Organized in 1986, Government Information Services assists the citizens of Maryland and their agencies of government with current information, continuously updated, about Maryland government. This office is responsible for the Maryland Manual On-Line; the Maryland Manual (book & quarterly cd editions); government information available from the website of the State Archives; Government Publications and Reports; the Library; and legislative monitoring for the State Archives.

[Reverse of Great Seal of Maryland]


Published by the State Archives, the Maryland Manual On-Line: A Guide to Maryland Government and the Maryland Manual describe Maryland State, county and municipal government (Code State Government Article, secs. 9-1026, 9-1027). The Maryland Manual dates back to 1885 and has been published regularly since 1896. The Maryland Manual On-Line has been accessible on the Internet since December 1996.

Maryland Manual On-Line. During FY2001, Government Information Services prepared, updated, maintained, and managed the Maryland Manual On-Line on the Internet. Revised daily, the Maryland Manual On-Line is a guide to Maryland State, county and municipal government. The electronic Manual presents an overview of the organizational structure and staffing of the executive, legislative and judicial branches of Maryland government. It shows agency budgets and organizational charts, lists mandated reports, and provides the origin, historical evolution, and functions of government agencies.

Biographies of government officials appear in the Maryland Manual On-Line as well. These include legislators, constitutional officers, department secretaries, judges, and Maryland's Congressional delegation. The Manual also gives information on local government (county and municipal), as well as intercounty, interstate and federal agencies. In addition, the Manual contains the State budget, the Constitution of Maryland, and election returns. The "Maryland at a Glance" section offers condensed data on many Maryland subjects, State symbols, Maryland historical chronology, and Maryland government.

Of particular note in the electronic Manual are expanded sections on a variety of subjects, and the introduction of photographic and other imagery of Marylanders, and government buildings and sites. In the "Maryland at a Glance" section, the Historical Chronology has enlarged dramatically thanks to entries drawn from from Robert J. Brugger's Maryland: A Middle Temperment, 1634-1980 (Baltimore & London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1988). The "Local Government" section now shows election returns for county government offices, and gives greater detail on municipal as well as county government. The "Executive Commissions, Committees, Task Forces, and Advisory Boards" section now links to such units within the principal executive departments and independent agencies.

Maryland Manual On-Line
Visits or Hits [succcessful server requests]

FY2001act FY2002est FY2003est
8,308,892 9,145,092 10,059,601
Monthly (average) 692,408 762,091 838,300

Maryland Manual On-Line
Visits or Hits [succcessful requests for pages]

FY1999act FY2000act FY2001act FY2002est FY2003est
1,896,456 3,567,940 5,224,133 5,562,340 6,118,574
Monthly (average) 158,038 297,328 435,344 455,195 500,714

The number of visits or "hits" to the Maryland Manual On-Line site has nearly tripled in the past four years.

Maryland Manual On-Line
Public E-mail Correspondence

FY2000act FY2001act FY2002est FY2003est
Public e-mail
2,114 2,352 2,587 2,845

In FY2001, public e-mail messages arising from inquiries about Maryland government numbered 2,352, an 11% increase from the previous year..

Maryland Manual, 2001. As it created and maintained the Manual in electronic format, so Government Information Services in 2001 also provided the Maryland Manual in paper edition. This year, we were assisted by Information Systems Management, which composed the book edition in-house. This edition gives biographies of government officials, and highlights the organizational structure of government agencies. It represents Maryland government as of June 30, 2001 - a particular time in history, "a slice in time" showing one portion of a continually changing government. The volume contained a compact disk of the entire website as of June 2001.


Publications and reports of State government agencies date to the early 19th century. With the publications and reports of county and municipal governments, these State materials have been collected by the State Archives since 1947 (Chapter 651, Acts of 1947). The State Archives also is an official depository for county charters, codes, and laws (Code 1957, Art. 25, sec. 32A; Art. 25A, secs. 3B(3), 7(b); Art. 25B, secs. 7(b)(3), 12(b)). Municipal charter amendments and annexations, after publication, are deposited annually with the State Archives by the Department of Legislative Reference (Code 1957, Art. 23A, sec. 17C).

Database for Publications of Maryland State, County & Municipal Governments. From the State Archives, a database of government publications may be searched electronically and copies of publications may be ordered on-line. The database covers publications and reports of Maryland State, county and municipal governments.

In CY2001, some 3,295 government publications, many current (along with some acquired retrospectively), were accessioned. These were received by three primary means: by deposit of the State Publications Depository and Distribution Progam, by donation from government agencies, and by specific request of Government Information Services' staff.

