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Volume 467, Page 5   View pdf image (33K)
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ARCHIVIST OF THE HALL OF RECORDS 5

LETTER OF TRANSMITTAL

To THE HONORABLE

THE HALL OF RECORDS COMMISSION

ANNAPOLIS, MARYLAND

Gentlemen:

The Hall of Records in 1965 passed its thirtieth birthday. We
received as a birthday present the Distinguished Service Award of the
Society of American Archivists, which is inscribed as follows: "For
outstanding Service to the American People and for Exemplary Con-
tribution to the Archival Profession." Last year we received the Waldo
Gifford Leland award of the Society of American Archivists for the
second volume of The County Courthouses and Records of Maryland.
It is good to have our work recognized by our peers. But it is equally
important to know our failings to the profession and to the State of
Maryland.

We have contributed minimally to the growth and improvement
of our profession. We have failed to draw young people of high caliber
and good preparation into it, and we have failed to design courses and
find institutions suitable for the granting of advanced degrees to am-
bitious specialists. At the same time the first generation of American
archivists has disappeared from the scene and the second generation is
now being decimated. And we must ask, "who will replace us?" There
is already a painful shortage of trained archivists everywhere, and there
are vacancies in every archives. It is even difficult to get untrained
graduates in history or government to fill our vacant positions.

From the time the Hall of Records was established, the Archivist
has striven to reunite the historical records of Maryland under one
roof. He has had but mediocre success. To be sure, the county records
are now here as are the non-current records of State Agencies, but the
large number of valuable records in other depositories are still there
and give little indication of ever being brought home. The Library of
Congress through gift and bequest, has come into possession of a large
number of them. There they have been kept and preserved and because
of this the Library has seemingly given itself title to them. It is the
case of the caretaker appropriating the house.

 

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