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Maryland Manual, 1981-82
Volume 180, Preface 9   View pdf image (33K)
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The 1981-1982 edition of the Maryland Manual k the latest issue in a series that began publication
in 1896. Elihu Riley, the compiler of the first Maryland Manual, sought not only to provide a
sourcebook of useful information for the citizens of Maryland, but also to succinctly describe the vari-
ous components of Maryland government as a record for posterity. He adopted as a motto for the first
Maryland Manual, "What is News To-Day is History To-Morrow," to reflect the dual purpose of the
book as both an informational handbook and a permanent record of government at the time.

The validity of Riley's premise that the Maryland Manual could serve a useful function beyond its
utility as a sourcebook for current information is appreciated by anyone who has undertaken research
on the history of Maryland government. The successive editions of the Manual are an invaluable
source of information on past public officials and on the development of State and local agencies and
departments. Above all, the various issues of the Maryland Manual chart in detail the nature and ex-
tent of the growth of State government. Riley required little more than five pages of his Manual to
print the "Civil List of the State of Maryland for the Year 1896," and even less space to reproduce the
State payroll (which ranged from $4,500 per year for Governor Lloyd Lowndes to "no salary" for the
three State Telephone Commissioners). State officials whose positions are described in Riley's book in-
clude the Commissioners to Take Acknowledgments, the Inspectors of Hay and Straw, the Measurers
of Oysters, the Measurers of Carts (Baltimore City only), the State Wharfinger, and the Wreck Master
(Worcester County only). As archaic as these titles may seem today, they reflect in a unique way the
nature of State government and the kinds of services it was expected to provide in the closing years of
the nineteenth century.

A chronological review of the successive issues of the Maryland Manual reveals the disappearance of
a host of agencies and officials as their tasks became anachronistic, while other agencies of government
have been transmogrified to reflect the changing needs and priorities of society. This role of the Mary-
land Manual
in documenting the changing needs and priorities of State government continues to the
present. The Bedding Advisory Board is but one of the State agencies dropped from the last edition of
the Manual, and the Maryland Bicentennial Commission, which first appeared in the Maryland Manu-
for 1969-1970, is an example of an agency that completed its task and is no longer listed in the
present volume. New directions and areas receiving special emphasis from the State executive and leg-
islative branches can be perceived in the task forces and study committees created since the last Manu-
covering topics such as adoption laws, procurement regulations, the educational needs of children
in residential institutions. State documents, drinking drivers, and mobile homes. Some new commis-
sions, such as the Three Mile Island Committee, were established in response to an urgent, unforeseen
situation that arose in the State, while others, such as the Youth Employment Task Force, have been
formed to deal with more tenacious problems. Concern with the environment—an area barely men-
tioned in the Maryland Manual of a decade ago—is conspicuous in the current Manual, with a new
assistant secretariat in the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene devoted to the subject and with
the creation of new independent agencies such as the Chesapeake Bay Commission, the Hazardous
Waste Facilities Siting Board, and the Northeast Maryland Waste Disposal Authority.

The dynamic nature of Maryland State government necessarily complicates the task of compiling the
biennial editions of the Maryland Manual. Not only must the informational content, such as addresses
and telephone numbers, be updated and corrected, but all legislation, executive orders, regulations, and
internal reorganizations must be digested so that both in organization and in content the text of the
book reflects as accurately as possible the state of Maryland government at a given point in time. With
a book of this length accomplishing these goals requires a firm cutoff date for the inclusion of informa-
tion, in the case of this edition Election Day, November 4, 1980. An early November deadline for
Manual material is required if the book is to be available for distribution during the following session
of the General Assembly. The Manual issued during the first year of a gubernatorial term, like the
1979-1980 edition, cannot be sent to press until the governor's initial appointments are made. There-
fore, Manuals issued in these years have a later cutoff date for the inclusion of material, but they ap-
pear at a correspondingly later date, generally in early summer.

Simply revising existing data, deleting obsolete agency descriptions, and adding new material as re-
quired is a large task. With each new edition of the Maryland Manual, however, we strive to make
changes that will improve the quality and value of the book. Stylistic concerns were of paramount im-

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Maryland Manual, 1981-82
Volume 180, Preface 9   View pdf image (33K)
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