• hrc-banner

Historical Records Commission Minutes February 11, 2021

Members present:
Steven Lovejoy (Chair)
Eric Stanley (Vice-Chair)
John Murphey
Joyce Sayed

Members excused:

Associate Members present:
Amanda King, Secretary

Guests present:
Deva Marie Proto, County Clerk-Recorder-Assessor-Registrar of Voters
Margaret Purser, Anthropology Professor at Sonoma State University
Joanna Kolosov, Librarian, History and Genealogy Library
Gretchen Emmert, City of Santa Rosa Records Manager
Deborah Doyle, Library Commissioner (LC) Liaison to the HRC
Dan Markwyn, former Historical Records Commission member, Member, Advocates for the Sonoma County Archives, and member of the public
Carol Eber, Member of the Public and longtime Library Volunteer

  1. Call to order 4:09 pm
  2. Introduction of Guests
    1. January 14, 2021 Minutes approved
      1. Motion by John Murphey
      2. Second by Eric Stanley
      3. Approved
      1. Budget Discussion
        1. $4,292 balance
      2. Continuing Business
        1. Archives Activity
          1. Update by Joanna Kolosov:
            • We were out there to page materials in the requests that have accumulated over the last couple of months since the last fire.
            • We didn’t take anything back, we just photographed while we were out there
            • Waiting on purchase of a HEPA vacuum to clean ledgers and unboxed items before bringing them back into the History & Genealogy Library.  Working with a vendor to find the right vacuum.
            • We were pretty surprised by how clean it was.  Floors have been cleaned.  Shelves are dusty, which is an accumulation of the past many years.  Tops of boxes closest to the ceiling are also quite dusty.  We did not visibly see ash accumulated anywhere.  For unboxed items we plan to clean them before moving them.  Handled everything with gloves and masks.
        2. Library Commissioner Update
          1. Deborah Doyle is the new Library Commission Liaison to the HRC      
            • Update from LC Deborah Doyle:
              • Goal is to get valuable records out of Los Guilicos by September just before the fire season.  We will be asking for your opinions and help with this.
              • Last year we were going to do a complete inventory and due to COVID and the budget we shelved the project.
              • Goal is to get everything moved out of there by the coming of the fall, no further details at this time.
              • Pre-COVID we had started with a Strategic Planning process and we would like to get back to that.  Reimagining that plan.  There will be public stakeholder meetings that will lead us into the budget process.
              • Working on next year’s budget.  Learning from what COVID taught us in terms of underserved, community that the library hasn’t been reaching and can reach. 
              • As the relief bill goes through Congress, there is Library dollars still intact in the bill after coming out of Committee. We should all be thanking Congressman DeSaulnier.
              • Joyce: Would you clarify what you are hoping to happen by September?
                • Deborah: Hoping to have the historical records out of Los Guilicos?
                  • Joyce: Do you mean the most historical ones?
                    1. We need recommendations from Staff.  Some of the records in Los Guilicos are probably not appropriate for a public Library Archive and Historical Records department. 
                  • Joyce: Okay so, there will be some choice process with input from library staff about the critical documents that should be moved?
                    1. I am a Commissioner and so a lot of this is at the Staff level.  We wait for a plan and we are looking forward with helping them with it. I don’t want to say on behalf of the staff ‘this is what they’re doing’.
              • Joyce: I had a chance to look at the LC meeting and the question that was confusing to me or a surprise to me was that there is this perception that most of the archival documents, the documents in the Sonoma County Archives, don’t belong to the Archives.  That they belong to the County but not the Archives.  My impression is that most of those documents have been deeded to the Library, why is there a question about the ownership?
                • Deborah: A lot of the documents are old.  We have also changed our legal representation and we want to look at those Deeds and documents and we want to make sure that the file becomes transparent and open and everybody can take a look at them.  Since they are being taken care of in a County building, who actually has possession of it [the historical archives]?
