Records Services: FY10 Annual Report
The Records Services Division of the Office of the Secretary of State is comprised of three units: the Missouri State Archives, the Local Records Preservation Program, and Records Management. The three units work together to preserve public records of all types, including documents, books, maps, photographs, audio recordings and films.
Each unit offers specific services. The Missouri State Archives preserves and provides access to the permanent records of Missouri. The Local Records Preservation Program assists counties, cities and other local government entities with the management and preservation of their records. Records Management assists state agencies with organizing and managing records.
Missouri State Archives
The Missouri State Archives is the official repository for permanent state records of enduring historical value. Most of the records in the State Archives come to it through the Local Records Preservation Program and the State Records Management Program. The State Archives' mission is to foster an appreciation of Missouri history and illuminate contemporary public issues by preserving the state's permanent records and making them available to its citizens and their government.
Holdings and Research
The State Archives' vast collections and holdings, dating from 1770, allow professional historians and other researchers to uncover information that brings family histories to life and enlightens citizens to our collective past. The State Archives is Missouri's largest repository for historical documents. Its holdings include:
- more than 338 million pages of records of permanent value
- almost 500,000 photographs (negatives, prints and slides)
- nearly 199,000 reels of microfilm and 270,000 microfiche
- more than 9,000 maps
- tens of thousands of state publications
- an extensive collection of audiovisual materials (audiotapes, CDs, moving pictures, videos, etc.)
The State Archives preserves records that document Missouri's history from the era of French and Spanish colonial rule to the present day. Among the holdings of the State Archives, researchers will find documentation of every aspect of life in Missouri.
Records housed in the State Archives support the full range of research interests – from schoolchildren's studies to family history to academic research. They support research in topics and themes as diverse as the part western Missouri towns played in westward expansion, St. Louis' role in the international fur trade, slavery, the Civil War, western outlaws, military records of Missourians from the War of 1812 to World War II, immigration and Missouri politics.
Among the larger records series at the State Archives are Governors' papers, General Assembly records, Missouri Supreme Court case files, records and publications from state agencies and departments and millions of microfilmed county and municipal records.
Many researchers continue to use traditional means to access the Archives. They visit in person, call with questions and place requests by mail. In FY10, the total number of these information requests was 31,223. This number, roughly the same as FY 2008 and FY2009, indicates that the number of traditional requests remains stabile.
The vast majority of researchers, however, have turned to the Internet as their preferred research medium. In FY10, the total number of hits for all Archives web pages was 53,835,406.
During FY10, Archives docents and staff led 45 tours of the Archives for 2,792 students, genealogists, historical researchers and legislators.
The Missouri Death Certificate Project, a searchable online index with over 2.1 million death certificates from 1910-1959, was first released in April 2006. At that time, the database was linked to digital images of original certificates from one decade. The initial project was completed in 2009 and every year an additional year of certificates is added to the database thanks to the work of over 600 e-volunteers from around the world. The remaining certificates were made available online by April 2009, over a year ahead of schedule.
In FY 2010, the Archives sent out a total of 1,214 packets to 177 e-volunteers across the United States and Canada. These volunteers extracted information from paper records to create searchable databases for Archives researchers on the following series:
- Pre-1910 Birth and Death Records
- 1959 Death Certificates
- St. Louis Probate Court Indexes
- US Land Sales Abstracts
Missouri Digital Heritage
Secretary Carnahan proposed this ground-breaking initiative in 2007 to further Missourians' access to information about the history of the state. Once the initiative received funding through the state legislature, development of the website began. On April 29, 2008, Secretary of State Robin Carnahan officially launched the Missouri Digital Heritage (MDH) website at a public program held at the James C. Kirkpatrick State Information Center. The Missouri Digital Heritage Initiative is a collaborative effort between the Missouri State Archives and the Missouri State Library that dramatically expands online access to information about Missouri's past. MDH has made millions of historical documents available to the public and connects users to dozens of Missouri's local libraries, universities and cultural institutions through one searchable destination. The State Archives and State Library are assisting institutions across the state in digitizing their records and placing them online for easy access.
