The Archivist's Bulldog

Vol. 12 No. 7, Newsletter of the Maryland State Archives, April 13, 1998

by Pat Melville

The Hall of Records Commission met on March 19 at the Archives. After the meeting was called to order by Chairman Louis L. Goldstein, Ed noted the installation of the Tench Tilghman Sword Exhibit in the Old Senate Chamber in the State House. Ed recognized the generosity of the appraiser who waived his fee for appraising the swords.

At the last meeting the Commission had declined to purchase the Sohmers/Agnew Papers at the offered price of $12,000. Since then the donor has given them to the Archives. The Commission voted to accept this collection.

Ed reported on a variety of activities recently undertaken by the Archives. Commission members received copies of the Annual Report of the State Treasurer, for which the Archives produced the graphics and photographs. Ed participated in the presentation of the Speaker's Medallion to Bishop L. Robinson, former Secretary of Public Safety and Correctional Services. Also noted was the 300th anniversary of the mace of the House of Delegates, which was first used on March 10, 1698.

The Archives is involved in the pursuit of the fugitive town records of Bladensburg. Two sets of minutes of the town's governing body were created, one for the town and another for the county court clerk. Both have strayed into private hands, and one is being offered for sale by a manuscript dealer who has been advised that it is illegal to sell public records. In addition, the Archives is in contact with the individual who holds one set of minutes. The Commission voted to support efforts to obtain these public records.

The Archives is helping to salvage and preserve the Florence Bahr collection of court room sketch books and other related materials. Tragically Ms. Bahr recently died as a result of a fire in her home. Prior to her death she had donated ten boxes of sketch books to the Archives. These books contain sketches and notes on many trials in Maryland courts, including H. Rap Brown and Marvin Mandel. Salvageable paintings and drawings have been moved to the Archives where preservation efforts are being pursued. Ed thanked the Special Collections, Artistic Properties, and Conservation staff for their hard work.

Ed outlined some of his activities which include chairing an Organization of American Historians session on the history of Maryland communities. Previously he had given a speech on the burning of the Peggy Stewart, as part of a lecture series on the Maritime History of Annapolis.

Ed described a new program to preserve card indexes and make them accessible through the Archives web site. The indexes will be scanned as image files and used that way until text searchable files are developed. Volunteers will be recruited to do the scanning of the cards.

Activities within Education and Outreach include preparation for the summer internship program. Morgan State University has offered matching funds for an intern. The Commission issued a vote of thanks to Morgan. At present a student from St. John's College is volunteering at the Archives in Computer Services where he is investigating search engines for our web site. On March 11 Carol Parham, Superintendent of Schools, visited the Archives to review the NEH, Anne Arundel County Schools, Maryland State Archives Collaborative Program, Teaching in the Age of the Internet. Part of the demonstration pertained to one of her ancestors, a former slave from Calvert County, who served with the U.S. Colored Troops during the Civil War.

The Commission considered and adopted a resolution clarifying the meaning of the Archives of Maryland series in order to reenforce the Archives' authority to deposit income in the Archives of Maryland Fund. "It is hereby resolved that all copies of documents in whatever form that they are produced, as well as all finding aids in whatever form they are produced, as well as any interpretive booklets, pamphlets, and other materials in whatever form produced, by the State Archives or for the State Archives, are considered to be publications in the Archives of Maryland series, and that any income received from those copies, finding aids, interpretive booklets, pamphlets, and other materials should be deposited to the Archives of Maryland fund account."

Ed showed how the Archives is handling the tobacco litigation copy requests by scanning the documents and making the images available on CD. He also noted a proposed pilot project for the recordation and preservation of oversized court materials.

Continued from the last meeting was a discussion of the filming of newspapers to be received by the Archives from the Library of Congress. At this meeting the Commission appointed a subcommittee to "review the proposal and recommend a course of action for the Archivist to follow with regard to the proposal for private support for the cost of conservation microfilming and scanning." The subcommittee members are Dr. Glenn Phillips, Whitman Ridgway, and David DeLorenzo.

The meeting ending with tributes to Chairman Goldstein for his birthday and to Shirley Bodziak who is leaving the Archives and has contributed so much to the management of the Commission meetings.

by Shashi Thapar

Baker, Anne Ascosi, Birth Index of St. Mary's, Charles and Calvert Counties, Maryland, 1898 through 1919
Baltimore Courthouse and Law Museum Foundation, Histories of the Bench and Bar of Baltimore City
Bedini, Silvio A., The Mace and the Gavel: Symbols of Government in America
Council of State Historical Records Coordinators, Maintaining State Records in an Era of Change: A National Challenge
Eff, Elaine, You Should Have Been Here Yesterday: A Guide to Cultural Documentation in Maryland
Filby, P. William, Passenger and Immigration Lists Index, 1998 Supplement, part 2
Higgs, Barbara Bassford, Death Index of St. Mary's, Charles and Calvert Counties, Maryland, 1898 through 1923
Hoopes, E. Erick, A Record of Interments at the Friends Burial Ground, Baltimore, Maryland [Est. 1681]
Leggett, Vincent O., Blacks of the Chesapeake: An Integral Part of Maritime History
Luraghi, Raimondo, History of the Confederate Navy
Peden, Henry C., Jr., Revolutionary Patriots of Charles County, Maryland, 1775-1783
Raitz, Karl, The National Road, vol. 1
Raitz, Karl, The National Road, vol. 2
Robertson, Harold J., Deer Park Methodist Cemetery
Ruffner, Kevin Conley, Maryland's Blue and Gray: A Border State's Union and Confederate Junior Officer Corps
St. Mary's County Historical Society, 1910 Census of St. Mary's County, Maryland
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Guide to Archival, Manuscript, and Special Collection Resources
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Guide to the Smithsonian Archives
Warren, Mame, The Eye of the Beholder, Photographs by Marion Warren
Whitenorne, Joseph A., The Battle for Baltimore: 1814

Founded 1987

Edward C. Papenfuse, State Archivist
Patricia V. Melville, Editor
Mimi Calver, Assistant Editor
Lynne MacAdam, Production Editor
Rita Molter, Circulation

The Maryland State Archives is an independent agency in the Office of Governor Parris N. Glendening and is advised by the Hall of Records Commission. The Chairman of the Hall of Records Commission is the Honorable Louis L. Goldstein, Comptroller, and the Vice Chairman is the Honorable Robert M. Bell, Chief Judge of the Maryland Court of Appeals.

The Archivists' Bulldog is issued bi-monthly to publicize records collections, finding aids, and other activities of the Archives and its staff. Subscription cost is $25 per year, and the proceeds go to the State Archives Fund. To subscribe, please send your name, address, and remittance to: the Maryland State Archives, 350 Rowe Boulevard, Annapolis, Maryland 21401-1686. Phone: MD toll free: (800) 235 4045; or (410) 260-6400. FAX: (410) 974 3895. E-mail: The Editor welcomes editorial comments and contributions from the public.

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Copyright November 17, 1998 Maryland State Archives