Monday, December 13, 2010

NARAtions: Voice your opinion about preserving the 2010 Census

DearREADERS,
Thank-you to Marie Varrelman Melchiori, CG, CGL of Melchiori Research Services for bringing this National Archives NARAtions blog posting to my attention. From Have Your Say: 2010 Census we read:


"The decisions about what is permanently kept are being made today, and you can have your say. Right now, the appraisal and records schedule of the 2010 Census are available for public review and comment. There is a Records Express blog post and a notice in the Federal Register, but we also wanted to make sure those of you who follow NARAtions are aware of the opportunity to review and comment."

The current listing of responses are mostly from genealogists who bemoan the problems with the design of questions in the 2010 census form, something not within the scope of the question about digitization and preservation. Ol' Myrt's response is in the queue for approval:

"The thought that we'd become a paperless society through the use of computers hasn't exactly worked out, has it?

Digitization of important documents provides ready access to images that in paper format would succumb to natural aging, and disintegrate prematurely by over-handling.

Prioritizing which documents must be preserved as originals is a decision for the people of a republic, through their elected leaders.

Just as I cannot imagine looking only at the scanned image of the Declaration of Independence, I also fear losing original census records to be consulted by serious researchers and historians in future generations.

Some complain that adequately housing massive manuscript collections is costly but I believe this cost is balanced by the need of a republic to preserve its history.

Great Britain is managing to preserve a much longer history than the US by maintaining ancient original documents.

I believe it was George Santayana who said “Those who do not remember the past are doomed to repeat it.” 
Do take the time to post your comments about preserving original documents in a digital age by visiting the NARAtions blog entry .

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt     :)
DearMYRTLE,
Your friend in genealogy.

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