Utah Department of Administrative Services

Division of Archives & Records Service

News Archive: 2009

Thanks to Our Volunteers!

Posted December 16, 2009

Friends of the Utah State Archives and Records Service and staff members who have reached milestones of employment service with the State of Utah were recognized at a staff social December 14, 2009.

Staff members receiving service awards include: Alan Barnett (10 years), Glen Fairclough (20 years), Brandon Metcalf (5 years), and Darrel Pierce (5 years).

Friends of the Archives Volunteers who were presented certificates of appreciation were: Julie Barta, Allen Clark, Don Carlos Frady, Linda Frady, Allen Gugliemotto, Rebekkah Hibbert, Elder Ed White, and Sister Darlene White. Not in attendance were Amanda Larsen and Layne Nielson.

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Introduction to Oral History Workshop

Posted September 23, 2009

This free training will cover areas such as why we collect oral history, the interview process, do’s and don’ts for interviewing, and transcribing the interview. The workshop will begin at 9 a.m. and conclude at 1 p.m. We currently have two sessions scheduled with more to follow in the spring.

October 16 - Weber State University, Ogden, contact Sarah Langsdon at 801-626-6337 to RSVP

October 29 - Utah Valley University, Orem, contact Catherine McIntyre at 801-863-8821 to RSVP

Microfilm Inventory Continues

Posted September 22, 2009

The State Archives continues its major project to improve the intellectual control of its microfilm holdings. As of September 2009, the Archives has completed transferring our master microfilm into our environmentally-controlled repository. We have completed the initial inventory, and the results are surprising.

We located almost 2,500 reels of film that were not in our content management system. All of these reels have been evaluated based on the labels on the boxes and almost all of them are records for which permanent retention is required. We are in the process of entering information about these rolls into our management system. We found approximately 100 reels that had been misfiled. These are reels that are counted as missing in our management system and can now be reentered and once again made accessible to customers. Approximately 1,000 reels are still unaccounted for and we will need to investigate further to locate them. We found 3,740 reels that had met or passed their retention dates. These reels can be deaccessioned.

These discoveries are vital to the integrity of our collection. We expect it to take another 12 to 18 months to review the entire collection. During the review process we will make sure that all required data is in our content management system. We will reappraise all microfilm holdings and apply approved retentions. Late next year, the Archives will begin offering emergency preparedness and continuity of operations (COOP) training, part of a FEMA-grant funded project with the association of the Council of State Archivists. In conjunction with this training we intend to work specifically with agencies to ensure that their vital records are being stored appropriately.

Geospatial Records at the Archives

Posted September 21, 2009

The Archives is currently participating in a Library of Congress-funded NDIIPP project called GeoMAPP to preserve geospatial records in the State of Utah. This multi-state project consisting of both archivists and geographic experts seeks to preserve records created within GIS systems. Geospatial databases are very rich in content, with great historical value identifying how our physical world changes over time. Unfortunately, these databases are updated regularly in the course of business without the older data being saved. This project has helped the Archives inventory and capture the data on an annual basis and make each iteration available to the public. Finding aids to these records will soon be published. An FTP site has been set up for people to download the native GIS files (in shapefile or geodatabase form), and also geoPDF files, which make the records more easily readable by the general public.

Utah Archives Month programs planned

Posted September 3, 2009

The Utah State Archives will observe Utah Archives Month throughout October with weekly events each Wednesday at noon. Classes geared to community and family historians will be offered each week. The statewide theme for 2009 is “Connecting With the Human Experience.”

Janina Chilton, State Hospital historian, will examine the history of the State Hospital on October 7.

Laurie Bryant, retired paleontologist and citizen historian, will present “Away from the Smoke and Dust: A Century on Salt Lake City’s East Bench,” a slideshow and talk on the history of the 15th & 15th neighborhood, on October 14.

Alan Barnett, lead reference archivist at the Utah State Archives, will discuss the growth and development of Sugar House, including a history of the territorial prison, on October 21.

“Wake the Dead,” a popular class on family history sources and research in Utah, will be presented by Tony Castro, reference archivist at the Utah State Archives, on October 28. A tour of the research center is included.

All events will be held in the Courtyard Meeting Room in the State Archives Building, 346 S. Rio Grande Street (455 West), Salt Lake City. An exhibit of capitol artifacts is on display in the lobby of the Archives building. The display includes notable artifacts, such as a capitol dome light, original office furnishings, historic photographs, design submission competition entries, program of competition booklets, a piece of granite, and commemorative items.

Public Meeting Notice Website, Developer Win 2009 Digital Awards

Posted September 2, 2009

News Release - The Utah Public Meeting Notice Website and NICUSA, Inc. (parent company of Utah Interactive, the site developer) have been selected as 2009 award winners by the Center for Digital Government.

