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Nineteenth Annual Report of the Archivist of the Hall of Records, FY 1954
Volume 456, Page 3   View pdf image (33K)
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LETTER OF TRANSMITTAL

November 19, 1954

To THE HONORABLE

THE HALL OF RECORDS COMMISSION
ANNAPOLIS, MARYLAND

Gentlemen:

Without a doubt the most noteworthy accomplishment of the Hall
of Records in the fiscal year just over was the initiation of the Records
Management Program, authorized by Chapter 436 of the Acts of 1953. A
full account of the work of the first year will be found elsewhere in this
report ("Records Management Division"). But here I want to bring to
your special attention some of the difficulties which prevented this work
from making as much progress as I had hoped it would.

Records Management is a new profession, and its practitioners have
all had their training in the federal government or in big industry. Neither
of these fields provides ideal preparation for records management in state
and county government. But if these training fields were perfect for our
purposes, we could not hope to profit by them so long as our salary scales
are so much less than those paid by industry and the federal government.
We were fortunate in having for part of the year an experienced govern-
mental records specialist. Under his direction we were able to set up pro-
cedures, establish controls, and design forms. The work of actually prepar-
ing retention and disposal schedules had hardly begun, however, when the
administrator of the program rejoined the federal government, to be fol-
lowed shortly thereafter by his Secretary. This double loss toward the end
of the year brought our records work almost to a standstill; and when
replacements were found, several months were again required for orientation.
Finally, records management does not work automatically, nor is it inexor-
ably set in motion by a mandatory Act of the General Assembly: its
success depends almost entirely on the confidence and cooperation of other
governmental agencies. Confidence and cooperation are not acquired over-
night, they must be earned by good deeds.

You will be interested, I am sure, in the first full year's work of our
bindery. Again, the beginning has been difficult where in these mechan-
ical days does one find a trained hand binder of fine books? but progress
has been enough to continue the effort for one more year at least. I have


 

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Nineteenth Annual Report of the Archivist of the Hall of Records, FY 1954
Volume 456, Page 3   View pdf image (33K)
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