Records Services: FY11 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 Program and the Records Management Program. The three units work together to manage, preserve and provide access to 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. Local Records assists counties, cities and other local government entities with the management and preservation of their records. Records Management assists state agencies with the organization and management of their records.
Missouri State Archives
The Missouri State Archives is the official state repository for permanent records of enduring historical value. Most records held by the State Archives are accessioned through the Local Records Program and the 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 allow professional historians and other researchers to uncover information that brings family histories to life and enlightens citizens to our shared 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 The State Archives is Missouri's largest repository for historical documents.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; and
- an extensive collection of audiovisual materials (audiotapes, CDs, moving pictures, videos, etc.).
The State Archives preserves records documenting Missouri's history from the era of French and Spanish colonial rule to the present day. Among these holdings 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 on topics and themes as diverse as the part western Missouri towns played in westward expansion, the role of St. Louis 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 collections of records at the Missouri 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 FY11, the total number of these information requests was 28,029. The vast majority of researchers, however, have turned to the Internet as their preferred research medium. In FY11, the total number of hits for all Archives web pages was 70,838,971, a large increase from FY10 – 53,835,406.
During FY11, Archives docents and staff led 46 tours of the Archives for 2,418 students, genealogists, historical researchers and legislators.
Since its start in 2004, the Missouri Death Certificate Project has created a searchable online index to over 2.2 million death certificates filed from 1910-1960. The database links indexed records to digital images of original certificates. Each year the project adds an additional year of certificates to the database as the records are released to the public. In the past, database records were created from printed indexes provided by the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services. In 2011, however, over 225 e-volunteers from around the world indexed the death certificates filed in 1960 using a new online application developed in conjunction with Secretary of State’s Information Technology Division. This allowed the Archives to index the 49,000 certificates filed in 1960 in just three days, a process that took 48 days in 2010.
In FY11, the Archives also sent out a total of 617 packets to 76 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;
- St. Louis Probate Court Indexes;
- St. Louis Criminal Court Indexes;
- U.S. Land Sales Abstracts;
- 1876 Scott County Census; and
- Swamp Land Patents.
Missouri Digital Heritage
Secretary Carnahan proposed the innovative Missouri Digital Heritage (MDH) 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 MDH website at a public program held at the James C. Kirkpatrick State Information Center. The 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 collections from Missouri's local libraries, universities and cultural institutions through one searchable website. The State Archives and State Library are assisting institutions across Missouri in digitizing their records and placing them on the MDH website for easy public access.
Collections added to the Missouri Digital Heritage website in FY11 include:
- Governor Benjamin Gratz Brown Papers, 1871-1873 - Missouri State Archives;
- Governor Joseph Washington McClurg Papers, 1869-1871 - Missouri State Archives;
- Hall's Index to Springfield Newspapers - Springfield-Greene County Library District;
- The Missouri Red Books-Bureau of Labor and Statistics - - Missouri State Archives;
- Cape Girardeau Argus, 1863-1871 - Southeast Missouri State University;
- Rolla Express Newspaper - Missouri University of Science and Technology;
- Governor Hancock Lee Jackson Papers, 1857 - Missouri State Archives;
- Governor Robert Marcellus Stewart Papers, 1857-1860 - Missouri State Archives;
- Governor Silas B. Woodson Papers, 1873-1875 - Missouri State Archives;
- Plat Books of Kansas City and Jackson County, Missouri - Mid-Continent Public Library;
- St. Louis Area Civil War Digitization Project - Missouri History Museum;
- Missouri County Plat Books - Kansas City Public Library; University of Missouri-Columbia Special Collections; State Historical Society of Missouri;
- Missouri Conservationist - Missouri Department of Conservation; and
- Daily Missouri Republican - Missouri History Museum, University of Missouri - St. Louis, St. Louis Public Library, State Historical Society of Missouri, Missouri State Library.
For more information, explore the website at www.MissouriDigitalHeritage.com.
The Missouri State Archives provides a number of opportunities to connect the public to the state’s history. These include onsite and traveling exhibits, student oriented programs like Archives Alive!, Archives tours, monthly public programs and numerous presentations about the holdings of the Missouri State Archives. Each year the Missouri State Archives also hosts the regional National History Day in Missouri competition drawing in students from all over mid-Missouri. Additionally, the Archives offers a wide variety of internship and fellowship opportunities for students and scholars.
Archives Alive!, a history-based theatrical performance for schoolchildren, remained the most popular outreach program supported by the Archives. The interactive performance brought Missouri history to life, free of charge, for fourth- and fifth-grade students in both public and private schools from across the state. This year, a new performance was unveiled to educate students on the Civil War. Civil War Archives Alive! was attended by 5,813 students, teachers and parents, making the seventh season of Archives Alive! the largest to date. Among other things, students learned about Missouri’s role as a border state, the impact of guerrilla warfare on ordinary citizens, the role slavery played in the state’s culture and economy and the significance of Missouri’s battles and political climate on the outcome of the war. The 2011 season was sponsored by the Friends of the Missouri State Archives with donations from Hawthorn Bank, the Missouri Arts Council and the Eldon Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution.
