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Historic Documents Preservation Account Advisory Committee

Middletown Library Service Center
May 21, 2003


Members present: State Librarian Kendall Wiggin, CSL; Public Records Administrator Eunice DiBella, CSL; State Archivist Mark Jones, CSL, Grants Consultant Mary Louise Jensen, CSL; Preservation Librarian Jane Cullinane, CSL; Karen Lee Marsden, Clinton Town Clerk; Director Administrative Services Richard Kingston, CSL; Lisa A Valenti, North Branford Town Clerk; Cynthia Ladwig, Stonington Town Clerk; Therese Pac, Bristol Town and City Clerk; Joyce P. Mascena, Glastonbury Town Clerk; Barbara Allen, Goshen Town Clerk; Catherine S. Nurmi, Sterling Town Clerk.

Members absent: Sandra Hutton, Middletown Town Clerk/Representative Town Clerks' Association; Patricia H. Strauss, Westport Town Clerk; Grants Manager Sheila K. Mosman, CSL; Joan Gerdsen, Mansfield Town Clerk.

Others present: Public Records Grant Program Specialist LeAnn Johnson, CSL; Archival Consultant Lizette Pelletier, CSL.

I. The State Librarian called the meeting to order at 1:04 p.m.

II. The State Librarian welcomed the board members to the meeting.

III. There were no introductions.

IV. The minutes of March 19, 2003 were approved.

V. Richard Kingston passed out a budget fact sheet. Receipts continue to come in at 25% over last year. The State Library received $203,000 last month. The town clerks reported that the income is not just refinanced mortgages but also new home purchases.

VI. Old Business

A. Workshops and Training

1. We currently have 47 registrants for the June 11th workshop. The arrangements are finalized. LeAnn Johnson announced that she would be giving away a desk copy of Dr. Mark Langemo's book by drawing the name of one of the attendees at the end of the workshop. Therese Pac said she liked receiving the information electronically and being able to register through email. About half of the registrations have been by email. The workshop announcement is also available on the Grant Program web page.

2. The staff has decided to offer two sessions of the wet materials workshop in order to accommodate as many town clerks as possible. In order to create as realistic an experience as possible, the sessions will be held at the Van Block facility in Hartford. The staff will contact Lori Foley at NEDCC to schedule a date in early October between the Town Clerk's conference in Storrs and the New England Town Clerk's conference October 22-24, 2003.

B. State Library Projects

1. The Records of the State of Connecticut are on target. The editor has discovered some period publications that reflect the debate at the time of the Constitution of 1818. He will include selected items in the next volume with the documents. This will be a State Library publication and the grant fund will be cited. The State Librarian stated that the Library plans to publish additional copies for sale. The money received will be returned to the Grant Fund.

2. The Archives and Preservation staff have begun work on preserving the 1934 Fairchild aerial survey of Connecticut. The Department of Transportation compiled the 10,500 original photographs into large composites called mosaics. The staff is working with the map librarian from UConn to scan the mosaics. They hope to have them available on the web by September. However, the mosaics do not have the fine resolution available on the original photos. Therefore, the next step is to make new negative from the 10,500 originals and then a new set of use copies. The long-term goal is to scan the original photographs, but for now, the Library wants to scan the mosaics and to preserve the original photographs.

C. Grants.

1. FY 2003 Grants: 41 Final Expenditure/Evaluation Reports have been received to date.

2. FY 2004 Grants: 133 towns submitted applications for a total of $1,110,122.00 for Cycle 1. Every town has now applied for at least one grant. There are small problems with about 15 of the applications, but LeAnn is confident that these will be resolved. After consulting with the committee, the staff decided not to have a reception in July to distribute the checks.

3. Twenty-seven towns responded to the competitive grant survey. Most said that they understood what a competitive grant was and might apply for one. Physical Access and Records Management were the most popular potential grant categories. The staff will bring additional copies of the survey to the June workshop to get additional responses.

4. The State Librarian enjoyed the Town Clerks Conference. The Library had a table in the vendors' area. LeAnn was able to assist 15-20 towns with grant applications.

5. The Public Records Administrator distributed a letter and her response to a request from the Probate Judge in Danbury requesting a grant application. The State Archivist stated that these are very important records. This would be a good competitive grant project with the town clerk and probate judge in a cooperative effort.

D. The grant staff has distributed the Vermont Historical Records Advisory Board book and document care poster to all the towns. The members reported that they have posted them in their vaults in a prominent location.

E. The contract for general library supplies expires in December 2003. The Department of Administrative Services will wait until then to add archival supplies. The staff will develop a list of supplies and suppliers to add to the list. Towns can purchase off the current list. The DAS website www.das.state.ct.us lists all the contracts available to the municipalities. The staff will add a link from the grant web page.

F. Barbara Austen has been hired by the Connecticut Historical Society as an Archivist / Cataloguer. Despite press reports, the State is not hiring back many laid off workers. The State Librarian believes that most rehires will occur after all retirements are finalized. Public safety jobs are getting top priority.

VIII. New Business

A. Terri Krawczyk has resigned from her position as Newington Town Clerk and therefore from the committee. After some discussion, the committee decided to align the representation as such: Joyce Mascena will now represent Hartford County in her new position as Glastonbury Town Clerk and Joan Gerdsen will continue to represent Tolland County. The committee still needs a member from a large city.

B. An issue has arisen with some towns that have gotten an on-going resolution for their grant applications. The Public Records Administrator has forwarded copies of the resolutions in question to the Attorney General's office for advice. The next guidelines will clarify what is an acceptable resolution.

C. Other

1. Lizette Pelletier distributed a draft records management survey form. This form will be available to consultants doing grant work. The members should review and make any suggestions for additions or changes. Jane Cullinane suggested checking with the vendors to see if they can submit the information in an electronically compatible form to the State Library.

2. The Public Records Administrator received a complaint from a title searcher about the new mobile shelving systems some towns are installing. The title researcher's complaint was about the vertical rather than horizontal shelving of the books. Cynthia Ladwig said that her experience was that after the researchers became familiar with the new system, they really like it.

3. LeAnn Johnson's photograph of the Colt pool that is displayed at the Van Block facility has been published in the most recent issue of the Hog River Journal.

4. The staff suggested that educational resources might be an addition to the archival supply budget line for the next grant year. Town clerks would have the option purchase books, videos, and other materials.

IX. The next meeting is July 16, 2003 at 12:30 p.m. at the Middletown Library Service Center.

X. The meeting adjourned at 2:25 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Lizette Pelletier, Recorder
May 21, 2003