Government Records Home Page


April, 2005

The membership of the Government Records Section is made up of individual Society of American Archivists (SAA) members who are concerned with the administration, organization, and care of the records of government.


Table of Contents

The Government Records Section News is a semi-regular Newsletter/Publication of the Government Records Section (GRS), Society of American Archivists (SAA). The newsletter is available on the SAA web site. Janet Waters maintains the GRS web site. She can be reached at 614-292-4891 or



Call for Steering Committee Nominees

The Government Records Section Annual Meeting will be held during the Society of American Archivist’s 69th Annual Meeting at the Hilton New Orleans Riverside, on Friday, August 19 at 8 a.m.

The Government Records Section is seeking nominations for three new members of its Steering Committee.  These new members will replace three outgoing members at the conclusion of the Annual Meeting.  Nominees must be members of SAA and the Section.

The Section Steering Committee consists of two representatives of local government, two representatives of state government and two representatives of federal government, plus an appointed newsletter editor.   Members serve two-year terms, three members being elected at each annual meeting.  The Committee serves in an advisory capacity to the chair, and its members may be assigned specific responsibilities by the chair.

If you have an interest in serving on the Government Records Section Steering Committee, know of an individual who might like to serve, and/or just have questions about the workload expected of a member of the Committee, please contact me at or 608-264-6469.

Nominations will close prior to the annual meeting.  Section members can vote either by absentee ballot prior to the annual meeting or in person at the annual meeting. 


Virginia Fritzsch, Chair

GRS Nominating and Elections Committee

Public Records Archivist

State Historical Society of Wisconsin



Local Funding Strategies for Local Government Archives To Highlight Local Government Records RT Meeting

Round Table activity has been low-key so far this year, but we are gearing up for a period of “rebuilding,” to encourage more involvement and exchange over local government archives and records. As chair, I will be working with several members to draw back returning members and to identify new ones. If you’re a member of Local Government Records and haven’t attended meetings in recent years, I would like to know why, and what entice you to return. Session ideas are always welcome and I will entertain any constructive criticism.


This year’s program and business meeting will be in New Orleans on Thursday, August 18th from 4:00 – 5:30 pm. A very short business meeting will be conducted in order to make plenty of time for Thomas F.R. Clareson, who will speak on “Local Funding Strategies for Local Government Archives.” In light of federal and state cuts in preservation and access programs, local government archives are continually looking for new and different sources for funding discrete projects with tangible results.


Mr. Clareson, Manager of the Digital Collection and Preservation Service's Education and Planning Service at OCLC, will highlight some examples and success stories, as well as practical information and tips you can use to formulate strategies with special relevance to local government archives.


John H. Slate, CA
City Archivist, Dallas Municipal Archives

Chair, Local Government Roundtable




By-Laws Change Proposed

Paul R. Bergeron, CA, City Clerk of Nashua, NH, has proposed the following change to the section by-laws relative to Election of Officers and Steering Committee.  The proposed amendment will be voted upon by members attending the Section’s annual meeting.  The Mission & By-Laws of the Government Records Section may be viewed in their entirety on the SAA website at:



      By-laws provide that a Nominating Committee shall announce the names of nominees to the Section Steering Committee in the last section newsletter published prior to the annual meeting.

      Thereafter, “any member of the Section who is unable to attend the Annual Meeting may request an absentee ballot from the chair of the Nominating and Elections Committee; such ballots must be returned to the chair of the Committee prior to the Annual Meeting.” 

      However, “additional nominations may be made from the floor at the Meeting,” and “voting at the Annual Meeting shall be by secret ballot if there are more nominees than can be elected.” 

      Thus, under the existing by-laws, absentee voters are required to cast ballots for candidates prior to the closing of nominations at the annual meeting, and the Steering Committee must be ready to prepare ballots during the time allotted for the Section’s annual meeting.

Under the proposed amendment:

     Nominations would close upon the announcement of nominees by the Nominating Committee.  If the Nominating Committee proposed two or more candidates for one vacancy, voting at the Annual Meeting shall be by secret ballot.

      Absentee ballots must be returned to the Nominating Committee Chair at least seven (7) days prior to the Annual Meeting.

