Tuesday, July 9, 2019
Contact: Kristen Schulze Muszynski

State Archivist completes second term, will shift focus to public outreach, bicentennial planning

AUGUSTA – Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap announced today that State Archivist David Cheever has accepted the offer to join the Department as a Special Assistant for Outreach and Citizen Engagement. Cheever recently completed his second six-year term as overseer of the State of Maine’s records.

Dave's tenure as State Archivist showcased his commitment to sharing our holdings with the general public, and especially with schoolchildren, as a way to generate interest in and appreciation for Maine's rich history, said Secretary Dunlap. His vision to help us prepare for the future of record-keeping in this digital age has put the Archives on solid footing for the future.

In transferring to the Secretary of State’s office, Cheever will be responsible for assisting with public outreach, and will also focus on planning for Maine’s bicentennial commemoration of statehood.

It has been an honor to serve as State Archivist during a time of extraordinary technical growth and transition in the fields of document preservation and the provision of public access to those documents, said Cheever. This new opportunity is a chance to continue that work, but with a broader reach that still incorporates the archival community.

Secretary Dunlap nominated Cheever to be State Archivist in 2007, and again in 2013. Prior to that, Cheever had extensive experience in the media, education and government, and was also active with non-profit cultural organizations.

Speaker of the House of Representatives Sarah Gideon appointed Cheever to the Maine Bicentennial Commission in 2018, and Senator Bill Diamond asked him to serve as Commission Vice Chairman.

With his energy, interest, and many connections, Dave is well positioned to assist the Department in its undertakings, and to help make the Bicentennial the success we all hope for, Secretary Dunlap said.

The Maine State Archives, a bureau within the Department of Secretary of State, maintains approximately 95 million pages of official State records considered to be permanently valuable.

The State Archivist is nominated by the Secretary of State and is subject to confirmation by the Maine State Senate for a six-year term, per Maine law. Maine has had only three State archivists since the Legislature created the Archives in 1965: Sam S. Silsby Jr., James Henderson and Cheever.

Secretary Dunlap expects to submit his nomination to the Maine Legislature for consideration when they next reconvene. In the interim, questions about the Maine State Archives can be directed to Director Tammy Marks, .