The New York State Archives and the Archives Partnership Trust have selected Montgomery County to receive the 2013 William H. Kelly Annual Archives Award for Excellence in Local Government Archival Program Development.
This award recognizes a local government for its overall development of a soundly administered archival program and advocacy in promoting the identification, protection, preservation and use of archival local government records.
The award was presented to County Historian Kelly Yacobucci Farquhar and County Board of Supervisors Chairman John Thayer at a luncheon ceremony recently held at the Cultural Education Center in Albany. The award is named for William H. Kelly, former Mayor of Asharoken in Suffolk County, who has been a tireless champion for strengthening local government archival and records management programs.
The Montgomery County Department of History & Archives, since its establishment in 1934, has been a unique and valuable destination for genealogical researchers from across the nation. The valuable resources and outstanding staff have made this research library renowned to those in search of family history. The department is also dedicated to preserving and teaching the history of Montgomery County as it has developed over the past two and a half centuries.
As liaison to county departments and state agencies, County Historian Kelly Farquhar provides support to the county’s municipal historians. As Records Management Officer, she maintains physical and intellectual control of the inactive records and historical records created by county departments. Using her wide experience, she helps municipalities within the county write grants and respond to disasters. She has collaborated with schools and historic sites to create outreach kits designed as tools for teaching local history in the county’s school — kits on colonial life and the Civil War, with others in the planning stage.
The Montgomery County Department of History & Archives is a major archival resource to local governments and organizations throughout the Mohawk Valley, providing outreach and programming in the form of presentations, exhibitions, interviews, and more. The department’s primary mission remains to store, manage, preserve, and make available those records with enduring historical value of Montgomery County and the former Tryon County.
“We are pleased to recognize Montgomery County for their outstanding efforts to manage and ultimately preserve the records of local government,” said State Archivist Christine Ward. “The county was selected from among all local governments as having the finest program in the state in 2013. But the real winner is not this local government; rather it is the people of the State of New York. We commend all involved in this winning program and wish them continued success in the years ahead.”
Previous recipients of this annual award including Livingston County (2012), Town of Russia (2011), Steuben County (2010), Westchester County (2009), Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation (2008), Suffolk County (2007), Saratoga County (2006), Town of Victor (2005), Hudson River Park Trust (2004), Ulster County (2003), Genesee County (2002), Oswego County (2001), Chautauqua County (2000).
The annual Archives Awards program recognizes outstanding efforts in archives and records management work in New York State by a broad range of individuals and organizations. A complete list of this year’s award recipients follows:
Cheryl Steinbach Annual Archives Award for Excellence in Local Government Records Management — Orange-Ulster BOCES (Orange County)
William H. Kelly Annual Archives Award for Excellence in Local Government Archival Program Development — Montgomery County
Excellence in State Agency Records Management Program Development — New York State Office for People with Developmental Disabilities
Bruce W. Dearstyne Annual Archives Award for Excellence in the Educational Use of Historical Records — Dr. Kristi Fragnoli, Assistant Professor of Education, The College of St. Rose (Albany County)
Excellence in the Educational Use of Local Government Records by a Local Government — Holland Patent Teaching and Learning Center and the Holland Patent Central School District (Oneida County)
Excellence in Research Using the Holdings of the State Archives — Dr. Carolyn Strange, Australian National University
Laura and Robert Chodos Award for Excellence in Student Research Using Historical Records, Grades 9-12 — Ana Luiza Teodor and Steven Faiella; Tottenville High School, New York City Department of Education; Teacher: Joanne Nolemi (Richmond County)
Laura and Robert Chodos Award for Excellence in Student Research Using Historical Records, Grades 6-8 — Conor Quinn; Farnsworth Middle School, Guilderland Central Schools; Teacher: Deborah Escobar (Albany County)
Laura and Robert Chodos Award for Excellence in Student Research Using Historical Records, Grades 4-5 — Jillian Landsman, Jaeden Tice, Thomas Grismer, Ethan Metzger, Hannah Eavans, Jana Elkashef, Maeve Harkin, Nicole Hammond, Randy Rosario; Walden Elementary School, Valley Central School District; Teacher: Nancy Phelps (Orange County)
Photo: County Historian and R3ecords Management Officer Kelly Yacobucci Farquhar (center) and County Board of Supervisors Chairman John Thayer (right) accept the 2013 William H. Kelly Annual Archives Award for Excellence in Local Government Archival Program Development. Courtesy Harvey Vlahos, Altamont Manor Photography.