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Historic Documents Preservation Account Advisory Committee

Van Block Facility
January 19, 2005


Members Present: State Librarian Kendall Wiggin, Public Records Administrator Eunice DiBella, CSL; Fiscal Administrator Richard Kingston, CSL; Grants Manager Sheila Mosman, CSL; Preservation Librarian Jane Cullinane, CSL; State Archivist Mark H. Jones, CSL; Joan Gerdsen, Mansfield Town Clerk; Sandra Hutton, Middletown Town Clerk; Catherine S. Nurmi, Sterling Town Clerk; Joyce P. Mascena, Glastonbury Town Clerk; Patti Strauss, Westport Town Clerk.

Members Absent: Grants Consultant Mary Louise Jensen, CSL; Barbara Breor, Goshen Town Clerk; Karen L. Marsden, Clinton Town Clerk; Theresa Pac, Bristol Town Clerk; Lisa Valenti, North Branford Town Clerk.

Others Present: LeAnn Johnson, CSL; Bruce Stark, CSL, Lizette Pelletier, Archival Consultant

I. The Public Records Administrator called the meeting to order at 1:08 p.m.

II. The State Librarian welcomed everyone to the meeting. He requested that the agenda be adjusted so that item B. Grants be the first topic of discussion, as he had to leave at 2:00 p.m. to attend another meeting. The committee agreed.

III. The minutes of the September 22nd meeting were approved as written.

IV. Fiscal Report: Richard Kingston distributed the fiscal report dated July 2000 through December 2004. He noted that revenues for this fiscal year are currently down by twenty-three percent from last year. This is about equal to the level of the program's second year. He also reported the all towns are currently up-to-date on their filings.

V. Old Business

A. Grants:

1. The State Librarian, the Public Records Administrator, Richard Kingston, LeAnn Johnson and Lizette Pelletier met with John Mitrano and the staff of the Center for Public Policy and Social Research in October regarding the proposed grant distribution formula that Dr. Mitrano had submitted earlier in the year. After a review of the data, the Library staff asked Dr. Mitrano to create a new formula using only population and median income to determine the grant levels. The dollar retained by the towns already addresses the issue of the number of filings. The staff also requested that the base amount for each grant be $5,000 as that was the program's smallest grant level to date. Dr. Mitrano submitted a new proposal to the State Library that created twenty-five levels of grants ranging from $6,061 to $10,909.

Given that this would be extremely complicated for the grant staff and the fiscal office to track, Lizette Pelletier adjusted the figures by rounding off the grant amounts by $500 and $1,000 increments reducing the grouping levels to eleven and six groups respectively. She distributed a spreadsheet showing the original amount each town was currently receiving and the change for each with the three formulas. The minimum and maximum grant amount for the adjusted levels remained between $6,000 and $11,000. Having six levels, 17 small towns would get less funding, 34 would remain the same, 77 would get more money; all 36 medium towns would get less as would all five large towns.

She also distributed a spreadsheet that included the locally retained funds and a ranking of the towns by the total amount of funds received from the program. The State Librarian told the committee that the distribution proposal was presented for their discussion and the town's input but it would not go into effect for the FY2006 grant cycles. After some discussion, the committee agreed with the State Library that the topic should be tabled for the time being.

2. LeAnn Johnson reviewed the few changes in the grant guidelines. If the booklet is not mailed out for February 1st, the guidelines and forms will be available on the website. A few towns are having difficulties with employee unions over the hiring of temporary workers for the grant projects. This is a local issue that each town must address on its own.

3. Forty-six towns received grants in cycle 2. The State Library awarded $1.2 million in grants for FY2005. Seventeen towns did not apply.

4. The Public Records Administrator is in the process of hiring the field archivist. The position was offered to two individuals who turned it down. Due to the hiring freeze issued by Governor M. Jodi Rell last week, the State Library has submitted documentation to OPM to allow the process to continue. This position is very critical to the competitive grant component.

5. The staff is developing possible formats for the competitive grants. The goal is to have a draft proposal by June so that the program can go forward in February 2006 with the first grants awarded in July. The Public Records Administrator requested input on the areas that the town clerks would be interested in developing projects for the competitive grants. The staff had done a survey of interest by the town clerks more than two years ago. The town clerks requested that another one be done. (The State Librarian left at this point and the Public Records Administrator took over the meeting.)

