North Carolina Historical Commission.

The biennial report of the North Carolina Historical Commission [serial] (Volume 1930/32) online

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individuals, families, institutions, communities and state. As business
and historical records they merit preservation and availability for use.

The failure of North Carolina to make systematic provision for the
preservation of public records has resulted in untold losses from fire,
water, rats, carelessness, deliberate destruction to make space for rapid
accumulations of new records, and by gifts and unretumed loans by
public officials to private individuals. If the State would have its
history written with reasonable completeness and accuracy, it must
provide for the care and preservation of the written records of its life.
Thousands of precious old volumes and documents of county, state and
personal records have been collected, preserved and, to a limited extent,
published by the Historical Commission; and much of their contents
has come to light in the numerous articles and volumes of historians
published during the past generation. But great quantities of old
records now lie in basements, attics, and other unsuitable places,
inaccessible, uncared for, forgotten, and subject to the ravages of dust,
water, fire and vermin; and the current records in many cases face a
future made insecure by the use of improper paper and ink and unsafe
filing methods and facilities.

The experience of those states most successful in the care of public
records and the concensus of expert opinion indicate that the enactment
of state public records laws is the proper approach to the solution of the
problem of public archives. In view of the absence of such legislation
and the great need for it as indicated by the present condition of the
public records in North Carolina, the Historical Commission recommends
the passage of a public records law incorporating all or as many as
possible of the following provisions:

1. A clear definition of public records or archives.

2. Definite location of legal custody and responsibility.

3. Use of durable ink and paper in the making of public records.

4. Duty of custodian as to fireproof filing facilities, arrangement of

records for use, and proper care of worn or mutilated records.

5. Requireme;nt that legal custodians supply certified copies of

records.

6. Requirement that retiring officers deliver all public records to

their successors.

7. Requirement that legal custodians recover public records from

private possession.

8. Prohibition of the destruction and abuse of public records.

9. Assignment of the duty of general supervision and recommenda-

dation to the Historical Commission.

Respectfully submitted,
Raleigh, N. C. A. R. Newsome,

July 1, 1932 Secretary.



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Online LibraryNorth Carolina Historical CommissionThe biennial report of the North Carolina Historical Commission [serial] (Volume 1930/32) → online text (page 4 of 4)