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Maryland Manual, 1979-80
Volume 179, Preface 10   View pdf image (33K)
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and independent agencies to serve as a reflection of the concerns that occupy the General Assembly
and the various administrative bodies in the State. Still, we share the belief expressed by Riley in the
first edition of the Maryland Manual that it is important for information on individual legislators and
on the diverse components of the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial branches of State, county, and lo-
cal government to be available, and that if this data is presented in a clear and concise manner those
who use the book will be better able to understand and effectively participate in the political process.

A noted scholar and historian, Elihu Riley compiled the second Maryland Manual, covering the year
1897-1898, as well as the first edition. The following year, with the usefulness of the volume estab-
lished beyond doubt, the task of preparing the Maryland Manual became the responsibility of the Sec-
retary of State. As years extended to decades, the Secretary of State's office continued to issue a Mary-
land Manual annually, with the gradual increase in bulk of the successive editions reflecting both the
growth of Maryland government and an expansion of the contents of the book to provide ever more
information for the citizens of the State. In 1940 the Maryland Man ual became a biennial publication,
and eight years later the task of compiling, editing, and publishing the book was once again assigned
to a scholar-historian. Dr. Morris L. Radoff, Archivist of the State of Maryland.

Preparing a manual of current State government might at first seem an incongruous task for the
State Archives, the central repository of Maryland's historical records, but Dr. Morris Radoff fully ap-
preciated Elihu Riley's admonition that to provide future generations with an accurate portrait of the
present requires the careful and systematic collection and preservation of public and private records.
The responsibility of producing the Maryland Manual has, in fact, tangibly improved the public's ac-
cess to government records in the State Archives. The need to gather information for the Maryland
Manual directly contributes to the degree of understanding and appreciation of the workings of gov-
ernment necessary for archivists to adequately identify, process, and preserve for posterity those State,
county, and local records deemed to have permanent historical value. These records properly de-
scribed, in turn, form the basis of the large and ever-expanding volume of materials that in recent
years the general public and government officials have come to utilize in ever-increasing numbers.

Thus, the present book is the culmination of more than three-quarters of a century of experience in
compiling periodic reports on Maryland government in the form of a published manual, and it is at
the same time merely another benchmark in the continuing and uninterrupted documentation of the
changing personnel and offices that exist to serve the people of the State. By its very nature a book
such as this is closely tied to and builds upon former editions, but each new Maryland Manual, it is
hoped, is improved by incorporating suggestions and criticisms generated by preceding issues. This
Manual, in particular, continues, expands, and refines the completely redesigned typography and for-
mat adopted in the 1977-1978 Maryland Manual'in an effort to make the book more informative and
easier to use. Furthermore, we have included a major new section in this Manual consisting of biogra-
phies of all Maryland judges, in part in commemoration of the two-hundredth anniversary of the
Maryland Court of Appeals, celebrated in December 1978, but also to provide additional pertinent in-
formation on the principal officers of that branch of State government.

Perhaps the most disconcerting realization for anyone involved in the preparation of a book such as
this is that although it is intended to reflect current government at all levels it is out of date on the
day of publication. With former Manuals this problem was especially severe, because the length of the
volume necessitated that some sections be delivered to the printer four or five months prior to publica-
tion. For the first time with this edition of the Maryland Manual the text was keyboarded on an in-
house text editing system that produces machine-manipulatable magnetic tape. Data previously
keyboarded could be retained in the system until the last possible moment in anticipation of changes
in personnel, organizational structure, and alterations in the law, because data on magnetic tape can be
converted into pages in but a fraction of the time required for standard composition from typed copy.
Production was further assisted by special computer programs that created machine-generated indexes.
As an added bonus, the cost of publishing the Maryland Manual this year was significantly lower than
what would have been required to set and print the book by traditional means. In fact, it is notewor-
thy that the per-page cost of composition and printing for this Maryland Manual was almost exactly
the same as that paid to Elihu Riley in 1896—in 1896 dollars!

Although the time between the final date for corrections and additions to material included in this
Manual and the date of publication was greatly reduced because of the use of an in-house text editing


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Maryland Manual, 1979-80
Volume 179, Preface 10   View pdf image (33K)
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This information resource of the Maryland State Archives is presented here for fair use in the public domain. When this material is used, in whole or in part, proper citation and credit must be attributed to the Maryland State Archives. PLEASE NOTE: Rights assessment for associated source material is the responsibility of the user.

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