Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Are Town Offices Going Paperless?

I almost hesitate to put this out there for fear it gets back to someone that some protocol wasn't followed, but it brings up a good point in the fight against paper.  As a genealogist I am constantly sending inquiries to various local historical and genealogical societies as well as town offices asking for information and/or documents. Invariably I am charged a small fee for copying and sending the materials. Of course, when they come to me, I scan this information so I can have it on my computer (where I can find it) and I put the originals in a binder of some sort since I have them (and paid for the hard copies).  I don't need ceritifed copies of birth certificates, or notarized marriage certs.  I just want the document that has the information I am looking for so I can add it to my database or even just note it as a source document.

Recently I emailed a town clerk if it were "possible" to get a marriage certificate of one of my distant relatives and "if so, how much would it cost?"  I did this before heading to work. To my surprise, before I got home I had an email in my inbox with a scanned image of the marriage certificate and no bill.

Are more town offices going the scan and email route when it comes to sending out vital records docs to genealogists? Why not?  It works for me :)