18 January 2011

Mailbox: PaHR-Access

Claudia's Genealogy Blog said...
They get $11 per request....the state of PA is not going to give up that revenue and put it for free on line. Not only that it takes weeks to months just to get your certificates.
It sounds good in theory and I would love to see it, but I do not think it will happen.
January 14, 2011 4:57 PM

I am aware of several problems with cost and time. I assure you that all of the problems have been considered and viable solutions have been found. Sharing those solutions at this time does not seem to be the crux of our problem. We are avoiding the problems of financial disagreement completely by focussing on only making them public record. They may continue to charge money for copies, but at least when they are open record genealogists will be able to search them. If they still want to charge for copies they can. The bill being introduced this session calls for transferring the records of death over 50 years old to the PA State Archive. The Archive could choose to still charge any fee they deem necessary for a patron to make a copy once they have found the certificate they are looking for. At least this removes all the problems with how long it takes. You'd be able to go look for the record yourself. Even though the bill does not require it, it is very likely that FamilySearch will make a deal with the Archive once they become open record and they will all be digitized for easier searching at no cost. FamilySearch does those kind of things for free. I have no doubt that this law will change and we will see a miracle happen in PA genealogy.

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Thanks for your kind and thoughtful comments.