Legislative Foundations

With the failure to pass comprehensive archives legislation in 1945, Duniway knew that he had essentially been hired to create his own job. He used the opportunity to explore the possibility of establishing the archives as a separate state agency but met resistance from the office of the Attorney General. Duniway later spoke with a representative of the State Board of Control about establishing the archives under their jurisdiction. In his words, "I was advised to stay in the agency where I was already welcome."5

Having satisfied his curiosity about the political and organizational boundaries of his new job, Duniway set about defining the role of the State Archivist under the State Library. The legislation resulting from the passage of House Bill (HB) 485 in 1947 set up the basic organizational framework that was to endure for more than two decades. Provisions included:

  • The State Archivist was to be appointed by the Board of Library Trustees and was to be supervised by the Board and the State Librarian.
  • Eligibility for the office was limited to those with five years of experience as an archivist.
  • The State Archivist could negotiate for, acquire, or receive public records with legal, administrative, or research value and act as custodian of such records.
  • The State Archivist could, with certain restrictions, requisition noncurrent public records.
  • The State Archivist was required to maintain a state archivist seal.
  • The State Archivist was required to provide advice and assistance on public records problems to state and local government officials.
  • The State Archivist was to be given reasonable access to all public records.
  • The Trustees of the State Library were required to set fees for various services performed by the State Archivist.

The 1947 Legislative Assembly passed two other bills that helped to define the role of the State Archivist. HB 483 required county officials to seek "the advice and consent of the State Archivist" before disposing of certain records. HB 484 gave the Board of Control responsibility for the disposition of state records generally. However, it required that a 10 day notice be given to the State Archivist before the destruction of records. This would provide the State Archivist with an opportunity to review and requisition valuable records.

Navigation bar

Introduction | Prohibition | McLoughlin | Prison | Expositions | Copperfield | Environment
Snell | Whitman | Columbia | Constitution | Duniway | CCC | Graphic Art | Trademarks | Credits

Oregon State Archives Home