PLEASE SIGN THE PETITION AT http://www.petitiononline.com/hirehist/petition.html
I am writing to let all who have records in Dutchess County NY know that we have not had the office of County Historian filled continuously. For the past 18 years we had a Historian in office only 2 1/2 years. For many years the public has been denied access to the archives. We have a law on the books mandating a Historian as well as a Records Management Advisory Board. This board was not publicized and has never met. As President of the Dutchess County Genealogical Society, I learn that I am supposed to be on that board. With that in mind I am going to attempt to call a meeting, though we do not have the captain of the ship...Historian, nor the Archivist, who is supposed to be appointed by the Historian.
There is confusion surrounding this office. Many feel that a long time President of the Dutchess County Historical Society covered this office for 15 years. This error is compounded by a link on our government web site to the DC Historical Society web site, and the fact that in some states this is allowed. But, the DCHS collections are private collections, though they do archive them and use them to help folks with research, they contain no public records, and can not, by NYS law. The DCHS has an impressive collection and provides great service to genealogists. However, they are not funded by the county, and the county cannot take credit for their work.
Currently historians in Dutchess County are lobbying for our county government to fill this office. Preservation of and access to historical records much needed for genealogical research is our central goal. With that thought in mind I am writing to all of you, in hopes that you will sign our petition which may be found at http://www.petitiononline.com/hirehist/petition.html Those residing outside Dutchess County are welcome to sign -- preserving the records is critical to any researcher of Dutchess County families, wherever they may reside.
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