Maine Revised Statutes

§95. Powers and duties of State Archivist

The State Archivist has, upon consent of the Secretary of State, the duties and powers established under the following provisions governing the creation, use, maintenance, retention, preservation and disposal of state records: [1991, c. 837, Pt. A, §9 (AMD).]

1. Administration.  To administer the office of the State Archivist. In exercising the administration of the office, the State Archivist shall formulate policies, establish organizational and operational procedures and exercise general supervision. The State Archivist shall employ, with the approval of the Secretary of State subject to the Civil Service Law, such assistants as are necessary to carry out this chapter. The State Archivist shall adopt a seal for use in the official business of the office. The State Archivist has custody and control of the facilities provided for the administration of this chapter;
[ 1991, c. 837, Pt. A, §9 (AMD) .]
2. Examination of public records.  To have the right of reasonable access to and examination of all state and local government records in Maine;
[ 1995, c. 148, §6 (AMD) .]
3. Rules.  To adopt such rules as are necessary to effectuate the purposes of this chapter. No restrictions or limitations may be imposed on the use of records that are defined by law as state and local government records or as records open to public inspection, unless necessary to protect and preserve them from deterioration, mutilation, loss or destruction. Restrictions or limitations imposed by law on the examination and use of records transferred to the archives under subsection 7, paragraph C and subsection 8 remain in effect until the records have been in existence for 50 years, unless removed or relaxed by the State Archivist with the concurrence in writing of the head of the agency from which the records were transferred or the successor in function, if any. The State Archivist shall adopt rules governing the transfer of records from the custody of one agency to that of another subject to any applicable provision of law;
[ 1995, c. 148, §6 (AMD) .]
4. Acceptance of gifts and bequests.  To accept gifts, bequests and endowments for purposes consistent with the objectives of this chapter. Such funds, if given as an endowment must be invested in securities by the Treasurer of State according to the laws governing the investment of trust funds. All gifts, bequests and proceeds of invested endowment funds must be used solely to carry out the purposes for which they were made;
[ 1991, c. 837, Pt. A, §9 (AMD) .]
5. Publication.  To publish archival material, reports, bulletins and other publications that promote the objectives of this chapter. The State Archivist shall establish the price at which publications, photocopies and photoduplication services may be sold and delivered. The income received under this subsection and subsection 12 must be credited to a special revenue account, which is carried forward and expended by the agency for these purposes;
[ 1991, c. 837, Pt. A, §9 (AMD) .]
6. Biennial report.  To report biennially to the Governor and Legislature facts and recommendations related to the work and needs of the office of State Archivist;
[ 1991, c. 837, Pt. A, §9 (AMD) .]
7. Records management program.  To establish and administer in the executive branch of State Government an active, continuing program for the economical and efficient management of state and local government records, and for the proper disposition of local government records. Upon request, the State Archivist shall assist and advise in the establishment of records management programs in the legislative and judicial branches of State Government and shall, as required by them, provide program services similar to those available to the executive branch. The State Archivist shall, with due regard for the functions of the agencies concerned:
A. Provide standards, procedures and techniques for effective management of state and local government records in the conduct of business; [1997, c. 636, §5 (AMD).]
B. Recommend improvements in records management practices, including the use of space, equipment and supplies employed in creating, maintaining, storing and servicing state and local government records; [1997, c. 636, §5 (AMD).]
C. Establish schedules, in consultation with the heads of state agencies and local government agencies, under which each agency shall retain records of continuing value, and dispose, as provided by this chapter, of records no longer possessing sufficient administrative, legal or fiscal value to warrant their further keeping for business purposes; and [1997, c. 636, §5 (AMD).]
D. Obtain such reports from state or local government agencies as are required for the administration of the program. [1997, c. 636, §5 (AMD).]
The head of each state agency or local government agency shall establish and maintain an active, continuing program for the economical and efficient management of any records in compliance with the standards, procedures and regulations issued by the State Archivist.
[ 1997, c. 636, §5 (AMD) .]
8. Transfer of state records.  To provide for the transfer to the archives of state records, disposed of under subsection 7, paragraph C, that have archival value;
[ 1991, c. 837, Pt. A, §9 (AMD) .]
