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Historic Documents Preservation Account Advisory Committee

Van Block Facility

July 9, 2008





Members Present:           Public Records Administrator Eunice DiBella, CSL; State Librarian Kendall Wiggin, CSL; Administrative Services Director Richard Kingston, CSL; State Archivist Mark H. Jones, CSL; Preservation Librarian Jane Cullinane, CSL; Grants Manager Sheila Mosman, CSL; Therese Pac, Bristol Town Clerk; Carla Pomprowicz, Hebron Town Clerk; Joseph Quartiero, Torrington Town Clerk; Patty Strauss, Westport Town Clerk; Sandi Wieleba, East Hampton Town Clerk; Joyce P. Mascena, Glastonbury Town Clerk; Louisa Trakas, Plainfield Town Clerk; Chic Spinelli, Waterbury City Clerk; and Nancy Bray, Colchester Town Clerk


Members Absent:            Building Consultant Mary Louise Jensen, CSL; Sandra Russo-Driska, Middletown Town Clerk; and Lisa Valenti, North Branford Town Clerk


Others Present:                Lizette Pelletier, CSL; Kathy Makover, CSL; LeAnn Power, CSL



I.              The State Librarian called the meeting to order at 1:08 p.m.

II.           He introduced the three newest members of the Advisory Board: Louisa Trakas, Plainfield Town Clerk; Chic Spinelli, Waterbury City Clerk; and Nancy Bray, Colchester Town Clerk

III.         The minutes of the March 19th meeting were reviewed.  Patty Strauss made a motion to approve as written.  Joe Quartiero seconded the motion.  The motion passed with Joyce Mascena, Sheila Mosman and the three new members abstaining as they were not at the last meeting.

IV.        The State Librarian reported that the Governor has asked for a 3% budget cut from each line of the agencies’ budgets except for aid to towns and cities.  Agencies have been ordered to cut energy use.  The legislature took no action before the end of the session.  There are two vacancies in the Library but there is a hiring freeze.

Rich Kingston reported that revenue continues to be down 20% from last year.  The State Library portion of the fund does not have a lot of fat to cut.  Certain costs are fixed and cannot be cut.  The Library has moved one position from the Historic Documents fund to the general fund.  If possible, a portion of the part-time positions may be transferred as well.  Unfortunately, there is not much on the state side available to help pick up the costs.

The town clerks reported that filings are still way down from previous years.  Therese Pac stated that Bristol is at a twenty year low for filings. 

The fiscal office will work with the grant staff to see how long the program can maintain the current grant amounts. It may be necessary to reduce the number of competitive grants as well.

V.           Old Business

A.           Grants

                                                                  1.            FY2008 Grants: Fifty seven final expenditure reports have been submitted to date.  All of the remaining reports must be submitted no later than September 1st.

                                                                  2.            FY2009 grants.

a.             The program awarded ten competitive grants for a total of $429,157.  Thirteen towns submitted applications. Two were ineligible because one town had not yet completed a records management or preservation survey and the other submitted a project that was not within the competitive guidelines.  The third application was rejected because it was an oversized targeted grant.  The Hartford grant is the only archival management project this year.

b.            Seventeen towns have applied for targeted grants to meet the requirements of PA 07-252. All will be in compliance by the January deadline.  We awarded $804,000 in targeted grants.

                                                                  3.            FY2010 grants

a.             The program is approaching the $10 million mark for grants awarded.

b.            The State Librarian is looking at various options for the program given the fiscal situation.  One possibility is only awarding grants in one cycle.  However, this would not allow towns that applied for but did not receive a competitive grant to apply for a targeted grant during that fiscal year.  It would be very difficult to move up the competitive grant deadlines because they are already very tight.  The staff will discuss this further.

c.             The board discussed the contract approval process.  It is moving more smoothly.  The dates on the certified resolution are still an occasional problem.  The Attorney General’s office is processing them fairly quickly.

                                                                  4.            Vendors:  Kathy is working on revising the vendor lists.  She is attempting to split the vendors into two lists:  an “approved” list for those vendors that the Public Records Administrator is required by statute to approve and a directory of vendors which she is not required to approve and that will be for reference purposes.

                                                                  5.            The Public Records Administrator reported that the electronic land recording law passed during the last session.  The legislation goes into effect October 2009.  A committee will be established including the town clerks and will meet in the fall to begin working on regulations.  The act allows for additional filing fees to support the costs associated with the new system.  It will be optional for towns to accept e-recording. 

B.           Workshops & Training: 

                                                                  1.            The staff held an Archival Management workshop in June.  There were fifty persons in attendance including forty town clerks.  Nine town clerks who registered and paid did not attend.  The evaluations were positive.  The town clerks would like to have some certification credit training as part of their fall and spring conferences.  The Public Records Administrator felt that the State Library participation in the current town clerk certification cycle would conflict with a credit course of this type.  It would still be useful to have a non-credit session on e-recording or other records management issues.

                                                                  2.            The spring 2009 workshop has yet to be determined.  Very few evaluations for the June workshop had suggestions.  Among those suggested were disaster recovery, digitization, how to work with vendors, reformatting issues including maps with emphasis on best practices, guidelines and certification and regulations.

VI.        New Business

A.           The State Archivist explained the Works Progress Administration (WPA) Federal Art Project (FAP) cataloguing project that is underway in the State Archives.  This was the first federally funded cultural project during the Great Depression.  The State Library received funding from the General Assembly to locate and catalogue any remaining artwork.  Currently the project is trying to identify the materials allocated to each community.  The finished project will be a database of artists and images posted on the CSL web site. 

There is an online exhibit of photos, text and other materials related to the Merritt Parkway on the web site.

B.           Kathy Makover reported on problems that have developed regarding maps filed on the land records.  Some maps created by the fixed line process are deteriorating.  The fixed-line process was most commonly used in the 1990's and early 2000's.  When done properly, the process is stable and meets our requirements.  However, it appears that some maps were not properly fixed and are continuing to develop over time.  These maps typically have brown sections or streaking and a few have turned completely black.  The deterioration may be accelerated by increased exposure to light.

(The State Librarian and Rich Kingston left the meeting at 2:16 p.m. for another meeting.)

The fixed line process was approved under the 1991 map regulations, which were written in part to address deterioration problems found in maps previously produced by diazo or electrostatic methods.  To replace a map that has become illegible, it will be necessary to have a new original made from the land surveyor's original drawing or to have a copy made from the microfilm, although copies from microfilm are known to lose some of the original detail and accuracy of scale.  The staff will continue investigating this matter and will develop guidelines for replacing illegible maps.

VII.      The Public Records Administrator adjourned the meeting at 2:29 p.m.

VIII.   The next meeting is scheduled for Wednesday October 8, 2008 at the Van Block Facility.  Everyone is welcomed to share a brown bag lunch prior to the meeting.  The Public Records Administrator thanked the town clerks for bringing in a treat for the meeting.

Respectfully submitted,




Lizette Pelletier, Recorder

July 19, 2008