The Digital Government Achievement Awards (DGAA), which recognize outstanding agency and department websites and projects at the application and infrastructure level, selected the Utah Public Meeting Notice Website as a winner in the government-to-government category. Award winners were announced September 1. They will be honored in Hollywood, California, September 18 at an awards dinner.

NICUSA, Inc. received a Best Fit Integrator Recognition Award in August. The award recognizes private sector companies who work closely with government to tailor solutions to suit the unique needs of government.

The year-old Utah Public Meeting Notice Website, which is administered by the Division of Archives and Records Service, provides greater accessibility to public meeting information, which encourages greater participation by the public. The information makes it possible for citizens to get their voices heard by knowing where and when meetings are being held with current topics of discussion.

Amendments to the Open and Public Meetings Act passed by the Utah State Legislature in 2007, require state agencies, schools, and most local government public bodies in Utah (with few exceptions) to publish their public meeting notices on the new Utah Public Meeting Notice website, http://pmn.utah.gov. The site became operational in 2008.

Cathliea Robinett, executive director of the California-based Center for Digital Government, announced the winners. Nominations were made last spring. The Center for Digital Government is a national research and advisory institute on information technology policies and best practices in state and local government.

Draft FY2010 Strategic Plan

August 18, 2009

View our strategic plan for this fiscal year and send comments to Patricia Smith-Mansfield at pmansfie@utah.gov.

Oral History Workshop on September 17, 2009

Posted August 18, 2009

The Utah State Historical Records Advisory Board (USHRAB) and the Utah State Archives are pleased to sponsor an Introduction to Oral History Workshop as part of the Utah State Historical Society Annual Meeting. This workshop will be held on Thursday, September 17th at the Utah State Archives Building located at 346 S. Rio Grande Street from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. This free training will cover areas such as why we collect oral history, the interview process, do’s and don’ts for interviewing, and transcribing the interview. Historian Kent Powell will present this workshop. Seating is limited to 50 people. Please RSVP to Janell Tuttle, Executive Secretary of the USHRAB, at jtuttle@utah.gov by September 15th.

Microfilm Inventory Is Underway

Posted July 1, 2009

The State Archives is engaged in a major project to improve the intellectual control of its microfilm holdings, inventorying over 120,000 reels of microfilm.

While the driving impetus for the move is the economic recession, we are using the move as an opportunity to complete a full inventory of the microfilm collections. This is a critical project that the Archives had planned to take on in future years however the recession has moved up the timetable. This process will greatly improve the intellectual control over the collections and access to government records. We will also be able to test a random selection of microfilm reels to determine deterioration, if any.

The project began two years ago to advance the Archives’ goal of improved access. The micrographics staff began by retrieving a few rolls at a time from the off-site storage location to survey the microfilm’s intellectual information. It became apparent that a full inventory of the microfilm would be necessary and that, in order to inventory that many reels, the Archives would have to move microfilm from the off-site storage facility to the Archives.

The Archives was already engaged in other large-scale projects and we thought that we could do a microfilm inventory project after their completion. However, during the Special Session of the General Legislature in 2008 and the General Session of the Legislature in 2009, the Archives budget was cut 19 percent, including a 25 percent cut in personnel.

There were many considerations for the Archives in this move and the Archives sought the assistance and advice of a regionally renowned preservationist, Randy Silverman from the University of Utah Library, and the architects who designed and constructed our repository. We received support and encouragement from them about the environmental safety, security, and stability of our facility and their assurance regarding the safety of government records of all formats, including microfilm. The Archives has a state-of-the art repository, with a stable 60 degrees Fahrenheit/40 percent relative humidity environment, which meets state seismic standards.

As part of this project, the Archives will assess the long-term storage needs of the microfilm and will move forward with an initiative, as appropriate, to ensure the environmental safety, security, and stability of the state’s essential and vital records at any off-site storage location.

Records preservation grant funding available

Posted June 4, 2009

News Release - Grant funding for historical records preservation projects is available to non-profit organizations and local governments that apply through the Utah State Historical Records Advisory Board.

Funding can be used to help repositories statewide preserve at-risk, historic records and to provide access to important collections.  Historical records preservation projects might include purchasing archival supplies to house historical records, processing or organizing historical records, rebinding severely worn records, or performing a records inventory.  Grant funds are not available for digitization projects. 

These mini-grants are intended for short-term projects and the maximum award will be $500.  All grants require a one-to-one in-kind and/or cash match. Grants must be completed with reimbursement forms submitted by December 15, 2009.  A portion of the money to fund the preservation of historic records in Utah was appropriated by the state legislature during the 2007 session.  Additional funding comes from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.

Applications are required and must be received by July 15, 2009.  The grant guidelines are available at http://archives.utah.gov/USHRAB/grant-menu.html.  An application is available at http://archives.utah.gov/USHRAB/forms-menu.html.  For further information, contact Janell Tuttle at jtuttle@utah.gov.