The main intention behind digitization of court records is to efficiently manage the exponential growth in the volume of court records, and to protect the critical information in the records from the threat of loss or damage. Historic court records have exceptional evidential, informational, and intrinsic value. Today, many of the court houses have adopted digitization, while many others are preparing for it. There are some reasons why digital preservation of court house records is very important.
- Probate court records can provide specific information regarding an individual
- Court records can provide information regarding the economy and society at a particular period of time
- Helps in preserving and protecting original materials from excess handling
- Makes court files available to researchers and other users
- Case file images can be integrated with an online database that is searchable
According to a recent report, the Northumberland County Courthouse has initialized document scanning and conversion of their court files and may complete the task in the next couple of years. Records of the county, dating back to the 1700s (before the Revolutionary War) are now kept in unsecured rooms that don’t have climate control. So the authorities are striving to keep them safely stored from those deplorable conditions.
As these court records are voluminous, the County has assigned the task of electronic conversion to a document conversion company. They are assigned with the task of scanning, converting and storing the digitized records. Professional companies are equipped with the latest advanced technology and techniques and have an expert team to handle any volume of tasks. Authorities cite proper storage and reduced foot traffic between offices as the main advantages of digitized records.
Digitization of documents can’t be achieved in a single day. It is a slow and expensive process. The first phase of the project will cost $100,000. Much more investment is required to complete the later phases of the project. However, the investment is worthy, as complete digitization of paper documents is ensured by scanning and indexing them in appropriate format. Indexing is a rather difficult process that once done, makes the document search process much easier.