Under the depository agreement, the State Archives will now care for the manuscripts and administer public access to them. The Council retains legal ownership of the documents, although the deposit is intended to be long-term (i.e., open-ended). The agreement authorizes the State Archives staff to make professional determinations relating to the arrangement and description (i.e., cataloging and indexing) of the records, reformatting of portions of the collection (i.e., microfilming and/or imaging), and decisions as to whether the condition and level of inventory of specific documents or groups of documents will allow research use of original materials.
The collection includes eleven large parchment documents dating from 1664 to 1763; 55 bound volumes of minutes, surveys, warrants, and other records dating from 1676 to 1909; 20 cubic feet of loose papers, including survey returns from 1680 to the 1900s; and 52 boxes of rolled maps and plans dating back to the 1700s.
On December 14, the Council of Proprietors and the State Archives celebrated this historical development with a press event and exhibition unveiling selected manuscripts. The event included short addresses by West Jersey Council President Robert S. Haines, Surveyor General William H. Taylor, Clerk Daniel W. Haines, State Senator Diane B. Allen of Burlington, DARM Director Karl J. Niederer, and Mr. Klett.
For more information on the collection, the State Archives’ access policy and the December 14 event, please visit: www.njarchives.org/links/wjp.html.