Genealogical societies in Oklahoma and Georgia are asking for our support now. If you are concerned about records access in these states, please consider supporting the efforts of genealogists in them to keep records available. In Oklahoma, a law enacted in 2011 limited access to all vital records to those people named in them. The regulations caught up to the law recently with serious repercussions, particularly for death records. If you have been denied a death record from Oklahoma in the last two years, please send a description of your experience to this email address: firstname.lastname@example.org. In Georgia, there continues to be serious concern about the ability of the Georgia State Archives to remain open to researchers. Right now the state legislature is considering two bills. One would move management of the archives from the Secretary of State’s office to the University of Georgia System. The other, put forward by the...Last modified on
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Keeping Watch Over Massachusetts Public Records
Thanks to Judy Russell and the Legal Genealogist blog we are aware of yet another threat to public records, this time in Washington State. It seems that the Washington State Department of Health has sent a request to the 4-member State Records Committee to close access to births more recent than 125 years, and marriages and deaths more recent than 50 years. Obviously another knee-jerk, uninformed reaction to credit fraud, but we need to do what we can to lend our support. Note that this is not going to the Washington State Legislature or any court, just to this small committee of appointed, not elected, members, as Judy points out. You can ready Judy's blog post here: http://www.legalgenealogist.com/blog/2012/11/08/washington-public-records-threatened/. ...Last modified on
Threats to public access are cropping up all over the country. The Archivists Round Table of Metropolitan New York, Inc. has published the following letter, which is of utmost importance for anyone who wants to access the archives in New York City. Please read this and then visit http://www.nycarchivists.org/doris_petition to see the petition. At the behest of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, the New York City Council has proposed legislation that would eliminate the autonomy of New York City's Department of Records and Information Services (DORIS), the agency that is responsible for the records and archival documents produced by past and present City governments. The proposed legislation (Int. 486-2011) would place the currently independent agency within the Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS). If passed, this legislation would significantly downgrade the authority of DORIS within City government and potentially put at risk its ability to preserve, protect and make accessible the intellectual legacy of one of the world's greatest cities. A full position...Last modified on