County records are vital documents related to a particular county’s population and include birth, death and marriage certificates. These are public records that need to be organized and indexed. The document scanning task is challenging because of its voluminous nature and the need for maximum accuracy. Many of these records may be old and the best way to preserve them for posterity is to save them as electronic copies in preferred formats. Given their historical and unique nature, and some of them being the only existing records, they must be protected and safeguarded. Preservation of historic records includes a cleaning and de-acidification process, providing protective sleeves for the pages and rebinding the volumes. Minimum handling is ensured for the original document when electronic copies are made available. This will help avoid wear and tear of the original documents.
Lincoln County clerk’s office is gearing up to go digital with their old records. The digital records of old documents will be fully accessible to everyone at their fingertips through the computer. “It is a monumental task,” says County clerk Rhonda Burrows. They began scanning their documents in 2002. Prior to that, they had an electronic index for old records, which the staffs found very difficult to manage amidst their regular duties.
They have old documents dating back to 1800, marriage records, newspapers, land title records and so on. With the help of a contractor, they have uploaded 37,000 images and indexed other records from 1960 to 1980. Land title records are the backbone of Lincoln County and are highly relevant in connection with property tax and related details, and hence they need to be preserved for posterity. County records include important information regarding the lives of the people and other essential information needed for government procedures. They are important documents that provide information regarding the creation of the county socially, culturally, geographically and politically.
What are the definite advantages of county records scanning?
- Better clarity in data: Many social activities rely greatly on old documents that will be referred to in the future; it is important therefore to ensure clarity in these documents. In the long term, paper documents will start degrading whereas digitization helps in restoring these documents with clarity.
- Improved disaster preparedness: Converting valuable documents ensure that the documents are preserved in the event of any disaster and the staffs will not have to face recovery challenges. This prevents loss of vital information.
- Immediate access: The clerical office will be able to provide immediate, online access to the records for anyone with internet access. It eliminates the need for the employees to go and locate the files and also provides the convenience of searching for the records 24 hours a day.
- Reduce storage space: Clerical offices often face the problem of storing records on cabinets or shelves that take up a lot of space. Digitized documents can be saved in computer or a folder, which helps in reducing the storage space.
County clerk offices have a large number of documents that need to be digitized. Any digitization project involves considerable investment in terms of manpower and money. Sometimes, large volume work will have to be completed within a tough deadline. To ensure that the task is done cost effectively, efficiently and within the required turnaround time, document scanning and conversion services would be a practical solution. A good document conversion company will have in place the latest sophisticated scanners and infrastructure, as well as trained scanning professionals. Large volume scanning and electronic conversion can be efficiently performed with such a service provider.