Department of Records, Archives and Information Management Services
The Year 2008 was certainly a challenging year for the Director/RMO who was out on disability from June through the middle of December, and the staff, who had to cope. And cope they did! Statistically, there has been no reduction of work among the three microfilmers, Kris Martin, Robin Cuppernell and Debbie Sawin.
The three microfilmers created a total of 966,587 microfilm images for permanent records. (Each image is one page). In addition, some 190 cubic feet of records were prepared for microfilming. This involves removal of staples and other fasteners, removal of duplicate records and organization into logical batch files. 17 CDs for the 911 center were also created.
Donna McCormick is in charge of incoming records, retrievals, inter-filings and disposition of temporary records. She did have the help of a part-time work experience client through DSS. However, the workload was significantly higher when comparing 2007 with 2008. There were 3366 retrievals of records for various departments (2815 in 2007); and 6,287 inter-filings, mostly from the County Clerk’s Office (1,795 in 2007). Inter-filings are records that must be placed into existing record cubic boxes to maintain a complete record run. Additional good news was that incoming and destroyed cubic boxes almost balanced. A total of 997 cubic boxes were added in 2008 and 920 cubic boxes were destroyed. This compares with 1100 boxes being added in 2007 and only 575 boxes destroyed.
In the meantime, the front research area was kept going by Assistant RMO, Mary Jo Lanphear, “keeping the balls in the air,” as she put it, in routine matters, while the RMO was on disability leave. The rest of the staff cheerfully helped out whenever necessary. Special kudos need to go to Deputy County Administrator, Darlys McDonough, who kept an eagle eye on the place to calm down the RMO, worried about his “baby,” and to take care of more complicated issues, such as the annual budget. The ARMO also handled some “rush research,’ such as finding all Surrogate Court Judges since 1789, needed for a presentation by one of our judges. Some heavy-duty work, such as the relocation of 300 Surrogate Court books, also fell into her lap.
The RAIMS Internet presence continues to be very popular. During 2008, raims.com received 1,711,423 “hits” with 230,662 individual visits and 523,693 pages downloaded.
The site includes indexes, articles, education pages, and the County Historian’s pages.
Prior to going on disability, the RMO and County Clerk cooperated in submitting a successful grant that permitted the digitization of the large Mortgage Libers through Kirtas Technologies. The Local Government Records Management Improvement Fund of the State Archives has been a boon to Ontario County because it permits special records management projects that would be difficult to fund otherwise.
Every staff member is still enjoying the benefits of the renovated and expanded Records and Archives Center. The microfilm room has become a high-tech center not only for microfilming, but also for digitization. New shelving has arrived for the storage area and will be put together by the B&G staff during their “spare time.” In general, the Center is truly state-of-the art and the envy of many neighboring counties. The newest hardware which was purchased when the RMO returned, is the Canon microfilm to digital conversion scanner. The first project is the digitization the early Surrogate Court microfilm records. In general, the future of records management will be to digitize paper for easy access and compression, and to create computer-generated microfilm from these digitized records for permanent storage.
Our County Historian, Dr. Preston Pierce, submitted for publication an article on Sarah Bradford, which was published by the New York Archives magazine in the Fall 2008 issue. He also produced a series of over two dozen educational panels relating to the Battle of Gettysburg and its many connections to Ontario County, including images, documents and pictures of artifacts. The panels were displayed for a week at the Ontario County Fair in July and they are now available for loan to community institutions. His other accomplishments are too numerous to mention. We are proud to have this scholar in our midst.
As always, the Department of RAIMS has had as its primary goal efficient service to the County departments, County residents, and the general public from all over the nation. We are – and want to remain – a model institution for our colleagues within the State.
Our thanks go to the Board of Supervisors, the County Administrator, Geoff Astles, and the Deputy County Administrator, Darlys McDonough for their unwavering support of the department. My personal thanks go to all County employees who encouraged me with their cards and best wishes for my recovery. This is a truly caring County!
Director/RMO: Hans-J. Finke, Ph.D.
County Historian: Preston Pierce, D.Ed.
Assistant RMO: Mary Jo Lanphear
Records Clerk: Donna McCormick
Microfilmer: Robin Cuppernell
Microfilmer: Kristine Martin
Microfilmer: Deborah Sawin
P/T Clerk: Elizabeth Alcivar
P/T Trainee: Inga Dambrosia
F/T Rodent Control Officer: Orphan Annie Raims