By KAYLA J. MARSH
HAZLET — Records dating to the early 20th century will soon become part of the Monmouth County Archives.
At a meeting on July 5, the Township Committee unanimously approved the transfer of physical custody, but not legal custody, of numerous documents to be preserved at the county’s archives facility at 125 Symmes Drive in Manalapan.
“The county has offered it for a few years, and so a lot, if not all, of our records and minutes from the early 1900s, will be sent there,” said Evelyn Grandi, municipal clerk.
The Monmouth County Archives is a department within the office of the Monmouth County Clerk that, “preserves, organizes and provides access to [county] government records of enduring historic value that are retained on a permanent basis.”
According to Monmouth County Clerk Christine Giordano Hanlon, the Municipal Records at Monmouth County Archives and Records Center (MR-MARC) was initiated in March 2008, and municipalities within the county are eligible to deposit up to 30 cubic feet of historical records in the center.
Municipalities decide which records to deposit and retain ownership of the records, which may be used for things such as research.
Several municipalities taking advantage of the program include Fair Haven, Freehold Borough, Freehold Township, Manalapan, Marlboro, Middletown, Monmouth Beach, Rumson, Sea Bright, Tinton Falls and Union Beach.
“It is a nice service we provide municipalities,” Hanlon said in an interview on July 8.
“The Monmouth County Archives [already] houses important historical records and documents for the county, and we started to offer this service to the municipalities because we know they have a lot of documents as well, and maybe don’t have enough space to retain records in house.”
According to Hazlet Mayor Scott Aagre, the idea behind sending the documents to the archives facility is to enhance knowledge of and encourage interest in the history of the township, aside from just having the history preserved at a more dedicated space.
“It is an advantage for everyone [that] they’re giving us some space to store our records,” he said.
Records heading to the archives include minute books from the 1920s up to 1970 and ordinance books dating back as early as 1901 and including books from the 1950s and up until 1998.
“It will be much better because it is climate-controlled [at the Archives facility], and they will microfilm [the records] eventually,” Grandi said.
“They are better off and it is safer for them to be there than in my office [and] this doesn’t cost the township anything.”
Members of the public will be able to view and research the records at the facility Monday through Friday during the regular business hours of 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
“We recently increased the amount of storage we’re offering to towns … and our staff is great at maintaining and categorizing these documents,” Hanlon said. “It’s very easy for municipalities and provides a wonderful opportunity many have already taken advantage of.”