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The Value of Open Public Records Sponsored by the Massachusetts Genealogical Council and the Boston Public Library 6-7:30 pm Monday November 9, 2015 Commonwealth Salon, Boston Public Library, Copley Square The program is free, registration is not required. Attendees are encouraged to express their opinions and concerns in this open forum for discussion. Sharon Sergeant, MGC Vice President, will moderate a multidisciplinary panel of experts and attendees to discuss how open public records benefit our society and citizens in practical applications today. Massachusetts was an early adopter of open public records:From the Body of Liberties, Approved by the Massachusetts Bay Colony General Court in 1639 and published in 1641. We will discuss how open public records benefit our society and citizens, ensuring that all laws and regulations are followed to protect civil rights, inheritance and property rights, historical and medical research advancement, records preservation and access as well as the repatriation...
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The Civil Records Committee wants you to know about upcoming changes to the information genealogists will be able to access in the Social Security Death Index. These changes are part of the revenue-generating provisions in the bipartisan budget compromise bill that is currently under consideration in the U.S. Congress. The bill passed the House of Representatives last night. It will be heard in the Senate soon. The changes to the SSDI will take place 90 days after the budget bill passes and is signed into law. The revenue-generating provision mandates that any death reported to the Social Security Administration be withheld from the Social Security Death Index until the end of the calendar year following the third anniversary. This means that a death that takes place, let's say, July 4, 2014, will not appear in the SSDI until January 1, 2018. We and others have blogged about the upcoming changes. You...
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    During the first day of the National Genealogy Society's 2013 conference, three events focused on records access. Harold Henderson, CG, the luncheon speaker for the Association of Professional Genealogists discussed "It's Not Just the SSDI: How We Can Advocate for Genealogy While Still Practicing It." He painted a bleak picture, noting that we often are on the defensive in protecting records access. We need to "keep the toothpaste in the tube" by showing an interest broader than our personal families. Just as it's too hard to put toothpaste back in a tube, it is also too hard to get access to records that have already been closed to the public. Harold advised us to be involved in all levels of government action, from legislating bills to developing regulations. Melinde Lutz Sanborn, CG, FASG, past vice president of MGC and current president of the American Society of Genealogists, titled her...
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In a happy turn of events, Georgia's Governor Nathan Deal and Secretary of State Brian Kemp announced yesterday that the Georgia State Archives will remain open at least through June 20, 2013. It is slated to be transferred to the University System of Georgia after that, so this opens up more questions. This new budgetary commitment allows the archives to remain open under current hours.’s-archives-open...
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