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Report of Regents Cultural Education Committee to The Board of Regents

Your Committee on Cultural Education Committee had its scheduled meeting on September 13, 2016. Regent Roger Tilles, Chair of the Cultural Education Committee, submitted the following written report. In attendance were committee members: Regent Tilles, Chair, Regent Cea, Regent Cottrell, Regent Chin, Regent Ouderkirk and Regent Johnson. Regents In addition to CE Committee Members, in attendance were:  Regents Tallon, Cashin and Collins as well as Commissioner Elia and Executive Deputy Commissioner Berlin.


Chair’s Remarks: Regent Tilles welcomed everyone and introduced Tom Ruller, Assistant Commissioner for Archives and State Archivist.  Tom reminded the committee that the state archives holds over 200 million documents, photographs, maps, plans and other documentary materials.  This morning we will feature our efforts to digitize those materials, but our online resources represent only a fraction of the totality of the collection.  Tom also highlighted the 2017 Student Research Award competition, remarking that the student research awards for 2016 will be held on October 18, 2016 immediately following the Board of Regents meeting.  Regent Tilles will be master of ceremonies.

CE (D) 1 - Increasing Online Access to Archival Materials

Maria Holden, Bureau Chief, State Archives provided a detailed look at online resources provided by the State Archives.  Since 1995, the State Archives has had an active program of digitization, which creates electronic versions of records that are made available for researchers online.  The archives has created digital versions of photographs, maps, drawings and documents dating from the colonial Dutch period to present day.  Holden Staff highlighted several significant research activities that have been made possible through online access to the collections of the Archives including resources for teachers that provide primary source materials, and curriculum materials relating to the documents and photographs.  Keith Swaney, Archivist in the Archival Services unit of the State Archives provided an overview of the process of digitization, the decision making process for selecting materials, the benefits of digitization for research and the standards that are used to ensure that digital versions of materials fully capture all of the information.

CE (D) 2 - Archives Month Activities

Clare Flemming, Archivist in the Documentary Heritage Program reminded the committee that October is American Archives Month.  Repositories across the state and nation hold special programs, make special exhibits, use social media or do other activities to recognize this month.  Clare distributed a document that identified a few programs, both online and in person, that are happening in New York Repositories.  Tom Ruller reported to the committee that if they had particular interests, staff would be happy to provide more information to members of the committee about events in their region.

CE (D) 3 - Statewide Services for Historical Records Preservation

John Diefenderfer, Archivist in the Documentary Heritage Program provided a very brief overview of the Documentary Heritage and Preservation program, which provides training, planning and other resources to repositories statewide for the preservation of and access to historical materials.  John distributed an overview document to the committee  The web site: provides a wide variety of resources and information about the program, specially designed for historical records repositories.

Associated Agenda Item

Meeting Date: 
Tuesday, September 13, 2016 - 8:30am