REGIONAL ARCHIVES DEPOSITORY FOR LOCAL GOVERNMENTS
Secretary of State Michael J. Hewlett has announced that an Illinois Regional Archives Depository System for storing local government records, including park districts, throughout the state has been established.
The system, called IRAD, was finalized through a grant of $211,800 from the National Endowment for the Humanities in Washington to the State Archives division of the Secretary of State's office. The two-year grant starts July 1 and is effective through June 20,1978.
Six state universities have been designated as depositories for the program. They are: Northern Illinois, Southern Illinois at Carbondale, Eastern Illinois, Western Illinois, Sangamon State and Illinois State.
Funds from the grant will be used for materials and equipment necessary to store the records and for a staff of 16 graduate assistants which will identify, shelve, arrange and service the records of the area which will be housed in the regional depositories.
This program has been critically needed in Illinois for many years but there was no funding. Continual addition of government records has created a serious storage problem throughout the state. As a result, many records have been improperly stored in city and county offices, causing deterioration and inaccessibility.
Both microfilm and original records will be stored in the depositories after being catalogued. The new program will not only save historical records but will allow scholars, students and the general public to make effective use of government facts.
Local governments, including park districts, will also benefit from regional depository system. Officials will gain needed space for storage of current records and still have access to older records being transferred to the depositories.
At the end of the two years, the State Archives division will publish a unified comprehensive descriptive inventory, subject indexed, to the holdings of all participating depositories.
Work on setting up the regional depositories started in 1974. The Secretary of State's office has been studying methods to assist government officials throughout the state in protecting the historically valuable records under their jurisdiction. This grant permits our office to establish this service.
For the last several months, a practical implementation of the program on a trial basis has been underway through the cooperation of Northern, Southern and Eastern Illinois.
Plans call for 16 graduate interns to work in the IRAD program under the supervision of the State Archives division and archivists at the participating universities. Faculty committees on each campus have been involved in the selection of the interns.
Flaherty, who passed away June 30, achieved national recognition for his work with the South Park District and the Chicago Park District and was known by park executives throughout the country as "Mr. Park District." After his retirement, he remained active with the M.I.P.E. and the American Park and Recreation Association, attending most meetings and serving regularly on a number of committees. Flaherty was also a member of the planning committee of the Great Lakes Institute, a training institute for park executives.
Illinois Parks and Recreation 18 November/December, 1976