Recent Blog Posts

bpl postcard
The Value of Open Public Records
Records and Repositories
Rate this blog entry:
10849762 815727755140585 6825543623968073505 n
MGC's NERGC Panel on Open Records: Citizens Can Make a Difference
General Legislation
Rate this blog entry:
How many deaths before the SSDI gets updated again?
Legislation Federal
Rate this blog entry:

MGC Blog Tag Cloud

Transparency records access Barbara Mathews 2012 Lame Duck FGS Conference NFOIC threats to access New Jersey blog Georgia Vendors NAPHSIS Mary Ellen Grogran FGS Sponsors Virginia ISJGS Jan Meisels Allen open access Donna Holt Siemiatoski medical pedigree Kenneth Ryesky Massachusetts Tennessee Public Records online registration Tax Fraud Access SSA volunteers Annual Meeting Alvie Davidson RPAC HR6205 Lou Szucs Stan Nyberg civil records RPAC legislation Annual Seminar Sharon Sergeant family medical history humane Social Security Administration FamilySearch Henning Jacobson budget cuts S1534 Virginia Jan Meisels Allen Tennessee NERGC Genealogy inheritable disease Thomas MacEntee Harold Henderson family traits Alfred DeMaria award Rep. Sam Johnson (TX) records access Linda McCleary IGS IAJGS State House Bruce Cohen fraud DMF Massachusetts outreach APG communication closures Records Access Open Access pensions Speakers SSDI FOIA Health pedigree introduction threats to access Richard Nugent Congress APG Roundtable Rhode Island IRS Society Showcase health history access HR295 archives State legislation Death Master File Public Records SSDI Judy Russell Free legislation New Hampshire FGS Programs War of 1812 Instruction Ethnicity budget funding Kate Auspitz Pennsylvania legislation SSA Newsletter Rep. Richard Nugent (FL) Georgia Presidential Citation Teresa Scott Ancestry DMF Senate Congress Fred Moss Richard McCoy volunteerism records access Arkansas TIGTA audit New Hampshire Randy Seaver Registration land records Annual Seminar identity fraud HR3475 Federal HR 295 mail forwarding Oklahoma Legal Genealogist David Rencher Vital Records NGS smallpox Presenters Identity Theft Rep. Michael Capuano (MA) Billie Fogarty sysoon State archives S-1534 Delaware Melinde Byrne diagnosis 2012 Seminar DPH Georgia Archives Civil Records MGC Legislative Advocacy NEHGS State Library S3432 Education 2014 Seminar legislators HR3475 Michael J. Astrue Helen Shaw IAJGS Annual Meeting and Seminar Advocacy Jan Alpert Jacobson v Massachusetts Elections medical profile DMF; SSDI; Tax Fraud; legislation Arkansas public access Records Access seminar


(Online donations available
after website update in 2016.)
MGC has been recognized as tax-exempt under Internal Revenue Code 501(c)(3). Gifts of support are fully tax-deductible and donors will receive a written acknowledgement for tax purposes.

MGC Sentinel logo MGC Sentinel Logo

MGC Sentinel

Keeping Watch Over Massachusetts Public Records

  • Home
    Home This is where you can find all the blog posts throughout the site.
  • Categories
    Categories Displays a list of categories from this blog.
  • Tags
    Tags Displays a list of tags that have been used in the blog.
  • Bloggers
    Bloggers Search for your favorite blogger from this site.
  • Team Blogs
    Team Blogs Find your favorite team blogs here.
  • Login
    Login Login form

MGC Supports HB3043 - An Act Relative to Records Open to Public Inspection

Posted by on in Legislation Massachusetts
  • Font size: Larger Smaller
  • Hits: 62605
  • 1 Comment
  • Subscribe to this entry
  • Print

MGC supports legislation designed to expand the resources and accessibility of materials used in historical research, but it is much more frequent to encounter legislation that blocks public access, hence we often find ourselves in battle mode.

It is always a pleasure to be able to support rather than oppose a bill, for so many reasons. First, it is just a more positive activity. Much more importantly, we become allies in the legislative process, rather than foes. And isn't it preferable to work with legislators than against them? If we are supporters then our influence seems much more natural, we come across as the experts we are, and we gather respect rather than disdain.

So it is with great delight that MGC announces support of Massachusetts House Bill 3043 - An Act Relative to Records Open to Public Inspection. Our Massachusetts Civil Records Director, Mary Ellen Grogan, constantly monitors bills proposed at the Massachusetts State House on Beacon Hill. Thanks to Mary Ellen's diligent efforts, we are today sending out the following information to all of the members of the Joint Committee on State Administration and Regulatory Oversight.


MGC strongly supports HB3043 which is currently before the Committee. The bill concerns access to records in the custody of the Secretary of State of Massachusetts. In practice, this refers to materials held by the State Archives. This bill clarifies some questions that have been raised concerning access to old records held at the State Archives. The bill simply confirms that “all records in the custody of the state secretary which are ninety years old or older will be open for public inspection”. This is a reasonable standard for access to information. More recent records are open for inspection with certain defined limits (MGL chapter 4, section 7).  HB3043 will require no additional cost to implement. In fact, it will free staff time at the State Archives to address issues of access to more recent documents of interest to government agencies and the press. It will permit them to be more productive and effective in their work. 


We strongly urge the members of the Joint Committee to report HB3043 favorably; the bill ought to pass. Our members are in favor of this bill and will actively support its passage. 

Last modified on
Rate this blog entry:

Polly FitzGerald Kimmitt is a Board-certified genealogist specializing in Massachusetts research. She has been taking clients for sixteen years and researches a variety of topics from Mayflower lineages to locating townlands of Irish immigrants. She is a case worker under contract to the US Army on repatriation cases, helping to locate family members of servicemen missing or killed in previous conflicts. She currently serves as a director at Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS), and editor of the FGS Voice Newsletter, and is past president of MGC. You can read her personal blog at


  • Robert J. Bartlett
    Robert J. Bartlett Friday, 20 July 2012

    Keep up the great work.

Leave your comment

Guest Tuesday, 03 May 2016