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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:

Fiscal year 1966 proved to be a good one for the Hall of Records.
This report will indicate to you, I am sure, that no single phase of our
work was neglected and that at the same time we made progress in our
effort to consolidate Maryland records in place under one roof and
under one management. This was certainly the objective of the propo-
nents of legislation to create the Hall of Records, of the legislators
who passed the bills and of the various members of the Hall of Records
Commission.

For some years we have had all the non-current records of State
agencies under our control, either in the Hall of Records proper or in
one of our Record Centers. We have also collected, over the years, the
land records, probate records and the earliest court records of the
counties (the records of Baltimore City except for those of the Register
of Wills and the Clerk of the Superior Court are still in the city be-
cause Baltimore has its own archivist and archival setup). The earliest
land records, patents, warrants, debt books, etc. have remained in the
Land Office until now. The General Assembly of 1966 passed two acts,
Ch. 488 and Ch. 489 which had as objective the abolition of the office
of Commissioner of the Land Office subject to referendum of last
November 8. Since the Commissioner of the Land Office was a con-
stitutional officer, the referendum was necessary; it carried by a vote
of more than two to one. Chapter 488 provided that the duties of the
Land Office should be taken over by the Hall of Records if the referen-
dum were successful. We are preparing now to unite the handsome
collection of records of the land office with our own rich collection on
January 25, 1967, the effective date of the consolidation.

After thirty years of effort on the part of the first two archivists
of Maryland, the Hall of Records Commission, led by Governor Tawes,
has taken over the task of trying to persuade the Librarian of Congress
to return to the State of Maryland various archival fugitives which, in
the course of time, have escaped from their proper custodians and

 

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