Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Records Preservation & Access Committee (FGS/NGS)

The NEW Federation of Genealogical Society’s website was unveiled today, according to reports from the FGS annual conference now in session. Of particular note is the newly revised Records Preservation & Access Committee: A joint committee of the Federation of Genealogical Societies & the National Genealogical Society, located at .

(Why the URL for the joint committee isn’t something unique or related to the URL of either society, I don’t know.)

The stated purpose of joint Records Preservation & Access Committee, with a RSS feeds for both official postings and comments reads as follows:

"To advise the genealogical community on ensuring proper access to historical records of genealogical value in whatever media they are recorded, on means to affect legislation, and on supporting strong records preservation policies and practices.

The Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) and the National Genealogical Society (NGS) have agreed to a combined effort to address these issues through the Records Preservation and Access Committee. This cooperative venture is intended to advise the
genealogical and historical communities, as well as other interested parties, on ensuring proper access to vital records, on means to effect legislation, and on supporting strong records preservation policies and practices.

Records are always at risk of accidental or scheduled destruction. Today, many additional
problems threaten access to the documents and collections that hold our genealogical, medical, and social history. Funding cuts resulting from budget crises, large scale natural disasters, as well as rapidly changing technology adding to the existing problems of preserving and maintaining access to records.

The Federation and the National Genealogy Society cannot solve all these complex issues, but are acting to help coordinate the efforts of individuals and societies who can have a tremendous impact on these problems. The effective response to access and preservation challenges are usually from the individuals who vote and pay taxes in the specific locality. YOU, individually, and the genealogical societies of which YOU are a member, can make
the difference on these issues in your area.”

Ol' Myrt is pleased to see that our leading national genealogical organizations in the US are stepping up to the plate and providing a forum where interested parties can make postings, and keep track of legislative initiatives that affect records access for family historians. I understand a lot of behind the scenes work is being done, but this new Records Preservation & Access Committee site makes it easier for regular folks like you and me to see what’s happening, and report on challenges that have come to our attention.

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

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