CANTON — Selectmen acknowledged last week that town records from the 1800s to present are not stored properly, but took no action following a presentation by Massachusetts-based records management corporation. 

Lindsay J. Eisan Jr. of King Information Systems Inc. in Norwood, Mass., said the business has specialized in this type of work for 40 years and would like to be hired to restore order to Canton’s records.

“I’ve been in the business for 40 years myself, so when I come in and see something like this, I know it’s something we can address and help you with,” Eisan said.

He said the company would assess and inventory all of the town’s records to provide a proper archiving, database-driven system for a Windows-driven PC computer that complies with state regulations. It would also ensure that Canton officials keep what they are obligated to keep and not keep records they are not legally bound to keep and can destroy.

Eisan said they also create archival systems for historical records, like old military muster books that the state wouldn’t be interested in, but would be significant to the town.

He said he gave Town Clerk Kathy Walker a proposal two weeks prior to assess the town’s records, which would entail two to three days of work. The corporation’s president would  inventory all of Canton’s old records in the municipal building and at the Canton Historical Society.


A report would be generated during the consulting phase that itemizes every record for a quick comparison with state regulations, from which they can derive a labor cost and costs for supplies and equipment needed to give Canton a proper archiving system. He said the Oxford Federal Credit Union has such a system, as does Mechanics Savings Bank in Lewiston.

“I would say I know that our files are a mess and I know there are a lot of them,” Selectman Malcolm Ray said.

Walker pointed to stacks of boxes atop boxes of records behind selectmen that she said were stored in the attic.

Ray said he found many old town records while working on the dam project.

“And I have come across town records from the town of Canton on eBay and bought them,” Ray said. “So I do think we have a responsibility to our town and our forbears to deal with this responsibly and store them in a proper holding place.”

“I’d like to see them stored a lot better than they were,” Selectman Brian Keene said. “Some of the boxes got crushed, because they were stacked on top of each other.”


Ray said it isn’t something that must be done all at once.

“We will work with the town,” Eisan said. He said stacking boxes of records atop each other creates a situation that isn’t ergonomically safe for town employees.

“And also, because you have that information, if you get a request for it, you must produce it even if you don’t know where it is,” he said.

“We do organize your records and create a system for you.” They also train staff how to use it.

Administrator Scotty Kilbreth said the office has had several requests this year from people wanting historical information.

“We also had a request for a birth certificate from 1832, but we couldn’t get to it,” Walker said. “And we have them, we just can’t access them.”

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