For the first time, this unit was assigned an intern from among the talented college students who work at the State Archives every summer. The intern was a Marylander in the Historic Preservation Program at Mary Washington College in Fredericksburg, Virginia. During the summer of 2001, with great success she concentrated on sorting, accessioning, labeling, and shelving some 3,000 government publications. Ms. Corely also organized, described, and tracked previously unaccessioned material (mostly government publications) donated by other institutions. Additionally, she inventoried a microprint edition and a substantial number of hardbound volumes of nineteenth-century documents in the United States Serial Set given to the Archives by the State Law Library. [The Serial Set contains congressional and noncongressional reports, including annual reports of federal agencies, U.S. Senate and House Journals, and various executive materials published under the directive of Congress for its use and distribution.] Several Maryland high-school student volunteers also performed work for the Government Publications unit, much of it computer based, such as accessioning newsletters and other serials into the Database for Publications of Maryland State, County & Municipal Governments. One student helped move the microprint edition of the United States Serial Set to the Archives' stacks.

In CY2001, the Government Publications unit supported research done by the State Archives for other State agencies. Among other projects, the unit provided extensive bibliographic, reference and interlibrary loan services for the Comptroller of the Treasury 150th Anniversary Project, and for Maryland's Ownership of the Potomac website created at the request of the Maryland Attorney General for the Potomac River case (Virginia v. Maryland, no. 129 original). Government Publications also helped Archives staff identify and locate government publications needed by patrons in the Public Search Room.

For the Comptroller's project, the Government Publications unit defined, gathered, organized, and described what constitutes a complete set of the annual reports of the Comptroller from its origin in 1851 to the present. This description includes a list of the complete set of reports and other information helpful to researchers, such as notes on varying titles under which the annual report was published, its later split into two publications, and the changing definition of a fiscal year used by the Office of the Comptroller. Similar bibliographic work was done to assist with the Archives of Maryland Online. A method of managing duplicate reports disbound for preservation scanning for projects such as these was devised. Also of note: the search and report functions of the Government Publications databases and public access catalogs were upgraded, and Government Publications statistics began to be kept and reported electronically.


Organized in 1940, the Library is a reference source for works that supplement the holdings of the State Archives. These include published records and sources on Maryland history, government, biography, geography, and natural resources; county, city and town histories; regional studies; Chesapeake Bay; research guides; genealogies; and archives administration, conservation, and preservation. The Library of the Department of Natural Resources transferred to the State Archives in June 1987. It includes materials collected since 1942 on Maryland natural resources, wildlife, fisheries, forestry, water resources, and the environment.

In CY2001, most Library books acquired were family histories given by authors who researched their books here at the Archives or donated them in recognition of researchers' interest in genealogy. Some were purchased at a discount from the Archives publications program. Others were bought from online vendors offering discounts on new books, substantial reductions on remainders, or used books in very good condition.

Like the Government Publications unit, the Library supported several State Archives' projects with bibliographic, reference and interlibrary loan services. , Among other projects, major support went to Maryland's Ownership of the Potomac website created at the request of the Maryland Attorney General for the Potomac River case (Virginia v. Maryland, no. 129 original), and to the Commission to Coordinate the Study, Commemoration, and Impact of Slavery's History and Legacy in Maryland.

For the Potomac River case, published materials including many rare items, were purchased or acquired through interlibrary loan, scanned, and posted and described in the website maintained at the State Archives for Potomac River case research. (On one occasion, a Library at some distance from the Archives scanned a rare document and sent it to the Archives electronically via FTP within the same day of receipt of our request for it.) Online research was done in for primary and secondary legal materials needed for the case.

Similar support was provided to the Slavery Commission by the Library. For this, the Library is most particularly proud of coordinating loans from college and university libraries, public libraries, historical societies, and private collections to assemble a complete set of The First Colored Professional, Clerical, Skilled and Business Directory of Baltimore City with Washington, D.C. and Annapolis annex. (known as the Coleman Directories) for preservation scanning. The project provided electronic access to a digitized edition of the Directories on the Internet via password access and eventually on CD ROM to each participating institution. At this time copies of all but two editions have been acquired; the thirty-one others have been digitized and posted as searchable electronic books. This cooperative effort gives each contributor access to all of the volumes and protects fragile original paper copies, preserving them for the use of researchers whose work requires examining the original artifact.

Like the Government Publications unit, the Library upgraded the keeping and presentation of statistics to electronic form and enhanced the search functions of its public access catalogs (State Archives Library, Library Topic File, DNR Library at the State Archives, and DNR Library Topic File). Several high-school student volunteers also performed work for the Library, much of it computer based. In addition to keyboarding bibliographic descriptions for books into the Library Database, they also converted paper forms (used by the Librarian) and paper finding aids (used by staff and Archives patrons) to Internet accessible formats. Students also helped inventory the publications program stock.

Maryland State Archives