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Volume 469, 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 past year was a period of turbulence at the Hall of Records.
Air conditioning of the entire building was begun in January 1967. It
was our hope that it would be done by the summer, but this hope was
disappointed. The work was completed in January 1968, long after the
end of the fiscal year, and too late to give the new system a fair trial
under summer conditions of heat and humidity. During this operation,
the noise of drilling through the walls for duct space was hardly toler-
able and coupled with the heat and the dust, we were barely able to
stay open. I am grateful to the members of the staff who tolerated this
without too much illness, and to the clients of the Hall of Records who
spent the summer demonstrating their interest in the records despite the
fact that each volume was covered with dust and the heat in the build-
ing was insufferable.

When the air conditioning was done, we then turned to repairs of
the roof. We had had leaks in the roof which had spoiled the paint in
four rooms and had damaged the plaster work in the beautiful Public
Search Room. This job produced different kinds of odor and dust but
they were equally unpleasant. Fortunately, it occurred in the winter
time and by closing the windows we could exclude most of it. At this
writing, the building is being painted and the furniture is being re-
paired and reconditioned, and we have already contracted to repair the
floors which are of asphalt tiling now loose and scattered and random-
width Georgia pine which cannot be replaced and which suffered very
much from the spike heels of our female clients and employees. When
this is all over, the building will be in pristine condition.

Almost to the day that the air conditioning job was started, we were
scheduled to take over the records and functions of the Land Office. We
had misjudged their work. For example, we were aware that there had
not been a caveat hearing during the eight-year term of the last Com-
missioner, and from this we concluded that none was needed. We soon
found out that the reason for the lack of hearings was due to the in-
terminable postponements on the part of the Land Commissioner and
the continuances which had to be granted to counsel.

 

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