     If the Nominating Committee did not propose candidate(s) for a vacancy, nominations may be made from the floor at the Meeting for that vacancy.   If two or more candidates for one vacancy are proposed, voting at the Annual Meeting shall be by secret ballot.

     Finally, under the existing by-laws, three – not two – steering committee members’ terms expire each year.  The first paragraph of Section IV would be amended to clarify that all three steering committee members, “whose terms are not expiring at the conclusion of the next annual meeting,” would assist the immediate past chair as members of the Nominating Committee.


Deletion of existing language is struckthough.

Proposed new language is in bold italics.

There shall be a Nominating and Elections committee consisting of the immediate past chair of the Section (serving as chair of the Committee) and the two three Steering Committee members whose terms are not expiring at the conclusion of the next annual meeting. 

Utilizing an announcement in the newsletter issued by the Section chair this The Committee shall solicit from the Section members the names of volunteers or persons recommended for the positions to be filled in the next election.  All persons whose names are submitted to the Committee or proposed by the Committee itself shall be considered nominees if they agree to have their names placed in nomination and are members of SAA and the Section.  The Committee shall be responsible for ensuring that there is at least one nominee for the position of vice chair and that the number of nominees for membership on the Steering Committee is not less than the number of positions to be filled.  The Nominating and Elections Committee shall announce the nominees to the membership of the Section in the last newsletter issued before the Annual Meeting.  No additional nominations shall be proposed or accepted thereafter.  If, however, the Committee did not recommend a nominee for a vacancy, additional nominations for that vacancy may be made from the floor at the Meeting.

Voting at the Annual Meeting shall be by secret ballot if there are more nominees than can be elected; only members of the Section may vote.  Any member of the Section who is unable to attend the Annual Meeting may request an absentee ballot from the chair of the Nominating and Elections Committee; such ballots must be returned to received by the chair of the Committee at least seven days prior to the Annual Meeting.  The Nominating and Elections Committee shall be responsible for tabulating and announcing the results of the election.  A simple majority of the votes cast shall be required for election to vice chair.  Members of the Section may vote for as many nominees for member of the Steering Committee as there are positions to be filled and the nominees receiving the highest number of votes shall be elected.  Elected officers and Steering Committee members shall assume office at the conclusion of the Annual Meeting of the Section.  (Note:  first and second sentences of this paragraph in the existing by-laws were reversed in this proposed amendment.)





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      Conventions and Visitors Bureau:

      Fodor’s New Orleans Online:

      New Orleans Minor League Baseball:




State Archives and State Libraries to Collaborate on E- Government Information Preservation

Increasingly, those of us who work in State Archives or State Libraries have been using the new acronymn: NDIIPP.  This "National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program" is being coordinated by the Library of Congress.  In March, state archivists and state librarians were asked to identify teams from their staffs to attend program designed to help them assess their readiness to "develop long-term digital archive solutions."  Bill Lefurgy, Digital Initiatives Project Manager for the LOC, told me in recent email that all 50 states and several territories are sending teams to workshops in April and May.  These workshops will help these teams to focus on particular problems they want to address and to form teams with other states with similar ambitions. From California, the team consists of myself, a librarian in the Government Publication section, and the heads of State Library's and the Secretary of State's Information Technology divisions.  We expect it to be a great opportunity to share what we have already learned through collaborative projects within the state and to see what other opportunities and challenges are out there.  It will also be interesting to see the differences and similarities in how archivists, librarians, and IT staff see the future of e-government information preservation. For more information on the Library of Congress's program, see


Lucy Barber

Electronic Records Archivist

California State Archives




“Name the Newsletter Contest” Extended: 


Maybe the title, “Government Records Section Newsletter,” is not so boring, after all!  Only three suggestions were received for alternative titles, and the Steering Committee is leaning toward keeping the current masthead.  Can you come up with a catchy name?  If the Steering Committee adopts your suggestion, you could win this terrific, New Hampshire “Brake for Moose” sweatshirt.  (Then again, maybe the prize incentive isn’t too exciting?)   Anyway…email your newsletter-naming suggestions to or fax them to Paul Bergeron’s attention at 603-589-3029.




