(Host) State Archivist Gregory Sanford says he’ll ask lawmakers next month to consider expanding the storage capacity of his office.
Speaking Tuesday night on VPR’s Switchboard program, Sanford said the lack of storage for important state records is becoming a serious concern:
(Sanford) “We have the smallest vault capacity of any of the states. We can only hold about 1,700 banker boxes worth of records. One result is I spend an average of $30,000 to $40,000 a year trying to reformat this in microfilm or some other way to reduce the volume of the record rather than actually going out and managing the records. There are so many records being generated and there are so many records we haven’t identified as having continuing value that that really distracts from what our role should be. We really become managers of space rather than managers of archives.”
(Host) Sanford says some older Vermont records are being stored in areas that are not accessible to the public because the locations are considered unsafe:
(Sanford) “Vermont state government in recent years, for quite awhile actually, has not really developed the record keeping culture where we see the value of the record. People are so bound up with trying to address the immediate issues before them – and those are very important and that should be their focus – but we haven’t had the sufficient authority or resources then to be able to help them keep those records preserved according to archival standard and accessible to the public.”
(Host) Sanford will make his request to the Legislature when lawmakers return to Montpelier in January.