                  • Amanda: The Deed of Gift is to “The County of Sonoma and its historical archives…” and that is what is trying to be clarified on who actually has ownership.
                  • Joyce: How will that [ownership determination] be done? By attorneys?
                    1. Deborah: Yes, we would like an opinion.
                  • Joyce: I didn’t think there was any question, you guys [the Library] have had them since 1965.
                    1. Deborah: There was a Sonoma County Library.  And that Sonoma County Library is no longer that, it is an independent item.  Is it the Library or is it the County or is it a partnership?  We need clarity on that.
                • Steve: I think that is what the HRC has been advocating to happen.  The roles and responsibilities of the County and the Library need to be defined so we can move forward with a plan
                  • Deborah: and your Commission too.
          2. Archives Task Force
            1. Amanda: Darin Bartow clarified that he was waiting for direction from the Board for next steps.  Sarah Vantrease forwarded the question to the Library Director.  No response at this time.
          3. Vacant HRC Member seat(s) 
            1. Joyce resigned effective February 12, 2021
              1. Steven: Thank you for your wisdom and knowledge on historical records over the years.  We appreciate it very much.
            2. Gretchen Emmert appointment filling Katherine Rinehart's vacancy will be on the Board of Supervisors agenda for March 2, 2021: Item number 2021-0133
            3. Due to timing of Joyce's resignation and posting requirements, the appointment to this vacancy by Margaret Purser will be on the March 16, 2021 Board of Supervisors agenda as item number 2021-0126
            4. Strategic Planning
              1. Table this until we have five members
            5. Collections & Archives Recognition Awards
              1. Eric will check back in March 2021
            6. Outreach
              1. John wanted to update the 2004 HRC/Landmarks Commission Pamphlet “Researching the History of Your Sonoma County Building”.  It is outdated in terms of contacts, links, addresses, etc.  Will work with the Landmarks Commission and History & Genealogy can pitch in with some more recent sources.  This is a valuable foundational document and should be updated.
                • Steven: Is that one of the publications available from the Recorder’s Office?
                  • John: Yes, and it’s actually on the HRC website as a link and download for free.
                1. Margaret: do you know where the access is for any of the historic resources inventories that have been done by the different cities?  Many have been updated as the cities have gone for their Certified Local Government (CLG) certification.
                  • John: I think they are valuable and will put the CLG links but not all are available and some are at the Research Center.
              2. Joyce: Amanda, do you post the minutes to the HRC website?
                • Amanda: Yes, the agenda and minutes are found in the Calendar on the meeting date.  There is not a separate Minutes website.
                • Steven: Do you know how far back that goes?
                  • Amanda: I do not.  On the website looks to be back to July 2016.  In my HRC archives files, it appears we have back to end of 2010.  Minutes go back to 1989 in my older drive.
                  • Joyce: I think there is a retention schedule for the HRC, which would probably identify how long things are supposed to be kept.
          4. New Business
            1. Bylaws amendment
              1. Bylaws updated to "once a month as determined by the Commission" instead of the "Tuesday" meeting, to be language neutral.
              2. Secretary will further update bylaws to be gender neutral.  
          5. Public Comment
            1. Sonoma County Heritage Network Meeting, April 10, 2021, 10am to 12pm, on ZOOM. 
            2. Library Commission meeting, March 1, 2021, on ZOOM
            3. Museum of Sonoma County Online Exhibits:
          6. Meeting adjourned at 4:40PM

            Next Meeting - March 11, 2021 - WebEx, 4:00PM

            Contact Information

            Secretary of the Commission
            Historical Records Commission
            County of Sonoma
            Business Hours
            Monday – Friday
            8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
            Contact us by Phone

            Mailing Address

            Sonoma County Historical Records Commission

            585 Fiscal Drive, Rm 103

            Santa Rosa, CA 95403

            Meeting Location:

            Currently Virtual, link posted with Agenda

            County of Sonoma Boards, Commissions and Committees