Centennial Celebration and Personnel Changes at Delaware State Archives

Delaware Opens Public Archives' Centennial Celebration

Gov. Ruth Ann Minner unveiled a new exhibit celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Delaware Public Archives March 16. The Delaware Public Archives is one of the oldest public archives programs in the country and is currently celebrating its 100th Anniversary.  The ceremony kicked off a yearlong series of public events to commemorate the archives' centennial. 

Said Minner, "The archives are not just about old papers. It is how we learn about history and in doing so, find lessons for what is ahead. It's about who we are as a people and how we came to be that way. It allows us to reminisce about our successes, but also reminds us of our mistakes."

The new exhibit, titled "100 Stories," features several free-standing panels showcasing collages of photograph and document reproductions. Many original historical documents are displayed in protective glass cases for public viewing.

"Our staff tried to select items that highlighted some distinctive happenings in Delaware," said Delaware Public Archives Director Timothy Slavin. "What they've come up with is a string of themes that focus on history but also feature some surprising anecdotes. It's a very visually attractive exhibit."

An antique trunk on display allows visitors to drop off their vote for their favorite exhibit piece. Along with the centennial "100 Stories" exhibit, the Archives will host a year-long series of special events and a film series on loan from the National Archives in Washington, D.C.

Also on loan from the National Archives, for the second year of a 25-year annual agreement, is Delaware's official copy of the Bill of Rights, which will be on display until July 4. In addition, special pins and posters commemorating the archives' centennial will be available.  For detailed information on the archives' centennial exhibit, "100 Stories," log on to

[Reprinted, with permission, from Cape Gazette, PO Box 213, Lewes, Delaware 19958,, March 23, 2005 edition.]


Leadership Changes at Delaware Public Archives


Secretary of State Harriet Smith Windsor recently announced that Daniel R. Griffith, Director of the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs, planned to retire from State government at the end of March. Windsor also announced that the State of Delaware will continue to benefit from Griffith's 34 years of historic preservation leadership as the lead manager for the Lewes Discovery Historical Archaeology Project - an important study of unique 18th century artifacts uncovered in December 2004 on Lewes Beach.


Secretary Windsor also announced plans to fill two division director vacancies with well-known veterans of the Department of State: Timothy (Tim) A. Slavin to be Director of Historical and Cultural Affairs and C. Russell (Russ) McCabe to serve as Director of the Delaware Public Archives. Windsor said she expects to complete the transition during April.


Griffith started in the agency in 1971 as an Archaeologist eventually being appointed director in January 1989 and serving five Secretaries of State. During his 16-year tenure as director, Griffith spearheaded many major historic restoration and construction projects.


Slavin, 42, currently serves as Director of the Delaware Public Archives. During his five years as Director, he was particularly instrumental in the State's successful efforts to convince the National Archives to return Delaware's original copy of the Bill of Rights for annual displays in Dover.


Slavin joined Delaware state government in 1995 serving in a number of information policy and technology positions prior to being appointed Director of the Public Archives in 2000. He previously served as the State Archivist and Records Administrator of Rhode Island (1989-1995) and Associate Archivist of the Archdiocese of Chicago (1987-1989). He currently serves as President of the National Association of Government Archives and Records Administrators.


In addition to his archivist work, Slavin was elected in May of last year to be a Dover city councilman and is a member and past president of Main Street Dover.


He has a Master of Arts degree in American Studies from the University of Notre Dame (1986) and a Bachelor of Arts degree (1984) in the same field from Providence College.



McCabe, 48, currently serves as Administrator of Outreach Services for the Delaware Public Archives where he has worked for his entire career. McCabe was instrumental in drafting legislation creating the state's first comprehensive public records law in 1988 and developing the state's Local Government Records Improvement Fund.


McCabe is a graduate of Radford University in Virginia (1978) where he majored in history and geography and is a member of Phi Alpha Theta and Pi Gamma Mu National Honor Societies. In addition to his duties at the Archives, McCabe has served a term as Sussex County's Recorder of Deeds and has been actively involved in numerous local and statewide preservation groups and historical societies including a term as President of the Georgetown Historical Society.



NHPRC Funding Zeroed Out!  What Can You Do to Help?

