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April 21, 2006
Contact: Doug Dunbar

Secretary of State Dunlap Announces Reappointment
of James Henderson as Maine State Archivist

AUGUSTA, MAINE – Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap announced on Thursday that James S. Henderson of Harpswell has been reappointed to serve as Maine State Archivist.  His nomination by Secretary Dunlap was reviewed and recommended by the Legislature’s State and Local Government Committee and confirmed by the Maine State Senate earlier this month.  Mr. Henderson’s six year appointment began on April 3, 2006.

“Jim Henderson has provided steady leadership at the Archives, and I’m pleased he will continue to serve the people of Maine as our State Archivist.  He has worked to expand access to Maine’s historical records, and has sought to meet the challenges posed by the emergence of new technologies,” Dunlap commented.

Since arriving at the Maine State Archives in 1987, Henderson has led changes from a paper-based institution to an increasingly digital environment.  He credits the dedicated and flexible staff at the Archives for making this transformation possible.  As early as 1989, Henderson launched this transformation by attending the Advanced Archives Institute on Management of Electronic Records at the University of Pittsburgh.  He returned to this training program in 1990 and 1992.  Henderson also  participated with other State Archivists, as well as National Archives’ staff and academics, to develop strategies to meet the challenges presented to America’s historical record by the emerging digital age.

In 1997, he obtained support from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission to develop a "Digital Information Management Plan," which has guided the Maine State Archives for almost a decade.  Earlier this year, the Archives worked with the Maine Office of Geographic Information Systems to complete Maine's "GeoArchives GIS Preservation Project".  In 2005, Henderson developed a comprehensive "Digital Archives Plan," drawing substantially on the GIS experience.  Currently, he and his staff participate actively in several initiatives to improve the management and preservation of e-mail and other digital records created by State government.

Even before 1987, the Archives’ staff had been creating unpublished databases cataloging its collection of paper documents, such as early State legislation and maps.  The Archives currently has over 30 databases documenting court records, films, photographs, vital records and microfilm.  Some are found on the Archives’ website (, which Henderson helped to create.

Henderson has been active in several national and regional organizations, including the National Association of Government Archivists and Records Administrators, the Council of State Archivists, the New England Archivists, Maine Archives and Museums, and Northeast Historic Film.  He is currently on the Board of the Pejepscot Historical Society in Brunswick.  In his free time, Henderson has created and updated a CD-ROM and DVD publication called Maine: An Encyclopedia.  Now in all Maine libraries and schools in more than 50 communities, it provides quick, searchable information, photos and videos about Maine for the general public.

The Maine State Archives is part of the Department of the Secretary of State.  Its main facility is located in the Cultural Building, along with the State Library and Museum, on the grounds of the Capitol Complex in Augusta.  The Archives preserves approximately 93 million historic records, which date from 1639.  In addition to online services, its research room is open Monday-Friday from 8:00–5:00.