funds for the 2000 Internship
Program which was seconded by Dr. Ridgway and unanimously approved, the
Administrative & Fiscal Matters
The Archives Endowment: An appeal to Governor concerning the Budget
Surplus: If at First You Don't Succeed
Dr. Papenfuse advised the Commission that he asked the Governor to
place $10 million in the Archives Endowment Fund from the surplus.
He thought the Archives might get $250,000 but did not succeed with the
last cut. Dr. Papenfuse said he is hoping the Commission will support
renewal of his request to the Governor for next year's budget and make
a strong case for inclusion of money for the Endowment to allow the Archives
to do value-added work out of this fund through the budget process.
Dr. Papenfuse will bring this item back to the Commission at its fall meeting
with other budget related items.
Dr. Phillips motioned for support of renewal of request for inclusion
in next year's budget, seconded by Dr. Ridgway and unanimously approved,
the Chairman concurring.
Budget Issues, Present and Future:
the FY 2002 budget preparations are underway with an indication of baseline
needs for the next fiscal year (2002) due to the Department of Budget and
Management by May 4. Discussion of FY 2001 budget issues and review
by the Commission is scheduled for the late summer/fall meeting, with the
the charging rent for space used by income producing activities of the
In a surprise move, the Department of Budget and Management included
a $117,000 special fund charge against the Archives in the proposed FY
2001 budget. The budget committees agreed to Dr. Papenfuse's request
that the charge not be included this year and deferred the matter to study
over the summer. See Dr. Papenfuse's testimony
Dr. Papenfuse's argument that rent ought not to be charged for archival
functions and that care and maintenance of the Archives should be a fully
funded General Fund activity was postponed until the next Commission meeting.
Dr. Papenfuse advised the Commission that the Archives is in the midst
of a controversy with the Department of General Services about whether
or not the Archives ought to pay rent for this building. Secretary
Richkus has asked that this issue not be brought up at today's meeting,
and Dr. Papenfuse is in agreement that we need to move toward a resolution.
He has a difficult time with the concept that the Archives should have
to pay rent for maintenance out of the money that the Archives goes out
and earns to support legally mandated archival functions. He feels
that space to undertake archival work should be a General Fund responsibility,
funded through the budget process. Secretary Richkus said she is
interpreting her responsibility as landlady to the State in one way, and
there are always opportunities for disagreement.
Forthcoming special meetings of the Commission & events of interest
April 29: address to the Maryland Chapter of the National Association of
Women Judges (NAWJ) on From the Powers of the President to Presiding
on the Bench: Neglected Aspects Of Women's History in Maryland;
At his talk to the women judges, Dr. Papenfuse will be presenting them
with a booklet staff has prepared on every woman judge who has served from
May 17: address to the Queen Anne's County Historical Society on
was the first President to sleep in the White House;
TBA, at the request of the Honorable Jennie M. Forehand, Senate of Maryland,
address the Montgomery County Genealogy Club;
June 29-July 1: address the National Association of Secretaries of State
(NASS), Administrative Codes and Registers (ACR) group concerning the question
of archiving obsolete code and register materials from an archivist's perspective;
Dr. Papenfuse mentioned that he has been invited to China.
Presentations to Dr. Edward C. Papenfuse on the occasion of his 25 years
as Maryland State Archivist
Dr. Papenfuse said that it has been an extraordinary pleasure to serve
as the State Archivist for the last 25 years, trying to make our collective
memory as accessible and relevant as possible. He presented the Commission
members with a one of the Maryland Commemorative Quarters and a message
of thanks that read as follows: "Thank you for helping make my silver
anniversary and years as State Archivist so enjoyable."
Senator Miller, on behalf of the entire Maryland Senate, congratulated
Dr. Papenfuse on his 25 years as State Archivist with a Senate resolution
appended hereto and made an official part of these minutes.
On behalf of the Governor and on the occasion of his 25 years as Maryland
State Archivist, Chairman Bell read the Governor's Proclamation which is
appended hereto and made an official part of these minutes.
Chairman Bell read his own personal letter to Dr. Papenfuse commending
him on his 25 years of dedicated service as State Archivist, appended hereto
and made an official part of these minutes.
On behalf of the Maryland House of Delegates, Chairman Bell presented Dr.
Papenfuse with a House Resolution congratulating him on his 25 years as
State Archivist which is appended hereto and made an official part of these
The next Hall of Records Commission meeting will be at the
call of the Chair sometime in late summer, early fall.
On a motion by Dr. Phillips, seconded by Dr. Ridgway, the
meeting adjourned at 1:12 p.m., the Chairman concurring.
Approved by the Hall of Records Commission, October 31, 2000
The Honorable Robert M. Bell, Chairman
Dr. Edward C. Papenfuse, Jr., Secretary
Edward C. Papenfuse
Maryland State Archives
350 Rowe Boulevard
Annapolis, Maryland 21401
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