The Records Management and Preservation Board (RMPB) awarded $335,070 in grant funds to 24 West Virginia county commissions for county records management and preservation projects through its County Records Management and Preservation Grants program. The board reviewed submissions and made its recommendations in January for projects to improve management, storage conditions, access and preservation of public records. Following official letters announcing the successful grants in early March, technical assistance and site visits were conducted by staff to help with setting the grants up to start with the beginning of the new fiscal year July 1. Grant awards range from $4,000 to $34,000. Six of the 24 counties receiving funds are third-time successful grant applicants; 11 counties are second-time grant applicants; and seven counties are first-time recipients. A complete list of recipients is attached.
The RMPB, with its continuing interest in addressing records storage and management issues in the court houses, announced three grant criteria in its invitation to county commission applicants last September. The three criteria were: remove non-records and accumulations of records having reached or exceeded required retention periods; provide proper and improved storage of permanent or long-term records; and conduct a complete records inventory and condition assessment, and develop a master records management plan for county records. In the third round of grant announcements, the board also considered funding projects for reformatting (converting) records scheduled as permanent, which require a high rate of access and for which an eye-readable format exists or will be created (microfilm) and maintained as a security backup in proper environmental conditions.
Funding for the County Records Management and Preservation Program is through legislative appropriation of funds deposited in the public records and preservation revenue account from records filing fees collected by county clerks. The funds serve as incentives to equip county officials to improve the management and preservation of their public records. The RMPB was created by the West Virginia Legislature in 2000 to develop uniform county records management programs. Its primary focus is to establish guidelines and provide technical assistance to address the needs of the records of county governments through a uniform records management system, and to further encourage adoption of these goals through the county records grant program. In pursuit of these goals, the RMPB authorized a statewide survey and report on the current state of county records, developed rules for the management of records and the records grant program, a County Records Management Manual for county offices, and sponsors records management workshops for county officials and staffs. The next grant cycle and priorities will be announced September 1, 2006, for fiscal year 2007-08.
For more information about the RMPB's annual grant program or the work of the board, contact Fredrick H. Armstrong, state archivist with the West Virginia State Archives, by phone at (304) 558-0230, ext. 164, by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by mail at Records Management and Preservation Board, West Virginia Division of Culture and History, Building 9, 1900 Kanawha Boulevard, East, Charleston, WV 25305-0300. Information can be accessed electronically at www.wvculture.org/history/rmpb/rmpb.html.
Records Management and Preservation Board
West Virginia Archives and History