All of the teachers who participated in Civil War Archives Alive! received a CD of teaching resources, designed to make all of the Archives’ educational resources available in a single place. The disk includes a variety of tools: an audio tour of the Civil War exhibit, videos of lectures on Missouri history, lesson plans and worksheets. These materials help teach students how to analyze and interpret primary documents, maps and photographs.
Missouri State Archives’ exhibits use documents, photographs and artifacts to inform the public about Missouri’s rich history. These exhibits, designed to encourage visitors to seek new perspectives and gain an understanding of Missouri’s journey from the past to the present, physically tour the state while several are also available online.
After a year-long stay in the lobby of the James C. Kirkpatrick State Information Center, the Missouri State Archives newest exhibit, Divided Loyalties: Civil War Documents from the Missouri State Archives, closed on May 31, 2011. Even before that date, two copies of the exhibit began traveling to various sites throughout the state. Exhibit venues included:
- The Fort Davidson Historic Site near Pilot Knob;
- The Bollinger County Museum in Marble Hill;
- Current River Heritage Museum in Doniphan;
- Waverly Citizens for Progress community gallery in Waverly;
- The Ste. Genevieve Department of Tourism; and
- The Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield near Springfield.
Three identical copies of Divided Loyalties are now traveling throughout the state and will tour a total of more than 30 venues between now and 2015. The entire exhibit, with audio commentary, can be viewed at http://www.sos.mo.gov/mdh/CivilWar/DividedLoyalties.asp.
In May and June 2011, the Kirkpatrick Library at Central Missouri University hosted the archives’ exhibit Ticket to the Past: The First 25 Years of the Missouri State Fair. The Verdict of History was on display at the St. Joseph Museum from November 2010 through January 2011.
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 public outreach, the Archives presented eleven free evening programs in FY11, attended by 1,520 people. These were held once a month on Thursday evenings and consisted of presentations provided by professional historians, genealogists, musicians and folk artists. The 2010-2011 series included a variety of subjects. Speakers in January through June also commemorated the sesquicentennial of the Civil War with the beginning of a special series, Divided Loyalties: A Speaker Series on the Civil War in Missouri, which was funded in part by the Missouri Humanities Council. Some of the most popular programs of the year were:
- Ozarks Gunfights and Other Notorious Incidents. After the Civil War, residents of the Ozarks still witnessed violence. Divided loyalties gave rise to rampant lawlessness, plaguing the region with robberies, shootouts and showdowns. Author Larry Wood shared the shocking incidents that took place in the Ozarks during the late 1860s through the 1950s, including the notorious Springfield showdown between Davis Tutt and Wild Bill Hickok and the Roscoe shootout that resulted in the murder of one of the Younger brothers. Wood even revealed some not-as-well-known, but equally scandalous crimes, such as the bank holdup by female bandit Cora Hubbard and the Bloody Benders' massacre.
- The Border between Them: Violence and Reconciliation on the Kansas-Missouri Line. The most bitter guerrilla conflict in American history raged along the Kansas-Missouri border from 1856 to 1865, making that frontier the first battleground in the struggle over slavery. This fiercely contested boundary represented the most explosive political fault line in the United States and its bitter divisions foreshadowed an entire nation torn asunder. Author Jeremy Neely recounted the exploits of John Brown, William Quantrill and other notorious guerrillas as well as revealing the stories of everyday people who lived through the conflict. Neely also examined the significance of the Border War on both sides of the Kansas-Missouri line and offered a comparative, cross-border analysis of its origins, meanings and consequences.
- Guerrillas, Partisans and Bushwhackers: Rethinking the American Civil War. Daniel Sutherland, whose book A Savage Conflict won the Society of Civil War Historians' Tom Watson Brown Book Award and the Museum of the Confederacy's Jefferson Davis Award, demonstrated the pervasiveness of guerrilla warfare in Missouri and the South. He argued guerrilla warfare took a large toll on the Confederate war effort by weakening support for state and national governments and diminishing the trust citizens had that their officials would protect them. The driving forces behind the various forms of guerilla warfare were discussed along with the considerable impact it had on the course of the war, both militarily and on the home front.
- Portraits of Conflict: A Photographic History of Missouri in the Civil War. William Garrett Piston and Thomas P. Sweeney tied period photographs and stories into an overall narrative of the Civil War in Missouri. Their book, Portraits of Conflict, includes hundreds of photographs, many of them never before published. The authors’ commentary covered the origins of the war, its conventional and guerrilla phases, action on the rivers, medicine, the experiences of Missourians who served out of state and the process of reunion after the war. Through the lens of a camera, Piston and Sweeney shared the basic humanity of the Civil War experience – its people, its places and its horror.
National History Day in Missouri
Each year, the Missouri State Archives sponsors the Central Missouri Region National History Day competition on the last Saturday in February. 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 Kenneth E. Behring 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 2011 was Debate and Diplomacy in History: Successes, Failures, Consequences. Project formats range from traditional research papers to performances, documentaries, exhibits and websites.