Those wanting to learn more about the making of the Missouri Digital Heritage Initiative can go online to view a video about the project at: http://www.sos.mo.gov/mdh/MakingOf/. For even more information on the Missouri Digital Heritage Initiative, the public can explore the website at www.MissouriDigitalHeritage.com.
Elementary students from schools across the state attended 24 performances of Archives Alive! at the Missouri State Archives from March to May in 2010. The 40-minute interactive, theatrical program entertained 4,802 students, parents and teachers from 70 schools across Missouri as they learned about events and important men and women who shaped Missouri’s history. Performances were provided at no charge through the generous donations of the Friends of the Missouri State Archives, the Missouri Arts Council, Hawthorn Bank and the Eldon DAR.
Missouri State Archives’ exhibits use documents, photographs and artifacts to allow patrons to experience Missouri’s rich history. Archives’ exhibits, which tour the state, both physically and virtually over the Internet, are designed to encourage visitors to seek new perspectives and gain an understanding of Missouri’s journey from the past to the present.
New Display in JCKSIC
The Missouri State Archives newest exhibit, Divided Loyalties: Civil War Documents from the Missouri State Archives, opened in the lobby of the James C. Kirkpatrick State Information Center in April 2010. The exhibit uses documents from the Missouri Adjutant General’s Office, Governors’ Papers and various Missouri court cases to tell Missouri’s unique Civil War story. Braille text and an audio tour, prepared in collaboration with the Wolfner Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, make this exhibit accessible to the visually impaired. The exhibit will remain on display in Jefferson City until May 31, 2011. Following that, three identical copies of Divided Loyalties will travel throughout the state, touring more than 30 venues between 2011 and 2015. The entire exhibit, with audio commentary, can be viewed at www.MissouriDigitalHeritage.com
Four Archives Exhibits Travel in 2010
Four Missouri State Archives exhibits traveled across Missouri in FY 2010. Mapping Missouri was on view at Missouri State University in Springfield and the new National Archives Central Plains gallery located near Union Station in Kansas City. Ozark Light: The Photographs of Charles Elliot Gill also traveled to Missouri State University as well as to the White River Valley Historical Society in Forsyth, Missouri. The Archives’ exhibit Lewis and Clark Across Missouri was displayed by the White River Valley Historical Society. Lewis and Clark also traveled to a new museum facility recently opened by the New Bloomfield Historical Society. Finally, selected cases from The Verdict of History were also on display at the Missouri Supreme Court in the spring of2010.
The Missouri State Archives makes its exhibits available, free of charge, to educational institutions, libraries, museums and historical societies across the state. Online versions of these and other exhibits may also be viewed at: http://www.sos.mo.gov/archives/exhibits/.
Evening Program Series
As part of its Evening Program Series, the Archives presented twelve free programs, which were open to the public. Historians, musicians, folk artists and genealogists provided a variety of programs at the Archives in FY 2010. Some of the most popular programs of the year were:
• The Santa Fe Trail in Missouri. For 19th century travelers, the Santa Fe Trail was an indispensable route stretching from Missouri to New Mexico and beyond. The section from St. Louis to Westport, known as “The Missouri Trail,” offered migrating Americans their first experience with the West. Anyone who wanted to reach Santa Fe had to first travel the width of Missouri. Mary Collins Barile offered an introduction to Missouri's section of the trail and provided an account of its historical and cultural significance. Barile shared the origins and development of the trail, offered a brief description of what travelers could expect to find in frontier Missouri and described some of the major people associated with the trail.
• Open City: True Story of the KC Crime Family, 1900-1950. The program detailed an historical account of the birth and growth of organized crime in Kansas City during the first 50 years of the twentieth century. William Ouseley, a retired supervisor of the Organized Crime Squad, Kansas City Field Division, waged a 21 year battle against the modern day Kansas City “crime family.” Over a period of years, he researched the facts, stories and legends that led to Kansas City’s reputation as a wide open, anything goes city, dominated by a powerful political machine and the organized crime syndicate. Ouseley shared the story of a captive city, unbridled politicians, powerful and colorful mob bosses, gangland murders, racket activities and courageous police officers and reformers.
