Local RDAs, Publications, Other Records
Information Added to ADAH Web
The Government Records Division of the Alabama Department of Archives and History (ADAH) is happy to announce the launching of a new Government Records Section on our web site, designed to provide state and local agencies with easily accessible information on records-related issues. Features of the web pages include:
1. News and Announcements: This section will detail any special activities, events, or issues that are of concern to government agencies.
2. The State and Local Government Records Commissions each have their own web pages that contain general information about the commissions, as well as meeting dates and times.
3. RDAs: All state and local records disposition authorities (RDAs) will be available in browsable hypertext mark-up language (HTML) and portable document format (PDF).
4. Publications: All ADAH technical, procedural, and conservation leaflets will also be available in both HTML and PDF format.
5. Forms: This section is of special interest. Any forms that government agencies need from ADAH will be on the web site. For now, the forms are available in PDF for printing. Eventually, they will become interactive, allowing users to fill out and submit them on-line.
6. Grant Opportunities: This page will provide links to various records-related funding sources on the state and national levels.
7. Records Training Opportunities: This page will feature information about training sessions and workshops offered by ADAH for government agencies.
These pages will also have information about
the State Records Center and contact numbers for
the ADAH Government Records Division. Point
your web browser to:www.archives.state.al.us/officials/index2.html
to access any information you need or to ask us questions about records management issues that are of concern to you.
Does Your Newsletter Look a
Little Different This Time?
As you see, this issue marks a change in the title and format of our quarterly newsletter. We have tried to vary text and graphics to make the information more pleasing to the eye. We hope you find the changes as exciting as we do.
We would also like, if possible, to reduce postage costs at ADAH. If you have the capability to receive this newsletter electronically, please send your e-mail address to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Commission Meeting Actions
At their meetings on July 27, 2000, State
and Local Government Records Commission members approved the following
records disposition authorities (RDAs):
State Records Commission
Local Government Records Commission
In addition, the State Records Commission approved (for use by state agencies) the new procedural leaflet Guidelines for Taking Formal Meeting Minutes.
Dr. Ellen Garrison, the University of Alabama's representative on the two commissions,, announced her resignation from the university to accept a teaching position in Tennessee. We thank Ellen for her service on the commissions and wish her all the best in her future endeavors.
Archivists to Meet in Decatur
The next meeting of the Local Government Archives Roundtable will be held on Tuesday, September 12, 2000, at the Morgan County Archives in Decatur, beginning at 10:00 a.m. Among other topics, roundtable members and guests will discuss plans for renewing the local government grant program and a new RDA for local libraries, archives, and museums. If you are interested in attending, please contact Tom Turley at ADAH (334/242-4452) or Susan Bzdell at the Morgan County Archives (256/351-4726).
State Land Commission Correspondence Now Available
Thanks to the work of Amanda Causey, ADAH intern, nine cubic feet of State Land Commission correspondence are now ready for research use in our reference room.
The State Land Commission was formed in 1899 to oversee the buying and selling of state lands, to recover lands that had illegally passed out of state possession, and to settle title disputes. Prior to the commission's creation, these responsibilities were assigned to the State Auditor. The Auditor resumed the State Land Commission's duties after its dissolution on June 9, 1915. (Currently, the Department of Revenue is responsible for state lands.)
The newly available records date from 1899 to 1916, thus covering the entire span of the State Land Commission's work.
ADAH Starts Imaging Program
The Department of Archives and History is ready to implement a new digital imaging program that represents the culmination of several years of planning. The scanner and support system have been purchased,
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and production is set to begin on September 1, 2000.
This program will expand the use of frequently
consulted ADAH collections by providing remote
access. Documents will be scanned and placed on
the ADAH web site, where they can be viewed 24
hours a day, 7 days a week, from anywhere in the
world. In addition, the department will offer digital
access to records in its reference room. With the
creation of a computerized index, ADAH staff will
be able to research holdings faster and provide more
efficient reference service.
On the web site, the public will be able to view information in fragile documents that are closed in paper form because of their condition. Scanning will enable ADAH staff to capture fading ink and crumbling pages before they are lost to time forever. By enhancing digital images of damaged documents, hard-to-read information can be salvaged and the original records spared from further handling.
As a final benefit of the new program, ADAH staff can further explore the technical aspects of digital imaging, enabling us to offer better advice to state and local agencies. We will experiment with different file formats, storage media, and production techniques, allowing us to offer better recommendations on protecting and preserving records in electronic format.
Loose Records Update
The ADAH/GSU loose records microfilming program continues to expand across the state. At this writing, we are in contact with 56 of Alabama's 67 counties, and 37 counties are now hard at work. Autauga County has our first completed project. On July 11, ADAH director Dr. Ed Bridges presented Judge Cordy Taylor and members of the Autauga Genealogical Society with copies of their loose records microfilm. GSU camera operators are currently filming loose records in Calhoun, Limestone, Mobile, and Shelby Counties; while Baldwin, Morgan, and Winston Counties are ready to have their records filmed. For more information on this project, call ADAH at (334)242-4452.
Rats may be attracted to records storage areas in search of water, food, or shelter. Besides being a health hazard, they may damage records by gnawing through book bindings and using paper as nesting material. Other signs of rodent infestation include smudge marks from body oils, food crumbs, and droppings. If you have rat problems, contact an exterminator to determine the best method of baiting and trapping rats alive to avoid odor. Make your building rodent-proof by reducing food and water sources and securing entry points. Attach metal kick plates on doors and metal jambs on doors and windows. Repair cracks and holes around plumbing and in outside walls. Keep the grass cut and remove shrubbery. Empty trash daily and pick up garbage often to avoid attracting or supporting rodent populations.
Ask the Archivist
Beginning with the next issue, this newsletter will feature a "questions and answers" column. Readers may send in questions on any aspect of state or local records management and preservation, and ADAH staff members will respond. We look forward to hearing from you!