The Archivists' Bulldog

Vol. 9, No. 19, Newsletter of the Maryland State Archives, June 12, 1995

EDUCATION & OUTREACH REPORT

by Doug McElrath & R.J. Rockefeller
During the months of April and May planning continued for the summer when the internship program and teachers institute become the occasions for frenetic activity. In addition, Rocky assumed management of the publications program.

Outreach activities continued on several fronts. Both Rocky and Doug were involved in the Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives Conference held in Baltimore on April 20-22. Doug served on the program committee for the conference and was responsible for two sessions and a workshop on the preservation of audio and visual media. Rocky chaired a session on archival materials in the classroom. On April 6 Rocky led an orientation session for a class studying historical methods from Coppin State University. He provided the group with an overview of the records found here and explained some of the techniques used in archival research.

The Baltimore County Genealogical Society invited Doug to do a presentation at its meeting in Perryville on April 23. His emphasis was on exploring rarely-used records series and the impact of the new age of computer access on genealogical research. Two days later, some of the same group of Baltimore County genealogists came to the search room for a special genealogical opening at which Doug provided an orientation.

A mixture of genealogists, archivists and librarians came to the preservation workshop held on April 28. As was the case in March, Doug worked on this workshop with Hanna Szczepanowska, Stephen Collins and Andie King of the conservation staff.

Rocky was a guest instructor in Dr. Diane Johnson's educational methods class at the University of Maryland. He introduced the student teachers to the use of original documents using our "Documents for the Classroom" materials.

The Maryland Historical Society is planning an exhibit in the fall on African-American crafts, craftsman, art, and artisans based on Derrick Beard's collection of artifacts called "Sankofa" (an African symbol to signify saving the past for tomorrow). Rocky is serving as a member of the society's exhibit advisory board, helping with the research for the exhibit documentation.

The final chapter of the National Endowment of the Humanities Teachers Institute from 1994 closed with a follow-up session held on April 29. The teachers came to the Archives to share their experiences working with the materials they received last summer. Ed introduced them to our World Wide Web site and our plans to make the document packets available electronically.

Our connections with local high schools continued with the completion of the spring semester research and transcription programs done by Ann Luttman and Rachel Penn. We selected the high school interns for the summer - Jamie Sharrer, Hannah Krimin, and Ann Luttman. They will prepare a descriptive catalogue for publications.

The Archives helped the Maryland Sons of the American Revolution plan for a monument they intend to erect on the Camden battlefield in South Carolina. Rocky discussed the battle's history and the sources available for identifying the solders who fought there, including those who lost their lives.

Doug continued his participation on the State Library Network Coordinating Council which is overseeing the establishment of the Sailor library network in Maryland. On May 15 and 16 the Archives hosted the annual meeting of the grant review panel for the Maryland Museum Assistance Program, a program of the state Department of Housing and Community Development. Doug serves on this panel to provide evaluations of archival or library proposals from Maryland's historical/cultural museums and historical societies.

The State House Visitors Center staff came to the Archives in May for guidance in locating appropriate sources for the development of a Maryland ethnic heritage test for State House docents.

STATE AND LOCAL RECORDS REPORT

by Kevin Swanson and staff
In April Archives staff visited several courthouses to review procedures and promote reference services. Trips were taken to Baltimore County to discuss filming procedures. Kevin and Arian also visited Carroll County to review the new system in place for creating image files of current land instruments.

Activities in Geographical Services for April included significant progress on its four main concurrent projects, Allegany, Harford, Calvert, and Baltimore counties. Aperture cards of plats for each of these jurisdictions were delivered to the courts, and microfilm for several plat books was placed in the Search Room. Work on a Calvert County plats project requested by the court was mostly completed, with aperture cards of two additional plat books to be delivered in May. The database [MSA S1239] is also complete and will serve as an invaluable index to the Calvert County plats collection.

The April total of 940 reference requests represents an 18.7% increase over the April 1994 total of 792. This increase in requests was accompanied by a 24% increase in the number of records circulated, from 1093 last April to 1355 in 1995.

We received 55 more vital records requests in April 1995 (273) than in April 1994 (218), representing a 25% increase in vital records requests. Circulation of vital records increased by a more modest 14.3% (415 compared to 363). Circulation of district court records decreased 19.4% (241 compared to 299). The decrease in reference demand for district court records was accompanied by an increase involving records of the circuit courts and other agencies. This category increased 62.2% (699 compared to 421).

Overall, the judiciary continues as the largest single user of state and local records reference services. Although the number of reference requests received from the courts decreased by 1.9% (252 compared to 257) the judiciary still accounted for 26.8% of all requests received in April 1995 (252 of 940), a decrease of 5.6% compared to April 1994's 32.4% (257 of 792), and for 29.3% of total records circulation (397 of 1355).

