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Historic Documents Preservation Account Advisory Committee

Van Block Facility
April 7, 2004


Members Present: State Librarian Kendall Wiggin; Public Records Administrator Eunice DiBella, CSL; Fiscal Administrator Richard Kingston, CSL; Grants Manager Sheila Mosman, CSL; Grants Consultant Mary Louise Jensen, CSL; Preservation Librarian Jane Cullinane, CSL; State Archivist Mark H. Jones, CSL; Joan Gerdsen, Mansfield Town Clerk; Sandra Hutton, Middletown Town Clerk; Lisa Valenti, North Branford Town Clerk; Karen L. Marsden, Clinton Town Clerk; Joyce P. Mascena, Glastonbury Town Clerk; Cindy Ladwig, Stonington Town Clerk; Theresa Pac, Bristol Town Clerk

Members Absent: Barbara Breor, Goshen Town Clerk; Catherine S. Nurmi, Sterling Town Clerk; Patti Strauss, Westport Town Clerk.

Others Present: LeAnn Johnson, CSL; Bruce Stark, CSL

I. The State Librarian called the meeting to order at 1:25 p.m.

II. The State Librarian welcomed everyone to the meeting. There were no introductions.

III. The minutes of the February 24th meeting were approved with two abstentions.

IV. Fiscal Report

A. Richard Kingston distributed the fiscal report dated through March 2004. He noted that the April revenues to date have been behind other years' but that the totals shown reflected the beginning of the month not the end.

B. Those towns that are in arrears on fund transfers to the account receive phone calls from him.

C. Lizette Pelletier revised the Monthly Document Recording Form to make it consistent with all other grant documents. The form also highlights the month and date area.

V. Old Business

A. Workshops and Training:

1. The Disaster Recovery Workshop run by NEDCC at the Van Block facility was well received by all participants. Town clerks asked that additional sessions of the workshop be held.

2. The Public Records Staff will be providing records management training at the Town Clerks School on May 13th.

3. The staff is exploring the possibility of having grants training at the Town Clerk's Conference in September.

B. State Library Projects

1. The 1934 aerial photograph mosaics are now on line. See Jane Cullinane and Pat McGlammery's article in the upcoming issue of the State Library Connector at www.cslib.org. Specifications for preserving the original smaller photographs are still under review.

2. The Public Records of the State of Connecticut project continues to make progress toward its anticipated 2005 publication date.

3. Bruce Stark, Project Director, reported that the Court Records Project continues to make progress. At the end of March, 530 boxes of files have been completed, around 40 boxes a month. Over 500 cases in Litchfield and New London counties have been found involving African Americans and Native Americans and more are turning up as the processing advances into the nineteenth century. Bruce has completed processing the records of the town of Colchester and is selecting another town's records from the State Archives.

4. Nick Artim, an internationally recognized expert on security from fires, was hired on a Personal Services Agreement to assist the Public Records Administrator in the formulation of new vault standards. He made a site visit and met with Eunice DiBella, Jane Cullinane, Mark Jones, LeAnn Johnson, Lizette Pelletier and Manchester Town Clerk Joe Camposeo.

VI. Grants

A. LeAnn Johnson reported that she had received 47 expenditure reports for FY 2004, leaving 118 reports to be submitted. A suggestion was made that notices of receipt be sent to every applicant, but the Public Records Administrator said that the program is trying to cut down on the number of mailings. The grant staff could provide members of the advisory committee with the names of towns in default.

B. To date in the FY 2005 cycle, 35 applications amount to $287,000 have been received. LeAnn distributed a list entitled, "FY 2005 Cycle 1 Applications by Category." The application from the Town of Windsor was distributed and cited as a model.

C. LeAnn Johnson distributed a draft of a Grant Application Amendment form for comment. She stated that it would not be necessary to obtain another town council resolution from the applicant when an amendment form is submitted. The town clerks seemed favorable to the new form.

D. Eunice DiBella distributed a copy of an estimate from ACS to a town clerk that contained the following statement: "If pages in the original volumes are stained or are of weak contrast, it shall be your responsibility to re-type these pages so that a successful security film cam be made." This estimate form with this language appeared in about five applications. An in-depth discussion ensued. Committee members and the staff concluded that it is the vendor's responsibility to produce film that provides the proper contrast for a good image. Eunice and LeAnn will talk with the ACS representative at the Town Clerk's Conference.

E. The committee also discussed a case in which the town mayor refuses to approve grant spending for equipment. The Public Records Administrator will send a letter to the mayor if the town clerk requests it.

F. The Public Records Administrator reported on the Proposal for New Distribution Guidelines (April 2004) prepared by the Center for Public Policy and Social Research at Central Connecticut State University. Under the recommended distribution, 96 towns would receive less money. Further discussion was tabled until the September meeting.

G. Eunice DiBella again linked the hiring of a field archivist as a prerequisite for the introduction of competitive grants in 2005. A number of personnel issues remain that the Library has little control over, which could prevent having the necessary staff on board to begin the program on schedule.

VII. New Business

A. There was a discussion of the Map Conversion Effort at the University of Connecticut - Storr's Map Library. The committee thought that this would be a good topic for a county meeting or state conference.

B. Eunice DiBella distributed a chart showing the due dates for required legislative reports. The report due September 1st will address the preservation and management of CSL historic documents and the expenses for administering the historic documents preservation grant program. The other report, required to be filed January 1st, will include the description of grants made the previous fiscal year and make findings or recommendations about the program.

C. Eunice reported that legislation for an electronic land recording statute is progressing through the General Assembly and briefly discussed the possible implications for the Public Records Office if it were to become law.

D. Sandra Hutton described the program of the upcoming Town Clerk's Conference.

VIII. The State Librarian adjourned the meeting at 3:00 p.m.

IX. The next meeting is September 8, 2004 at 1:00 p.m. at the Middletown Library Services Center.

Respectfully submitted,

Mark Jones, Recorder

April 7, 2004