 More than 150 federal programs are slated to be slashed or eliminated in the FY2006 budget recommendations released by the White House on February 7. In that proposed budget, the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) has been targeted to receive NO funding.

Information on how to contact your U.S. Senator or U.S. Congressman is available on the SAA homepage.  A convenient enter-your-zip-code “Contact Congress” locator box will bring up the names of your Congressional representatives and their emails, addresses, telephone numbers, and local offices.  The “Read More” link will take you to a page with information on preparing a letter, NHPRC facts, talking points and more.  It’s not too late to act.


Alan S. Zaben has maintained a Records and Information Management Resource List for a number of years.  The list is currently posted at  This free resource contains more than 4,900 links to web sites in over 300 categories. 

The Archivist’s Toolkit, provided by the Archives Association of British Columbia, offers resources, procedures, guidelines, and forms for small institutions:


The Center for Technology in Government, Albany, NY, is an applied research center devoted to improving government and public services through policy, management and technology innovations.  Publications are particularly relevant to local, county, and state governments:


New York State Archives has one of the strongest local government records programs in the country.  Many of the publications that they have developed for use by New York’s local communities would be helpful to other communities as well.  Topical areas include Guides to Historical Records, Managing Government Records, Managing Historical Records, and Teaching with Historical Records.  See:


Preservation Assistance Grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities help small and mid-size institutions--including town and county records offices --  improve their ability to preserve and care for their humanities collections. These collections may include special collections of books and journals, archives and manuscripts, prints and photographs, moving images, sound recordings, architectural and cartographic records, decorative and fine arts, textiles, archaeological and ethnographic artifacts, furniture, and historical objects.  Grants are awarded in amounts of up to $5000.  Towns, cities and counties may find these grants particularly useful as a source of funding for training, consulting fees, or restoration expenses for items of important historical documents.  Applications must be received at NEH by May 16, 2005 for projects beginning no earlier than January 1, 2006: 


The Editor welcomes information, articles, reviews, photos, and any submission that might be of interest to federal, state and government records managers and archivists. Next publication date:  June 2005 (pre-conference newsletter).  Email your content to or fax it to my attention at 603-589-3029.


Paul Bergeron, Newsletter Editor

Local Government Records Roundtable News:

Please send brief archives news items and grant announcements about your local government archives to John Slate at




2004 - 2005




Chair of Local Government

Records Roundtable

John H. Slate, CA

City Archivist

Dallas Municipal Archives

City Secretary's Office

City of Dallas

1500 Marilla Street  5D South

Dallas, Texas 75201 USA

Tel: 214-670-5270

Fax: 214-670-5029

Vice Chair/Chair-Elect

Geoffrey A. Huth

New York State Archives

9B30 Cultural Education Center

Albany, NY  12230

Tel: 518-402-5371

Fax: 518-486-4923


Nancy J. Melley, CA

Center for Electronic

Records; Electronic and 

Special Media Records  

Services Division

National Archives and 

  & Records Admin.

Room 5320

8601 Adelphi Road

College Park, MD


Tel: 301-837-1972

Terry Baxter, CA

Multnomah County Records

2505 S E 11th Avenue

Portland, OR  97202-1006

Tel: 503-988-3741

Fax: 503-988-3754


Lucy Barber

California State Archives
1020 O Street
Sacramento, CA

Phone: 916/651-8419
Fax: 916/653-7363



Susan Cummings

Modern Records Program

National Archives and 

     & Records Admin.

8601 Adelphi Road

College Park, MD


Tel: 301-837-1636

Fax: 301-837-3697


Other Section Helpers


Newsletter Editor
Paul R. Bergeron, CCC, CA

City Clerk

229 Main Street

Nashua, NH  03060

Tel:  603-589-3004

Fax:  603-589-3029

Web Liaison
Janet Waters

Assistant Professor

Medical Heritage Center

Prior Health Sciences 


The Ohio State University

Tel: 614-292-4891

Fax: 614-292-9919 

Council Liasion         
Aimee Felker, CA

Records Officer

Executive Office of the President
1800 G Street
10th Floor
Washington, DC

Phone: 301/755-4555