• Meriwether Lewis. Meriwether Lewis, leader of the Corps of Discovery, lived only a few years after his famous expedition. October 11, 2009 marked the bicentennial of his sudden, mysterious death. Thomas Danisi utilized original Lewis and Clark documents and previously unexamined sources to reveal new information about the character and life of Meriwether Lewis. Instead of focusing on the legendary journey, the research concentrates on Lewis’s life before the trip and the post-expedition challenges he faced as governor of the Louisiana Territory. After addressing both the conspiracy theories regarding murder as the cause of his death and the longstanding belief that he committed suicide, Danisi and Jackson propose a new theory about Lewis’s untimely death.
In March, the Archives hosted its annual Family History Day with informative sessions on Civil War Resources at the Archives. The Missouri State Archives holds almost two million pages of Civil War and Reconstruction-era records obtained from the Office of the Adjutant General. Included in these records are Confederate and Union muster rolls, Confederate pensions, signed loyalty oaths, company and regimental orders, service cards, registers of officers and troops of the Home Guard, the Enrolled Missouri Militia, volunteers, records of troops of color, and court martial papers. Senior Reference Archivist Patsy Luebbert discussed how best to approach research using these records.
National History Day in Missouri
The Missouri State Archives sponsors the Central Missouri Region National History Day in Missouri competition. This contest is held each year on the last Saturday of February at Lewis and Clark Middle School in Jefferson City. The top three finishers in each category are eligible to participate in the state contest in April. First and second place finishers at the National History Day in Missouri competition proceed to the National History Day competition at the University of Maryland-College Park in June.
Competing individually or in small groups, in either the junior division, for grades 6-8, or the senior division, for grades 9-12, National History Day students choose their own research topics based on an annual theme. The theme for 2009 was The Individual in History: Actions and Legacies. Project formats range from traditional research papers to performances, documentaries, exhibits and websites.
This year, Junior Historical Paper entries from the Central Missouri Region took second and third places at the state contest. Oliver Worthington, a sixth grader at Smithton Middle School in Columbia, placed second and qualified as a delegate to the National History Day competition with his paper, Law and Order: The Innovation of Law, its Impact and Change in Our Society. Greg Kelly, an eighth grade student at Columbia Catholic School, placed third and was the alternate delegate to the national contest with his entry, Antibiotics in World War II. Nidhi Khurana, a freshman at Jefferson Junior High School in Columbia, took second place in Senior Individual Performance with The Camera: A Matchless Innovation. The Local History, Floyd C. Shoemaker, and Willard T. Young World War II Special Prizeswereawarded to Olivia Elam, a senior at Centralia High School, for her paper, Sliced Bread: Still the Best. Emily Drake, also a senior at Centralia High School, took home the Strickland African American History and the Women’s History Special Prizes for her paper, Katherine Dunham: The Grand Dame of American Dance.
The Missouri State Archives was sponsor of the 51st Annual Missouri Conference on History, in Jefferson City from April 14-16, 2010. Assistant State Archivist Shelly J. Croteau, Curator of Exhibits and Special Projects Greg Olson, Historical Educator Emily Luker, Local Records Director Lynn Morrow, and Local Records Archivists Michael Everman, Bill Glankler and Leslie A. James were presenters in panel discussions. Senior Conservator Lisa L. Fox and Conservators Sandy Hempe and Diane McKinney conducted a day-long workshop, Basic Conservation Treatments. Former recipients of Missouri State Archives Fellowships, Dennis Boman, Leroy M. Rowe, Kimberly A. Schreck, Kristin Zapalac (Supreme Court of Missouri Historical Society, Robert Eldridge Seiler Fellowship) and Matthew J. Hernando (William E. Foley Research Fellowship) also presented papers at this conference. State Archivist John Dougan presented The State of the State’s Records address at the Missouri Historical Records Advisory Board sponsored breakfast at the conference.
