The following article was first published in the Winter 2018 edition of The Heritage, a publication of the Northeast Pennsylvania Genealogical Society, Inc. It is republished here with the kind permission of the society. Please do not republish it elsewhere with first obtaining permission of the Northeast Pennsylvania Genealogical Society, Inc. You may contact the Society at firstname.lastname@example.org or at P.O. Box 1776 Shavertown, PA 18708. The Society’s web site is available at: http://nepgs.com.
After an intensive 20 month effort led by the Records Preservation Team at NEPGS, the Scranton Diocese Parish Records Preservation Project is complete!
Formally launched in May 2016 with completion targeted for the March 2018 150th Anniversary of the Scranton Diocese, all primary goals have been achieved. Digitally preserving the irreplaceable parish records was of utmost importance considering the age and fragile condition of the older sacramental register books. Office staff at the parishes now can conveniently access their register books on their computers via external hard drives provided by NEPGS. This will help to arrest further deterioration of the register books since they will be handled less frequently. The project also creates a unique digital collection for genealogical research containing a wealth of information.
This digitized collection of parish records is one of the most important historical collections available for our region and contains a treasure trove of information for genealogists. In total, Roman Catholic records from 352 unique parishes/churches/missions and chapels spanning the period from the 1830’s to present day have been digitally preserved.
All Sacramental Records from the parishes in the eleven northeastern Pennsylvania counties of the Scranton Diocese have been digitized and are available for research at NEPGS. Research access to the collection is limited to the in-house network at the NEPGS facility and is governed by the privacy guidelines established with the Diocese at the project outset.
Future editions of The Heritage will detail more about this important digital collection.
The project by the numbers…
- Digitalized records from 120 parishes/185 churches/42 missions/5 chapels
- Over 3,600 Sacramental Register Books imaged
- Over 347,000 digital files created each containing multiple record entries
- Over 18,000 volunteer hours invested
- Over 23,000 volunteer miles driven to/from parish offices