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Friday, July 11, 2014

Ind. Gov't. - "Does preserving documents serve a public benefit?"

The HTO GovTracker reported yesterday in a story that begins:

[Bloomington, IN] City Clerk Regina Moore says yes.

That’s why she’s trying to hire a records archivist in her office to tackle the daunting task of digitizing city records dating back to 1845. Some of these documents are contained in bound books that can’t be torn apart or scanned, which requires someone to either transcribe or take photos and turn the image into an editable format.

Moore held up a book from the 1800s to show the Bloomington City Council Wednesday night what types of records her office is dealing with.

She said one Indianapolis company gave her a quote of $46,000 for the work she’s looking to have done. An employee of that company also suggested — to her horror — slicing the pages apart and scanning them.

“This book is a history record just as it is,” Moore said.

Most of the council agreed with Moore. But council member Marty Spechler wasn’t convinced there is a public benefit to paying to digitize these documents.

Moore explained that people often visit her office to search through these books, and while no one has complained about access, it’d certainly be easier to obtain the records if they were available online. Plus, continuing to handle the books will only speed up deterioration.

“There’s a lot more use of these records than you’d possibly think,” Moore said.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on July 11, 2014 08:42 AM
Posted to Indiana Government