Fw: Digitizing NC records
- Pulled from ""Tar River Connections""
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Sunday, February 04, 2001 7:48 PM
Subject: Digitizing NC records
> Greetings from the North Carolina Genealogical Society!
> I am writing to you concerning the future of our wonderful North
> Carolina records housed in the State Archives. A legislative research
> committee has been set up to study the future digitization of North
> Carolina records. If you have used digitized records of other states on
> the Internet, most notably the Virginia records, you know how helpful
> they can be in your family history research. Digitizing our records
> could make them available to all citizens without having to make the
> trip to Raleigh to see them. The folks at the Archives have already
> secured a grant to begin buying the equipment and to study which records
> to digitize first. They are mindful of which records will be of most
> help to researchers and which records are fragile from overuse. The
> grant is a step in the right direction, but it is just a drop in the
> bucket when considering the 45,000 linear feet of valuable records in
> our state archives. It is time for the NC Legislature to stop cutting
> the Archives budget and begin funding a digitization project. As you
> know, genealogists come from all backgrounds, ages, race, creed and
> political affiliations. Making these records available to researchers is
> one way that our elected officials can serve all of their constituents.
> Each day we read the financial shortcomings of our state in our local
> newspapers and we know that funding may not be available in the short
> term, but that is not a reason to sit idle. Consistent lobbying
> throughout the coming year will let the Legislature know how much
> research means to us. If we do not speak out as often and loudly as
> possible they will never know how important this issue is to us. We urge
> you to contact your legislators and tell them that you want more funding
> for the Archives and the initiative to digitize records.
> Below is a copy of the letter that NCGS sent to several key legislators.
> Your support will be gratefully appreciated.
> Beverly Tetterton, President of the North Carolina Genealogical Society
> Dear Legislator,
> The North Carolina Genealogical Society has always been a great
> supporter of our State Archives. We have assisted in funding major
> microfilming projects, co-sponsored workshops for beginning
> genealogists, and we provide funding twice a year for an archives intern
> whose responsibility is to assist citizens and arrange records that are
> of particular interest to family historians. However, our limited
> support is just a drop in the bucket compared to the State Archives'
> needs. Unfortunately, a series of budget cuts over the past years have
> left our premier keeper of North Carolina's history with dramatically
> fewer archivists, space, and ability to secure more records. There are
> only three staff members in the field responsible for microfilming the
> records of the state's one hundred counties. The backlog continues to
> pile up as does the records already moved to the archives for
> arrangement, description and microfilming. We urge you to be mindful of
> our state's most precious historical resources.
> The North Carolina Genealogical Society, established in 1974, represents
> over 2,000 members actively interested in the family history of the Old
> North State. The Society, through it's web page and liaison efforts,
> also serves as a state-wide resource for seventy-five local genealogical
> societies in North Carolina covering all counties in the state with
> thousands of more members. Genealogists have become very savvy computer
> users who enjoy researching state and county records on-line. We have
> found great resources in other states, especially Virginia, who have
> committed the necessary funds to make their records available digitally.
> Our society was extremely excited to hear that a Legislative Research
> Committee was established to look into the possibility of digitizing our
> most valuable records and making them available to researchers via the
> Internet. Our board travels across the state meeting with local
> genealogical societies on a routine basis. The talk inevitably turns to
> "look what I found on the Web and when will our state provide similar
> resources?" Thousands of North Carolina researchers want more digitized
> The North Carolina Genealogical Society strongly urges you to actively
> pursue this matter. The growth and popularity of family history
> continues to rise across all possible lines of age, race, religion and
> politics. You can be sure that supporting this issue will serve an
> incredible number and cross section of your constituency.
> Let's move North Carolina, one of the original thirteen colonies and a
> state blessed with marvelous records, into the virtual world of
> technological advances which will enhance the interests of researchers
> everywhere. Please support the North Carolina Archives and begin funding
> a project to digitize our wonderful records.
> Beverly Tetterton, President
> North Carolina Genealogical Society
- Who can I address my additional support to via e-mail or snail mail to
emphasize the importance of "online" records, and research??? Because of the
devestation to the Ga. and some of the Ala. records, since many of our
ancestors came from, or moved through N.C....these records are of major
importance to us...and not everyone can just drop what they're doing, and
spend the time needed in the State Archives....
Tell me how to help.