The Archives presented at the 2010 St. Louis Genealogical Society 40th Annual Family History Conference at the Maryland Heights Centre in May. This Family History Conference is the largest single-day regional genealogical event in the United States.
Fellowships and Internships
FY 2010 marked the fourth year of the Friends of the Missouri State Archives' William E. Foley Research Fellowship. This initiative goes beyond providing access to Missouri's historical documents by supplying the means necessary to ensure the use of those resources for scholarly research. Any project that uses the Archives' holdings to further knowledge of state or national history is eligible for funding.
In 2010, Marcus McArthur, a Ph.D. candidate at Saint Louis University, was chosen as the Foley Fellow. The Friends are supporting McArthur’s work on his dissertation, which examines the “disloyal” clergy in Civil War Missouri.
2010 marked the twelfth year of the Archives highly successful partnership with the Supreme Court of Missouri Historical Society. Each year the Archives and the Supreme Court of Missouri Historical Society sponsor two internships and the Robert Eldridge Seiler Fellowship at the Archives. Interns Patrick Turco, Truman State University, and Teresa L. Wickstrum, University of Kansas, continued to add to the Supreme Court of Missouri database, processing the records of Supreme Court cases up through the Civil War and Reconstruction. This database is available at www.sos.mo.gov/archives/judiciary/supremecourt/.
The Seiler Fellowship for 2010, which enables researchers to use Missouri’s legal records in the study of state and national history, was awarded to Steve Peraza, a Ph.D. candidate in American history at the University of Buffalo. Peraza used his time at the Archives researching litigation as slave resistance.
Each summer an upper-level undergraduate or graduate student is selected from a national pool of applicants to conduct work within the various collections of material related to African American history at the Missouri State Archives. This year's African American History Intern was Miller W. Boyd III, a Ph.D. candidate in history at the University of Mississippi.
May 2010 found the Archives on Family Tree Magazine’s top five list for the best state genealogy research and in September, for the ninth year in a row, the Archives was again among the 101 best websites for 2010.
State Document Preservation Fund
The State Documents Preservation Fund was created by the General Assembly in 1996. The fund supports the preservation of and access to documents of historical value by permitting the State Archives to obtain additional funds from private and corporate sources. At the close of June 2010, the fund balance was $5,146.15.
Missouri Historical Records Advisory Board
The Missouri Historical Records Advisory Board (MHRAB) is the central advisory body for historical records planning and for projects relating to historic records that are developed and carried out within the state. The MHRAB provides state-level appraisal of grant proposals submitted to the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) by Missouri repositories and serves as the review and award panel for grant applications submitted to the Missouri Historical Records Grant Program and the Missouri State Archives’ Local Records Preservation Grant Program. In addition, the MHRAB maintains Docline, a listserv through which Missouri’s records keepers can share best practices, grant and training opportunities, and other cooperative strategies.
In FY10, the MHRAB published a strategic plan addressing the issues of greatest concern to Missouri's
historical records community and strategies for addressing those issues. The objectives of the new plan were announced at the Missouri Conference on History as part of a “State of the State’s Records” address, presented by State Archivist John Dougan. The MHRAB also created an online directory of Missouri’s historical records repositories and conducted five training workshops on records preservation throughout the state. In addition, the board provided $56,000 in grant funding to fourteen repositories for projects related to the preservation and availability of historical records. These grant awards were funded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.
The Governor, with the advice and consent of the Senate, appoints members to the MHRAB. As the Board's coordinator, the Secretary of State handles its administrative responsibilities. Federal regulations require members to have experience and interest in the collection, administration and use of historical records, and a dedication to the preservation of and access to Missouri's documented heritage.
Members of the Missouri Historical Records Advisory Board – FY10
Joseph L. Adams
Robert P. Neumann
Gregory B. Allen
Cynthia L. Parks
Marcia L. Bennett
Terry L. Ramsey
David E. Richards
Steven P. Gietschier (until March 25, 2010)
Joel P. Rhodes (from March 25, 2010)
Associate Professor of History
Anne G. Rottman
Paxton J. Williams (from March 9, 2010)
Gary R. Kremer