B. State Library Projects

1. The Preservation Office has signed a contract with Chicago Albumen Works, located in Housatonic, MA, to reproduce the 1934 Aerial Survey photographs. The first 1,000 images have been sent to the vendor. The State Library has hired Steve Rice, a photographs curator, to oversee the project. The vendor will scan the original prints at a high enough dpi to be able to create a negative and then create a new copy print. Preservation Librarian Jane Cullinane circulated some original and reproduction prints and it was impossible to tell which was the original and which was the copy print. There are approximately 9,000 images to be done. Joan Gerdsen asked if the State Library would be interested in some aerial photographs she has in her vault. The State Archivist asked her to send some sample copies for his review.

2. The Public Records of the State of Connecticut project continues to make progress towards its anticipated 2006 publication date.

3. Court and Government Records:

a. The State Archivist reported that the State Library hired a Government Records Archivist, Paul Baran who starts on Friday January 21st. He has a dual Master's degree in History and Library Science. He will focus on processing the modern governor's records. His first project will be the records from the Rowland Administration. The current governor's staff has developed a good working relationship with the State Archivist and has transferred a significant amount of gubernatorial records including constituency email, videos and press clipping from the communications office, records from the mansion, and legal files. These files reflect the changing technology such as clipping files of news articles from the web. The State Archives has not yet received the Chief of Staff files, as there is still legal action pending.

b. By law, the Impeachment Committee must deposit its records with the State Library. This includes videos and exhibits. The State Library plans to provide copies to the various government document repository libraries. An important records series in this collection is the Bid files from state agencies. The committee computerized images and indexed the records but not by subject. It is in the process of redacting sensitive personal information such as social security numbers. The records will come to the Library once this process is complete.

c. Assistant State Archivist Bruce Stark reported that New London County is finished except for some fine-tuning of the finding aids. There are about 25 years of records from New London County that still need processing. Two general workers are completing the process as Project Archivist Debra Pond has received a permanent position with the Law Department. When completed, there will be approximately 200 feet of records consisting of 850 clamshell boxes. The final report to the National Historic Publications and Records Commission is due at the end of March.

d. Bruce is still working on processing East Haddam's records. He is currently working on bills and receipts, which provide interesting information on the town before the advent of the published annual report.

4. The Public Records Administrator is still awaiting the final proposed vault regulation revisions from fire safety consultant Nick Artim. His contract has expired and the fiscal office is working on an extension.

5. The State Purchasing Unit has issued the revised library and archival supplies contract. Lizette Pelletier distributed a copy of the contract. There are three possible vendors who offer either a 15 or 20% discount on items from their catalogue. The contract information is posted on the Public Records Administrators website. LeAnn Johnson will also have the information posted on the Town Clerks website.

C. Workshops

1. The staff had intended to have Nick Artim present a workshop on the proposed vault regulations and fire safety this Spring. However, because the work is incomplete, the staff will have to find an alternative. The committee decided that basic electronic records management, including records conversion; workflow and selection issues would be of interest. Eunice will pursue this for a session in June. NEDCC is sponsoring a "School for Scanning" in Boston in June as well.

2. Lizette Pelletier has completed the PowerPoint presentation for targeted grant training. She and LeAnn will design some handouts and practice grants and then schedule training sessions in March for any interested town clerk.

VI. New Business

A. Cynthia Ladwig submitted her resignation. LeAnn will contact Esther Williams, the New London County Vice President, for a replacement. Joan Gerdsen announced that she will be retiring soon and will need to find a replacement.

B. The committee decided that three meetings per year are sufficient to address issues of interest. The remaining two meetings for this year are tentatively scheduled for April 20th and October 19th. The Public Records Administrator will check on the dates and the availability of the meeting room in Middletown.

VII. The Public Records Administrator adjourned the meeting at 2:58 p.m.

VIII. The next meeting is tentatively scheduled for April 20, 2005 at the Middletown Library Service Center.

Respectfully submitted,

Lizette Pelletier, Recorder

January 19, 2005