The percentage of requests received by phone again increased in April, accounting for 35.3% of total requests (332 of 940) compared to 31.4% in April 1994 (249 of 792). The number of requests faxed to the Archives increased from 75 received in April 1994 to 90 in April 1995. Overall, fax requests made up 9.6% of the April 1995 total while accounting for 9.5% of the April 1994 total. Requests from the search room were unchanged, 93 compared to 92. Search room requests accounted for 9.9% of April 1995 reference activity as compared to 11.6% in April 1994, a decrease of 1.7%. We also received 23 requests handled in the lobby.

In April the number of phone/fax requests (422) again surpassed the number of requests received through the mail (402), and far exceeded those received through in-person visits (116). In April 1995 phone/fax requests accounted for 44.9% of total requests, with the mail accounting for 42.8%.

Revenue from reference activity was up 66.1%, $7546 in April 1995 compared to $4544 last year. The number of copies produced increased by 27.7% (2513 compared to 3208).

RECORD TRANSFERS

Besides the usual subdivision plats the following records were received from government agencies during April.

DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION, MANAGEMENT INFORMATION SYSTEMS (Annual Reports) 1992 T289
DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN RESOURCES, AA DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL SERVICES (Adoption File) 1973-1989 T327
DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN RESOURCES, AA DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL SERVICES (Foster Care File) 1979-1989 T328
DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN RESOURCES, AA DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL SERVICES (Child Assistance File) 1980-1994 T2650
DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN RESOURCES, AA DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL SERVICES (Parental Rights Termination File) 1980-1994 T2651
DEPARTMENT OF LICENSING AND REGULATION, BANK COMMISSIONER (Regulatory File) 1929-1992 T1991
DISTRICT COURT 11, WA (Civil Docket) 1990 T1088
DISTRICT COURT 4, SM (Civil Docket) 1967-1971, 1982 T1096
DISTRICT COURT 9, HA (Criminal Docket) 1986-1989 T1082
GOVERNOR (Visitors Register) 1969-1979 T1724
GOVERNOR (General File) 1987-1994 T2578
STATE ADMINISTRATIVE BOARD OF ELECTION LAWS, AL SUPERVISOR OF ELECTIONS (Voter Registration Record) 1980-1986 T2649
STATE ADMINISTRATIVE BOARD OF ELECTION LAWS, BA SUPERVISOR OF ELECTIONS (Voter Registration Record) 1985-1986 T268
STATE ADMINISTRATIVE BOARD OF ELECTION LAWS, BA SUPERVISOR OF ELECTIONS (Campaign Papers) 1974-1986 T2648
ANNE ARUNDEL COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT (Test Book) 1974-1990 T1119
ANNE ARUNDEL COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT (License Record) 1958-1992 T1133
ANNE ARUNDEL COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT (Marriage Record) 1964-1990 T2646
ANNE ARUNDEL COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT (Marriage Licenses) 1899-1964 T2647
CARROLL COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT (Land Records, Image Files) 1995 T2644
HOWARD COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT (Plat Book) 1995 T2466
KENT COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT (Plat Book) 1995 T2186

DIARY OF ALEXIUS LANCASTER

Excerpts from the diary of Alexius Lancaster, a farmer who lived near Newport in St. Mary's County, appear in Chronicles of St. Mary's, Vol. 43, No. 1, Spring 1995, along with an introduction by his great-grandson, William E. Simpson. The diary itself is available at the Archives in Special Collections (Simpson Collection) [MSA SC1231], also on film M2641. Lancaster's daily notes about farm activities cover the years 1818 until his death in 1856. Included in the published excerpts are the following entries, some of which are general notations not attributed to a particular day.

Marriage is like a silk purse - most agreeable at times when there is plenty of money in it. Marriage is like a mouse trap - once get in and you are caught without the least prospects of recovering your liberty. Marriage is like a rose tree, how beautiful and attractive are its flowers! but the bright leaves fall after a season and the thorns alone remain. Marriage among fools is like a boiled calfs head without the accompaniment of brains. Marriage is like a roast leg of mutton on Sunday, served up cold on Monday - ditto with pickles on Tuesday and hashed on Wednesday.

Remedy for Congestion of the Brain - A muster plaster over the whole abdomen and warm brandy administered internally is found an efficacious remedy in case of congestion of the brain from extreme heat.

Dec 29, 1828 - This day kills a bald eagle which measures from tip of one wing to the other 7 feet 6 inches and weighed 10 1/2 lbs.

1838 - A receipt to make a Cheap Composition for preserving the roof of a house or any Weather-boarding from the Weather and from fire. Take one measure of fine Sand, two measures of Wood Ashes well Sifted, three of Slacked lime ground up with oil, laid on with a painters brush, first coat thin and second thick.

I painted on a board with this mixture and it adhered so strongly to the board that is resists an iron tool, and put thick on a shingle, resists the operation of fire.

