MARAC Archives

Introduction and General Information about the Archives

The Archives of the Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives Conference were organized by Mary Boccaccio shortly after MARAC was founded in 1972. In 1983, MARAC signed an archival deposit agreement with the Special Collections and University Archives of the University of Maryland at College Park Libraries. Since the 1970s and 1980s the Archives have grown rapidly to over 25 linear shelf feet and have proved to be of increasing informational value to MARAC members and to others in the research community.

The Archives are open to the general public and are subject to normal rules and regulations established for access to manuscript collections in Special Collections, Hornbake Library.

The access point for the MARAC Archives is the Maryland Room, located on the 1st floor of Hornbake Library on the College Park campus. Open hours are 10:00 A.M. - 5:00 P.M., Monday - Friday.

For further information, contact the MARAC Archivist, Liz Novara, at 301-314-2712 or

The general reference desk phone number for the Special Collections and University Archives Department at UMD Libraries (called the "Maryland Room") is 301-405-9212.

A research guide and inventory to the MARAC Archives is available online and in the Maryland Room.

Scope and Content Information

The MARAC Archives cover the period from the establishment of the organization in 1972 to the present time. They include correspondence; working records of the main governing body, the Steering Committee; other standing, operational, and ad hoc committees and task forces; chairperson's files; minutes; financial reports; publications; and papers presented at conferences.

At present the archival collection is organized into nine series:

Series I: Constitution and Steering Committee Files
Series II: Chairperson's Files
Series III: Administrative and Committee Files
Series IV: Conferences
Series V: Publications
Series VI: Audio-Visual Materials
Series VII: Photographs and Slides
Series VIII: Memorabilia
Series IX: Electronic Records

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History of MARAC

On June 23, 1972, a meeting organized by Mary Boccaccio, Frank Evans, and Elsie Freivogel was held in the Katherine Anne Porter Room of McKeldin Library at the University of Maryland/College Park. It attracted thirty-three archivists; the agenda was the possible formation of what eventually became MARAC -- the Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives Conference. By the end of calendar year 1972 this fledgling organization had held its first semi-annual meeting in Wilmington, Delaware, attracting one hundred and fifty archivists and manuscript curators who paid a modest registration fee of $6.00. Also during 1972, MARAC published the first issue of the mid-atlantic archivist (maa) and enjoyed a healthy first-year budget of nearly two thousand dollars.

Within three years the Conference had held six meetings in five different states throughout the mid-Atlantic region--from Newark, New Jersey to Charlottesville, Virginia. What were the factors that led to the successful development of this regional organization? By all accounts it was at least partially the result of a perception held by many that the Society of American Archivists was not adequately addressing the needs of less-experienced professionals, staff from small repositories, and archival issues below the national level. Certainly the opportunity to discuss regional archival developments and to meet local colleagues proved attractive. MARAC demonstrated its desire to develop programs and services on its own, rejecting any official affiliation with the SAA and returning a $100 "seed money" stipend that had been contributed by the SAA to MARAC. It sought members from the states of New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, Delaware, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia.

The initial purposes of the group were to plan practical action-oriented conferences and workshops and to seek additional means of increasing professional competence, preserving local historical resources, and promoting cooperation with colleagues in related fields. Semi-annual meetings have continued to be a major focus of MARAC's activities from 1972 to the present. These meetings have offered a wide range of workshops and tours designed to appeal to a broad cross-section of the membership--from beginning archivists to experienced professionals and staff from both small and large repositories. The sessions have increased in size and the MARAC meetings have evolved into a single theme concept such as the Fall 1990 meeting on "Automation in Archives" or the Spring 1995 meeting on "It's About Time: Archivists and Oral Historians."

MARAC developed a vigorous publications program which has continued into the 1990s. Publishing of the mid-atlantic archivist (maa) has become a quarterly event with issues having grown from four pages in 1972 to the present twenty-plus page format. Technical leaflets providing guidance on processing issues and administrative decisions have been issued by the organization, some in conjunction with the maa. In addition, MARAC has published membership directories and occasional papers.

The governing structure of MARAC now consists of an elected Steering Committee and standing committees. Several groups administer MARAC's awards. To help with the administrative aspects of the organization, the post of Administrator was established.

On the local level, each of the seven states and the District of Columbia has its own caucus which serves as a forum for discussion of archival issues and needs relating to that geographical area, promoting the exchange of information, workshops, and other special programs.

MARAC has taken an increasing leadership role in expressing its concern on archival issues of both regional and national importance. At the same time, the Conference continues to meet the particular needs and interests of its membership in the mid-Atlantic region, and thanks to the hard work of members during the first twenty-five years, it is well prepared to meet the archival challenges of the 21st century.

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Donations to MARAC Archives

The MARAC Archives continues to grow as files generated by MARAC officers and other MARAC participants are retired from active use and forwarded to the MARAC Archives at College Park. Donations of any MARAC-related material, such as old newsletters, programs, copies of papers delivered at sessions, committee files, and MARAC-related computer diskettes, are encouraged. It is not necessary to "pre-process" or "inventory" materials before they are transferred to the Archives, or to even formally notify the MARAC Archivist before they are sent.

Please address your contributions to the MARAC Archivist.

Liz Novara
Special Collections and University Archives
2208 Hornbake Library
University of Maryland
College Park, MD 20742

As an alternative, Lauren Brown, the MARAC Archives Coordinator, regularly attends all MARAC meetings and it is possible to make arrangements to transfer archival materials to him at those meetings.   This is also true for any member of the Steering Committee since Lauren also attends all four Steering Committee meetings throughout the year.   He can be reached at