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upon the New York archives in the first annual report of the commission, which has ever since served as the model State report, felt under the necessity last spring of tendering his resignation as a member of the commission, owing to his expected absence abroad and to his increasing obligations elsewhere. His resignation was accordingly reluctantly accepted, but his colleagues count upon his continued interest and cooperation in their work. Respectfully submitted.
HERMAN V. AMES.
VICROR HUGO PALTSITS.
PROCEEDINGS OF FIRST ANNUAL CONFERENCE OF ARCHIVISTS.
NEW YORK CITY, DECEMBER 30, 1909.
CONFERENCE OF ARCHIVISTS.
INTRODUCTORY REMARKS BY THE CHAIRMAN, PROF. HERMAN V. AMES.
The present meeting marks the tenth anniversary of the establishment of the public archives commission. It may, therefore, be appropriate briefly to review its work.
From the first the commission has been careful not to duplicate the work of any existing agency, nor has it undertaken the publication of archives, but it has devoted its attention primarily to an investigation into the character, content, condition, and availability of the public archives of the several States and, to a limited extent, of local archives, and, secondly, to stimulating and promoting legislation by the States which would lead to more adequate provision being made for a rational and scientific treatment of documentary material.
Most of those present are probably familiar with what has been accomplished in the way of publishing information respecting the public archives. Suffice it to say that, including the report for 1908, now in press, some 41 reports have been published on the archives of 30 States and of the cities of New York and Philadelphia. About one-half of these have been preliminary and partial; the remaining reports have been fairly comprehensive and some quite full and adequate.
In addition the commission has published a bibliography of the available printed archives of the thirteen original States for the colonial period and the State period to 1789, compiled by Miss Hasse, of the New York Public Library, which appeared in the report for 1906. A second bibliographical contribution was presented in the report for 1908. This is a list of the journals of councils and assemblies and the acts of the thirteen original colonies and the Floridas preserved among the colonial papers in the Public Record Office in London. This list has been edited by Prof. Andrews and has been so arranged that it presents a record of the sessions of the councils and assemblies in the several colonies, indicating in each case the material which is to be found in the record office. Both of these compilations, it is believed, will serve as useful guides.
It is a more difficult task to estimate the influence of the commission's work in arousing interest in the proper care of the public archives. It is, however, a significant fact that the decade during
which the commission has been in existence has been characterized by much greater attention being paid to archival matters by the States than ever before, with the resulting establishment by law of various agencies for the supervision and care of the public records. Perhaps it will not be considered an exaggeration to say that the most of this legislation can be traced either directly or indirectly to the influence of the commission. A résumé of the archives situation in 1907 was presented in the commission's report for that year. Since then Oklahoma, in 1908, and in the present year Texas, Arkansas, Connecticut, and Arizona have enacted legislation relating to their archives.
Omitting all reference to minor measures or to simple appropriations for the publication of archives, etc., a summary of the legislation of the past 10 years shows that some 24 States have passed measures of importance relating to the preservation and custody of archives. These measures may be classified as follows:
1. Establishment of departments of archives and history: Alabama, 1901; Mississippi, 1902; West Virginia, 1905.
2. Establishment of commissions, of divisions of records, of office of archivist, etc.: Pennsylvania, 1903 (advisory commission); Maryland, 1904 (discontinued, 1906); Delaware, 1905; North Carolina, 1903; South Carolina, 1905; Arkansas, 1905, 1909; Illinois, 1905 (advisory commission); Tennessee, 1907 (the office of archivist continued, and a joint legislative committee to investigate archives provided for, 1907).
3. For establishing an archives or record office within the State library: Pennsylvania, 1903; Indiana, 1906 (appropriation for director of archives discontinued 1907); Iowa, 1906, 1907 (executive council); Virginia, 1905; Texas, 1909; Connecticut, 1909.
4. Allotment of archives to State historical societies: Illinois, 1903 (1897) (department of state library); Kansas, 1905; Nebraska, 1905; Wisconsin, 1907; Oklahoma, 1908.
5. Establishment of the office of State historian: New York (1900), 1895; Maine, 1907; Arizona, 1909 (this office to collect, edit, and prepare archives for publication, rather than to have the custody of records).
6. Examiner of public records: Following the example of Massachusetts, which established the office of commissioner of public records in 1884, and of Rhode Island, which established a similar office in 1896, Connecticut established in 1903 a temporary office of examiner of public records, but discontinued it in 1909. This leaves at present only two States exercising adequate supervision over their local records.
In view of the number of agencies for the custody of public archives, it was thought by the public archives commission of this