May 12, 1846 - This morning Mr. B.H. Jameson, John M. Latimer, Henry A. Hayden, Mr. Write and Alexius Lancaster go in a body to Dr. Carmmucks House and there inform him of their dissatisfaction in the manner of his keeping school and tell him planely, should he not do better from that time, they and each of them will take their children home & not pay him a dollar, (except what whey are bound for) they request and demand of him to open his school at 8 o'clock in the morning 1 hour or 1 1/2 hours for play time and Break up school at 6 o'clock in the evening.

COMING EVENTS

Tue., Jun. 20, USIA International Librarians tour, 9:30 a.m.

Thu., Jun. 22, MARAC, Maryland Caucus meeting, conference room, 3:30 p.m.

Tue., Jun. 27, Hall of Records Commission meeting, conference room, 12:00 noon.

Tue., Jul. 4, Closed for Independence Day.

SPORTS NEWS

ARCHIVES AXES A.C.T.!
The State Archives softball team returned to its winning ways with a flourish on Wednesday, June 7. After a hard-fought loss the week before, the Archivers were looking for a rebound against Advanced Computer Technology (ACT). That is exactly what they got in a 38-hit offensive orgy that should lead to some rather inflated statistics in the team's official records. The 25 - 11 victory came against an opponent with only eight players, but we'll take them any way they come! What is even more amazing about this win is that we did it largely without the services of two of our leading players, Gus "Anvil" Andujar and Bill "The Thrill" Bodziak, both of whom arrived late. In Bill's case there was some spurious excuse about premarital counseling!

We were the visiting squad at Annapolis Junior High Field #2, so it was important to score early and often. At the end of the first three innings the Archives Assault Offense had taken a commanding 15 - 1 lead on the basis of some masterful bat work from lead-off man Chuck "Mr. Style" Bodziak (3 hits and 2 RBIs), Steve "Say Hey" Bennett (3 hits, 2 RBIs), and Arian "The Barbarian" Ravanbakhsh (3 hits, 3 RBIs). The third was our finest performance when we sent 13 batters to the plate, tallying seven runs on seven hits. This offensive explosion was fueled by the infamous Bottom-of-the-Order who led-off with hard singles by Dana "Demon" Grogan and "Louisville Slugger" McElrath followed by three more one-baggers from "Style" Bodziak, "Say Hey" Bennett and Jason "Argonaut" Bennett. With three runs already in and two on base, Stephanie "Stinger" Bennett playing for an absent Beth Andujar came to the plate. As is customary when women are at bat, the opposing fielders came in to the 120 foot mark where they thought they could deny a base hit. "Stinger" used her power from the left side to blast one over the head of the right fielder and romped to third base while two scored. "Barbarian" Ravanbakhsh got his third RBI to drive home "Stinger" and Mariana "Menace" Toves, "Demon" Grogan, and "Slugger" McElrath loaded the bases. Unfortunately, this was the only at-bat in the game when "Style" Bodziak did not get a hit, but our lead was secure.

ACT managed to salvage some honor in the game by scoring eight runs in the fifth and sixth innings. Meanwhile the Archives put six more runs on the scoreboard including a 2-RBI triple from "Mr. Style" and a well-struck double by "Menace" Toves who made the center fielder regret playing short on her. We applied the coup-de-grace in the seventh and final inning with four more runs highlighted by "Say Hey" Bennett's homerun and a double from "The Barbarian" that capped his excellent offensive performance.

On defense, the star was our venerable pitcher "Wild" Bill Bodziak who was Mr. Hoover (as in vacuum cleaners) in handling the numerous chances he faced in the middle of the diamond. The only blemish on his otherwise flawless glovework was the occasion when he bungled a play, managing to separate himself from his shoe in the process. The team's official Board of Inquiry found his explanation for this bizarre play to be outlandish and awarded him a Golden Glove with Bonehead Clusters. The offensive standouts were Chuck "Style" Bodziak who was 5 for 6 with 6 RBIs, Steve " Say Hey" Bennett who was a perfect 6 for 6 (including a homer) with 5 RBIs, Arian "The Barbarian" Ravanbakhsh who went 5 for 6 with 3 RBIs, Jason "Argonaut" Bennett who was 3 for 5 with 4 RBIs and Mariana "Menace" Toves who was 4 for 6 with 2 RBIs.

Next week on June 14 we are back home at Annapolis Junior High Field #4. We face a tough rival in McCrone/Russell Toyota, so we will need lots of support from our fans.


This web site is presented for reference purposes under the doctrine of fair use. When this material is used, in whole or in part, proper citation and credit must be attributed to the Maryland State Archives. PLEASE NOTE: The site may contain material from other sources which may be under copyright. Rights assessment, and full originating source citation, is the responsibility of the user.


Tell Us What You Think About the Maryland State Archives Website!



Copyright December 08, 1998 Maryland State Archives