FY2009 Annual Report
May 14, 2010
Governor Nixon and Members of the General Assembly:
I am proud to share with you the Records Services Division Annual Report for Fiscal Year 2009 (FY09). This Division consists of three units: Missouri State Archives, Local Records Preservation Program, and State Records Management Program. These three units work collaboratively to preserve government records and make them available to the citizens of Missouri. The Division's success is evident in the release of new historical resources, creation of educational programs, and financial and technical assistance provided to citizens and public officials throughout the state.
The Missouri State Archives is committed to fostering an appreciation of our common past through increased access to historical records and educational opportunities. This year the staff assisted over 32,000 patrons, through telephone, e-mail, postal requests, and in person. Internet searches continue to grow at an ever-increasing pace, and in FY09, the Archives’ web pages had almost 80 million hits.
During FY09, the Archives continued to add digitized records, educational resources, research guides, and other resources to its award-winning website, www.MissouriDigitalHeritage.com. The Missouri Death Certificate Database, a searchable online index with over 2.1 million death certificates from 1910-1958, was first released in April 2006. The remaining certificates were made available online by April 2009, over a year ahead of schedule. Additionally, the Archives continues to provide free public programming through its Evening Program Series. In FY09, transcripts and videos of the programs continued to be placed online, making programs available to audiences unable to attend the programming series. Such accomplishments and ongoing projects have made the Missouri State Archives a leader in online historical research. Family Tree Magazine selected the Archives' website as one of the best in the country for the seventh consecutive year.
The Local Records Preservation Program helps county and municipal governments preserve their records and make them accessible to the public. Local Records archivists provided in-depth records consultations, helping public officials inventory records, dispose of extraneous documents, create computerized indexes, and preserve and microfilm records of historical value. During FY09, field archivists consulted with almost 100 cities, courts, county officials, and county archives and historical societies to help improve the organization of records. Local Records Preservation projects currently underway have revealed previously unknown information dating to the beginning of statehood. The Local Records Preservation Program also has the state's only publicly-funded conservation laboratory for paper-based documents. In FY09, conservators treated a variety of significant local government records, including an 1860 plat of Palmyra.
The State Records Management Program promotes the efficiency and continuity of state government by providing state agencies with the resources necessary to manage their records effectively. Staff members help state agencies develop guidelines for the retention of documents, offer training on records management, and provide off-site storage. At the end of FY07, the Records Management Division purchased a records-tracking system that was implemented in July 2008. All three sections of Records Management worked with bar-coding boxes and shelves, and by the end of FY09, more than 1,000 people across the state were trained to use the system. This SMART (State of Missouri Agency Records Tracking) system is expected to reduce the turnaround time for updating and creating agency retention schedules as well as give agencies easier access to their records. During FY09, the State Records Center accepted 26,300 cubic feet of records for off-site storage. Acting on behalf of state agencies, the staff recycled over 6,600 cubic feet of records that had met their legal retention requirements. I am pleased to lead a Division whose efforts are of such benefit to the state and its taxpayers. The Records Services Division places a priority on the "public" in public records. In focused and creative ways, the Division is efficiently delivering public records into the hands and onto the computer screens of our citizens and government officials. This report highlights the achievements mentioned above and many others. I invite you to take a closer look at the Records Services Division and discover where the story of our state begins.
Very truly yours,
Secretary of State