Promoted by the SC Department of Archives & History, after being encouraged by the Georgia Records Association, an exploratory meeting was held at the State Records Center, 1919 Blanding Street, Columbia, SC on June 26, 1995, to determine the interest of having a similar organization in South Carolina. After much discussion regarding the present lack of training opportunities in support of records management and the advantages offered by such an organization in our State, it was unanimously decided to proceed with establishing a statewide association. The first matter of business was to give the new organization a name—thus the founding of the “South Carolina Public Records Association”.
During subsequent meetings in September through November, 1995, a Board of Directors was elected; a petition was submitted to the Secretary of State for incorporated status; a mission statement, by-laws, and dedicated goals of the association were formulated. On March 20, 1996, a general membership meeting was held at the State Records Center in Columbia. It was at this meeting, our president acknowledged the generous gift of $1,000 from the Georgia Records Association to help us get started.
Growth was immediate for the new association and by the end of 1996, membership was over 150 members. Also, structural growth of the organization was evident with the inception of the following noteworthy programs:
- July 1996: the first “Public Record” newsletter was published.
- April 1998: an application for “Non-Profit Status” was submitted to the IRS which was approved a few months later.
- January 1999: the association adopted a “Region Concept of Operation” whereby the State was divided into four regions: Midstate, Upstate, Pee Dee and Coastal. The newly formed regions are guided by an Administrator, a Program Coordinator, a Recorder, and a Membership Coordinator.
- May 1999: the “Awards Program” was initiated.
- June 2000: our website went online.
- September 2000: the Board of Directors authorized the “Network Luncheon” recruiting activity.
- And finally, an “Annual Training Conference” has been conducted in the Myrtle Beach area every year for the past 21 years.
Lindy Smith 1995-1996
Ron Bowden 1997-1998
Joe Onessimo 1999-2000
Greg Carter 2001
Jinny Moran 2002-2003
Bob Rogers 2004-2007
Sherry Villaponteaux 2008-2009
Andrew Bigony 2010-2017