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Historic Documents Preservation Account Advisory Committee

Middletown Library Service Center
January 30, 2002


Members Present
Richard Kingston, CSL; Joan Gerdsen, Mansfield Town Clerk; Lisa A Valenti, North Branford Town Clerk; Barbara Allen, Goshen Town Clerk; Preservation Librarian Jane Cullinane, CSL; Patricia H. Strauss, Westport Town Clerk, Grants Consultant Mary Louise Jensen, CSL; Grants Manager Sheila K. Mosman, CSL; State Archivist Mark Jones, CSL; State Librarian Kendall Wiggin, CSL; Public Records Administrator Eunice DiBella, CSL; Joyce P. Mascena, Vernon Town Clerk; Therese Pac, Bristol Town and City Clerk; Catherine S. Nurmi, Sterling Town Clerk.

Members Absent
Barbara Tarbox, Groton Town Clerk; Karen Lee Marsden, Clinton Town Clerk; Ed Friedeberg, Glastonbury Town Clerk; Sandra Hutton, Middletown Town Clerk/Representative Town Clerks' Association.

Others Present
Lizette Pelletier, Archival Consultant; LeAnn Johnson, Public Records Grant Specialist; Betsy M. Barrett, Lisbon Town Clerk.

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

  2. The State Librarian welcomed the board members to a new year with the grant program.

  3. The State Librarian introduced Catherine S. Nurmi, the newest member of the Committee.

  4. The minutes of November 28, 2001 were approved with minor corrections.

  5. State Library Fiscal Officer Richard Kingston distributed a report covering the first eighteen months of the program with projections through the end of the fiscal year. Account receipts equal $2.1 million and expenditures equal $478,676 for a current balance of $1.7 million.

  6. Old Business

    1. FY 2003 Workshops

      1. NEDCC staff is not available on the original April dates for the Disaster Recovery workshop. April and May are busy months for the town clerks. The committee preferred June 5th or 11th for the new dates to offer NEDCC.

      2. Joan Gerdsen proposed a field trip to Iron Mountain to view the security facilities. The State Librarian asked her to explore costs. If feasible, the trip might serve as the July meeting.

      3. Given the complexity of the security issues facing town clerks, librarians and other public records custodians, it might be more appropriate to host a security seminar that covers a variety of issues rather than a workshop in the fall. The State Librarian formed a subcommittee of Patty Strauss, Mary Louise Jensen, Jane Cullinane and the Public Records Administrator. LeAnn Johnson will also sit on the committee. The Public Records Administrator will also ask Sandra Hutton to participate. The fall Town Clerk's conference is October 2nd & 3rd.

      4. Eunice will speak with Patty Ulatowski concerning the spring town clerks' meeting in Southbury on April 25 & 26. Jane Cullinane will present a basic introduction to microfilming. However, a full day workshop on microfilming is also necessary. The workshop would include a vendor presentation and an exhibit on various types of readers and reader-printers. Purchasing this equipment is an eligible expense for this year.

      5. Other possible topics for future workshops might include basic bookbinding and document repair.

    2. State Library Projects

      1. The Hartford City Clerk is working with the State Archives on the possibility of transferring early city records to the State Archives to help alleviate a space problem in the vault as well as improve researcher access. The State Archivist and the City Clerk will do a planning survey in the spring. The State Archivist would like to include the students from the Hartford Studies Project.

      2. The editor for the 1814-1816 volume of the "Connecticut State Records" is willing to edit the next two volumes and the 1818 Constitutional Convention. The State Archivist explained to the Town Clerks the importance of the records to lawyers and legal historians.

      3. The State Library's Van Block facility is ready for occupancy. The move should begin March 1st. The State Librarian would like to have a committee meeting there to allow the committee to tour the facility.

      4. The local government archivist position is posted with a closing date of February 1st. The staff hopes to conduct interviews in February.

    3. There has been no additional activity on the cooperative town training grants at this time.

    4. Lizette Pelletier distributed a summary of the Town Clerk Survey responses. The Public Records Administrator and LeAnn Johnson, the Public Records Grant Specialist, will try to attend as many regional meetings as possible to encourage the towns that did not apply last year.

  7. New Business.

    1. The new application booklet is at the printer and will be mailed soon. The committee discussed the changes. The State Librarian encouraged the towns to spend the full amount.

    2. Joan Gerdsen reported that she and Joe Camposeo, Town Clerk of Manchester, met with representatives of the genealogical community. The genealogists had expected that the vital records would have priority and that other local records custodians would have access to the funds. The Public Records Administrator will attend the next meeting. The State Librarian said that there would be plenty of money to go around, as this is the biggest investment that the State of Connecticut has made in historic preservation. Joe Camposeo also reported to The Public Records Administrator that the genealogists are willing to assist in a survey of town records. The State Archivist stated that a statewide database of local records would be a valuable resource but must be carefully planned out and the surveyors must be properly trained. The Public Records Administrator stated that she would like to have a records management survey as one of the grant categories. The State Librarian would like to try to work funding so that a town could still do own project aw well as a cooperative project such as the statewide survey.

    3. The Public Records Administrator distributed a flyer for a disaster recovery workshop sponsored by the National Archives and Records Administration in March. She encourages towns to attend. Local funds may be used for the registration fee.

  8. The next meeting is March 27, 2002 at 12:30 p.m. at the Middletown Library Service Center.

  9. The meeting adjourned at 2:17 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Lizette Pelletier, Recorder
January 30, 2002