This year, second place in the junior individual exhibit category at the state contest earned Central Missouri Region student John Swift of Columbia Catholic School a place as a delegate to the national competition. His exhibit, Dred Scott: Debate Over the Rights of Slaves also took several special prizes: the Local History Prize, the Missouri State History Prize and an Arvarh Strickland African American History Prize.
Other statewide finalists from the Central Missouri Region included: Lacey Buck, Morgan County R-1 School, Stover, 3rd place and alternate to the national contest, Junior Individual Performance, Trail of Tears; Sadie Allen, Oakland Junior High School, Columbia, 5th place, Junior Individual Performance, The Indian Removal Act; Aubrey Smith, Columbia Independent School, 6th place, Senior Individual Exhibits, The Race to Space: Debate, Diplomacy and Cooperation in the Final Frontier; Eoghan Matthews, Cade Miller and Sergei Quinn, Missouri Military Academy, 4th place, Senior Group Exhibits, Debate on Brown vs. Board of Education; and Jenny Yao and Jenny Zulovich, West Junior High School, Columbia, 5th place, Senior Group Web Sites, The Iran Hostage Crisis: How Diplomacy Failed. An Arvarh Strickland African American History Prize was presented to Veronica Lee of Centralia High School for her senior historical paper, The Emancipation Proclamation. Over 600 students from 86 schools throughout the state participated in the National History Day in Missouri Contest in April; over 2,600 students participated in local and regional contests leading up to the state contest.
Widget Ewing, a teacher at Columbia Catholic School, received the 2011 Webber Teacher of the Year award and was nominated for the History Channel Award for Service at the National History Day contest in June.
Archives staff attended the Missouri Conference on History on April 12-15, 2011 in Kansas City. Former recipients of Missouri State Archives Fellowships, Diane L. Mutti-Burke, Dennis Boman, Jeremy Neely (Supreme Court of Missouri Historical Society, Robert Eldridge Seiler Fellowship) Marcus MacArthur (William E. Foley Research Fellowship) and Megan Boccardi (Supreme Court of Missouri Historical Society Internship) presented papers at this conference.
Archives staff attended a symposium, "The Future of Archives in a Digital Age," on February 24–25, 2011 at the Donald J. Reynolds Institute on the University of Missouri-Columbia campus and attended and presented in May at the 2011 St. Louis Genealogical Society Annual Family History Conference at the Maryland Heights Centre. This conference is the largest single-day regional genealogical event in the United States.
Fellowships and Internships
FY11 marked the fifth 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 using the Archives' holdings to further knowledge of state or national history is eligible for funding.
Jesse Nasta, a Ph.D. candidate at Northwestern University was chosen as the 2011 Foley Fellow. The Friends of the Archives supported Nasta’s work on his dissertation, Moving Toward Freedom: Slavery, Freedom and Mobility in Antebellum St. Louis.
2011 marked the thirteenth 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. Interns Abby Fennewald, American University, and Stephanie Kroner, Northwest Missouri State University, continued to add to the Missouri Supreme Court Historical Database, processing the records of Supreme Court cases through the Civil War and Reconstruction era. This database is available at www.sos.mo.gov/archives/judiciary/supremecourt/.
The Seiler Fellowship, which enables researchers to use Missouri’s legal records in the study of state and national history, was awarded in 2011 to Miller W. Boyd III, a Ph.D. candidate in American history at the University of Mississippi. The Seiler Fellowship supported Boyd’s work on his dissertation, Manhood, Freedom and the Exigencies of War: African American Missourians in the Civil War.
Each summer an upper-level undergraduate or graduate student is selected from a national pool of applicants to conduct work within the various collections related to African American history at the Missouri State Archives. The 2011 African American History Intern was Marie Kiekhaefer, a senior at the University of the Pacific in Seattle, WA.
The Missouri State Archives has been recognized by Family Tree Magazine for ten consecutive years and“has long been one of [their] favorites” because of the no-cost, easy access Missouri Digital Heritage provides to genealogists. This year, the magazine specifically recognized www.MissouriDigitalHeritage.com as one of the top 10 websites for eastern United States research. The full list of Family Tree Magazine’s 101 best family history websites is available at http://familytreemagazine.com/article/101-Best-Websites-2011.
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 2011, the fund balance was $5,170.22.
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 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 records 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 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 FY11, the MHRAB dispersed $56,800 in NHPRC grant funding to seventeen repositories for projects related to the preservation and availability of historical records. During this same time, the MHRAB also began compiling the collection policies of records repositories located throughout the state to be added to the repository directory found on the MHRAB website. Additionally, the Board started gathering content for a records repository best practices website projected to go online in the summer of 2012.
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 as well as a dedication to the preservation of and access to Missouri's documented heritage.
Members of the Missouri Historical Records Advisory Board – FY11
Joseph L. Adams
Robert P. Neumann
Gregory B. Allen
Cynthia L. Parks
Marcia L. Bennett
Terry L. Ramsey
Joel P. Rhodes (from March 25, 2010)
Associate Professor of History
Steven P. Gietschier (until March 25, 2010)
David E. Richards
Anne G. Rottman
Paxton J. Williams
Gary R. Kremer