08 July 2016

Archives Actively Seek Lost/Missing Documents

Archives Actively Seek Lost/Missing Documents

Unfortunately, there are individuals who believe that certain historical documents belong in their personal libraries and so they go missing.

Unfortunately, sometimes documents get misfiled and so they become lost.
Fortunately, some archives have programs in place to address lost and missing documents. We’ve previously talked about NARA and its recovery program -- U.S. National Archives Archival Recovery Team -- Trying to retain our heritage.  Recently, AOTUS reiterated the importance of and the purpose of the Archival Recovery Program.

There are also state-level programs with a similar mission.

The Genealogical Society of New Jersey recently posted on its Facebook page
More than 700 original documents were known to be missing from the [NJ] State's collections. Some, largely Colonial documents, were intentionally lifted by manuscript dealers while others were removed or circulated in error. All disappeared in the time before the founding of the state archives in the 20th Century—when the documents of government were stored less securely.

Thankfully, the NJSA is highly proactive in recovering these missing treasures and has recovered more than 200 of the missing documents from the list!

You can access the lists of missing records and also a list of recovered records for NJ here.

I also learned that the Texas State Archives maintains lists of Materials Missing from the Texas State Archives.

Other archives maintain internal documents identifying seemingly missing materials recognizing that some may not be lost and possibly misplaced/misfiled. 

Does your state archive maintain a missing documents list?  Is it publicly available?  If so, please share the URL.

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