The Records Management and Preservation Board (RMPB) has awarded $292,457 in grant funds to twenty-two 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 held in several county offices. Following official letters announcing the successful grants in March, RMPB staff began conducting courthouse site visits to provide technical assistance in setting up the grant project, which officially begin with the new fiscal year July 1. Grant awards range from $2,250 to $36,388. Five of the twenty-two counties receiving funds are fourth-time grant applicants; three counties are third-time grant applicants; nine counties are second-time grant applicants; and five counties are first-time grant applicants. 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 applicants last September. The three criteria were: conduct a total records inventory and condition assessment, and develop a master records management plan for county records; remove non-records and accumulations of records having reached or exceeded required retention periods; and provide proper and improved storage of and access to permanent records or records with a required retention periods in excess of twenty-five years. The latter will include physical storage to provide proper shelving and/or archival records boxes (10”x12”x15”), and security/preservation microfilm, with a digital imaging combination for enhanced access.
Funding for the County Records Management and Preservation Program is from the filing fees collected by county clerks and deposited in the special Public Records and Preservation Revenue Account. The funds serve as an incentive to equip county officials to improve the management and conditions for the 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 has authorized a statewide survey and report on the current state of county records, developed rules and a County Records Management Manual for county offices, and sponsored records management workshops for county officials and staffs. The next grant cycle and priorities will be announced September 1, for the fiscal year 2008-2009.
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