9. Destruction of state records.  To authorize and receive confirmation of the destruction of the state records of any state or local agency that, in the opinion of the head of the agency, are no longer of value to the state or local government agency, and that, in the opinion of the State Archivist and the Archives Advisory Board, have no archival value to the State;
[ 1995, c. 148, §8 (AMD) .]
10. Transfer of state and official records.  To receive all state records transferred to the Maine State Archives under subsection 8 and to negotiate for the transfer of official records from the custody of any public official not governed by subsection 7. The State Archivist shall charge a fee sufficient to cover the cost of receiving and processing all transfers from the custody of any public official not governed by subsection 7. The fees collected must be deposited in the General Fund. Any public officer in Maine is authorized to turn over to the State Archivist those official records legally in that public official's custody that are not needed for the transaction of the business of that office, whenever the State Archivist is willing and able to receive them. Whenever such a transfer is made, the State Archivist shall transmit to the office from which the records are transferred a memorandum in which such records are described in terms sufficient to identify them, which must be preserved in the transferring office. Unless otherwise directed by law, the state records of any public office, commission or committee in the State must, upon the termination of its existence or functions, be transferred to the custody of the State Archivist;
[ 1997, c. 636, §6 (AMD) .]
10-A. Records of Secretary of State.  To preserve the records of the Secretary of State to the extent the Secretary of State determines desirable under the Constitution and the regulations of the State Archivist;
[ 1991, c. 837, Pt. A, §9 (AMD) .]
10-B. Permanent state records of agency administration.  To establish such standards concerning the establishment, maintenance and operation of state or local government administered computerized and auxiliary automated information handling as are necessary to ensure the preservation of adequate and permanent records of the organization, functions, policies, procedures, decisions and essential transactions of the agencies of State Government or local government;
[ 1995, c. 148, §8 (AMD) .]
10-C. Legislative records.  To receive legislative records. The Secretary of the Senate and the Clerk of the House of Representatives shall obtain the noncurrent records of the Legislature and of each legislative committee at the close of each Legislature and transfer them to the Maine State Archives for preservation, subject to the orders of the Senate or the House of Representatives, respectively, and subject to schedules established in consultation with the Executive Director of the Legislative Council;
[ 2005, c. 683, Pt. A, §4 (AMD) .]
11. Archives available for public use.  To make archival material under the archivist's supervision available for public use at reasonable times. The archivist shall carefully protect and preserve the materials from deterioration, mutilation, loss or destruction. State records maintained by the archivist that contain information related to the identity of an archives patron relative to the patron's use of materials at the archives are confidential. Those state records and the information contained in them may only be released with the express written consent of the patron involved or as a result of a court order;
[ 1991, c. 837, Pt. A, §9 (AMD) .]
12. Copies.  To furnish copies of archival material upon the request of any person, on payment in advance of such fees as may be required. Copies of state records transferred pursuant to law from the office of their origin to the custody of the State Archivist, when certified by the State Archivist, under the seal of that office, have the same legal force and effect as if certified by their original custodian. A facsimile of the signature of the State Archivist imprinted by or at the direction of the State Archivist upon any certificate issued by the State Archivist has the same validity as the written signature of the State Archivist;
[ 2009, c. 509, §2 (AMD) .]
13. Photoreproduction and restoration.  To provide centralized photoreproduction and records preservation services for government agencies to the extent the State Archivist determines advisable in the administration of the state program and facilities. Such services must be furnished to such agencies at cost.
Fees collected under this subsection must be deposited in the General Fund; and
[ 2009, c. 509, §3 (AMD) .]
14. Records explanation available.   To prepare a detailed explanation of what constitutes a "record" pursuant to section 92-A, subsection 5 and "records belonging to the State or to a local government or any agency of the State" pursuant to section 95-A, subsection 1. The State Archivist shall include in the explanation practical examples of such records in plain language. Upon request, the State Archivist shall provide the explanation to interested parties at no cost to the requestor and shall post the explanation on a publicly accessible website.
[ 2009, c. 509, §4 (NEW) .]
1973, c. 625, §16 (NEW). 1981, c. 456, §§A17,A18 (AMD). 1985, c. 785, §B10 (AMD). 1989, c. 235, §§1,2 (AMD). 1989, c. 501, §L4 (AMD). 1991, c. 172, §1 (AMD). 1991, c. 837, §A9 (AMD). 1995, c. 148, §§6-8 (AMD). 1997, c. 636, §§5,6 (AMD). 2005, c. 683, §A4 (AMD). 2009, c. 509, §§2-4 (AMD).