The bureaucrats are at it again. A few state officials in Virginia wish to restrict access to vitral records held by the Virginia Department of Health. The proposal is to close the birth records for 100 years, with marriage and death records closed for 50 years. After these time periods, the records are supposed to be turned over to the Library of Virginia (LVA), though the Virginia Department of Health has tried to delay this.
The Records Preservation and Access Committee, a joint committee of the Federation of Genealogical Societies, the National Genealogical Society, and the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies, is strongly opposed to this action. Writing for that committee, Peter E. Broadbent, Jr., former President of the Virginia Genealogical Society, has published a Memorandum to the Genealogical Community that describes the problems and provides suggested courses of action. You can read a PDF file of the "Memorandum to the Genealogical Community" at http://goo.gl/NREby
One bit of text from the Memorandum to the Genealogical Community jumps out:
"Unless extensive public comments are received by October 6, Virginia’s vital records may become closed, threatening genealogical and family medical history research, and blocking new members for lineage societies. Please send in your comments now!"
You can read the full text of the Memorandum to the Genealogical Community, including an attached copy of the legislative staff report, which poses eight options for legislators, at http://goo.gl/NREby
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