NEW YORKASSOCIATIONOF LOCALGOVERNMENTRECORDSOFFICERS Hunter,NewYork 11June2007
New YorkwasamongthefirststatestoentertheUnion and one ofthe lastto establish a state archives,in1976.Beforethat,theStateLibrary andotheragencieshadexercisedmany ofthe tasksnow assignedtotheNew YorkStateArchives,collectinghistorical records,includingsome sporadicallyandpoorlydocumentedtransfersfromlocalgovernments.ThegreatCapitolFireof 1911destroyedunknownquantitiesofsuchrecordsandgaverisetowhatIcall the"Caskof Amontillado"school ofstate oversightforlocal governmentrecords,lotsofpatronizingadvicea boutfireprotection,indexingandfilingandvaults.
Bythe1980s,centuries’accumulationofstatutes,regulations,customs,civil procedure and folklore had created an impenetrable morass of obsolete, obsolescent,weak,contradictory, vague,inconsistentandclumsypracticesregardinglocalgovernmentrecords.Nooneknew what todo,leastof alltheStateArchives.Therewaslittlehelpavailable anywhere.
TherewerenoRegionalAdvisoryOfficers.Therewerefew peopleintheStateArchiveswho understoodanythingatallaboutlocal governmentsandtheirrecords.Therewerenogrants beyondapiddlingfew dollarsfromtheStateLibrary’sdiscretionarygrantsprogramand the NHPRC. RecordsRetentionandDispositionScheduleswereprintedinminisculetype–theState Archivesalonewasresponsiblefor the boomin bifocalsduringthe 1980s– and were minutely detailed,hardtouseandinfactweremainlynotused.Therewasnotrainingprogram.There werenoadvisorypublicationstospeakofandthosethatexistedwerebadlyoutofdate.There wasnoLocalGovernmentRecordsAdvisoryCounciltoadvisetheCommissioner of Education.
WHEELER B. MELIUS AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE IN RECORDS MANAGEMENT
This award is given to a NYALGRO member who demonstrates outstanding service to his/her local government and New York's records managment community. It is named after a clerk who worked in the Albany County Clerk's Office in the latter part of the nineteenth century. Wheeler B. Melius gained his notoriety when on February 10, 1880 he was the first to reach the burning Albany City Hall which housed an immense quantity of public archives and legal records. Melius, once on site, began to pass precious volumes of land records through a narrow window to volunteers outside. Single-handely, Melius passed 700 volumes - nearly six tons of charred and often soaking, outsized books - out of the building.
To see a complete list of Wheeler B. Melius Award recipients click here.
GUY D. PAQUIN AWARD
The Guy D. Paquin Award is presented to an individual or organization to honor noteworthy achievements and exceptional support and involvements in the records management profession.
To see a list of the Guy D. Paquin Award recipients click here.
ROBERT ARNOLD AWARD FOR DISTINQUISHED SERVICE
NYALGRO presents its Robert Arnold Award for Distinquished Service to an individual who has demonstrated characteristics similar to that of a Regional Advisory Officer in lending expertise and assistance to other local officals in the establishment of furtherance of records managment programs.
To see a list of the Robert Arnold Award for Distinquished Service recipients click here.
CHERYL STEINBACH SCHOLARSHIP
This annual scholarship was established in honor of Cheryl Steinbach who was the Town Clerk and RMO for the Town of Chautauqua, and past Treasurer and NYALGRO board member. Cheryl's committment and dedication to records management issues provided a leadership example for all public servants, not just those involved in records management. NYALGRO awards at least two (2) scholarships each year toward the total cost of school registration and hotel accommodations.