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Am I the only person who is wondering why this is appearing on the EAD list?
Michael

Michael Fox
Head of Processing
Minnesota Historical Society
345 Kellogg Blvd West
St. Paul MN 55102-1906
phone: 651-296-1014
fax:  651-296-9961
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**NOTE NEW AREA CODE EFFECTIVE JULY 12, 1998**

> ----------
> From:         Irene Guild[SMTP:[log in to unmask]]
> Sent:         Tuesday, March 09, 1999 9:24 AM
> To:   Multiple recipients of list EAD
> Subject:      Re: MASSLegacy
>
> Some times the resistance is because 1) lack of understanding about the
> public records law; 2) lack of familiarity with the archived material
> they are responsible for; 3) because many of the records are in
> disarray, or are not arranged in any easily accessible manner, looking
> for a single record may take weeks - and they just don't have the time;
> 4) ego-based "I am in control and I am not going to let you tell me what
> I am supposed to do" attitude; 5) just plain laziness/disinterest/can't
> be bothered/too busy - have too many other things to do/what are you
> bothering me for.
>
> I don't know about the city of Boston, but many communities had
> audits/surveys done of the materials in their vaults and records rooms
> during the 40's (WPA, I think).  Workers went into the city and town
> halls and made lists of everything in there, with their location.  Those
> lists are at the state archives - search by town, and they are usually
> found under miscellaneous box headings.  I found materials that dozens
> of people -- including town counsel and community groups -- were not
> able to find in two years of searching.  No one in the town had any idea
> that the documents existed.  The lists helped because they told me what
> was in each drawer and cabinet in the vault, and when I looked in, for
> instance, the "3rd drawer down, west corner", or "on top of cabinet in
> southeast corner", I found the materials exactly where the WPA inventory
> said they would be.  I would caution people that if they are fortunate
> enough to locate the documents they are looking for, please be careful
> to put them back exactly where you found them, so that the rest of us
> can locate them when we have a need.  The municipalities will have a
> legitimate reason for barring direct access if researchers make a mess
> and mix everything up, and they can make us wait for weeks and months
> until the records keeper has the time to go searching for the materials
> we request.  Further, you should check the public records law at the
> secretary of state's office.  Municipalities have the right to charge us
> for the time it takes to retrieve the records, or for the personnel time
> to supervise and/or monitor us while we research the records.  I can't
> imagine, if you are reimbursing the municipality for  having a person do
> the research or monitor your research, that there will be a lot of
> resistance.  On the other hand, if they are kind enough to do it for
> free as a public service, and the public they are trying to serve has a
> bad attitude (see #1 and #4, above), then it is more likely than not
> that there will be resistance.  Hope this helps!
>
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