Digital Record Keeping

Oct 10, 2012

The Commonwealth is moving steadily toward posting more public records on the internet.  Many states already offer digitalized government records via the internet.   Mark Meyers, who’s an electronic records archivist for the Commonwealth, says many are already available on state websites.  “I mean the general public uses our records quite a bit from family history research to legal documents providing birth, death, and marriage records.  More and more records are being created electronically and being stored electronically,” said Meyers.

Ongoing changes in computer technology are changing the way government records are stored and accessed.  The latest changes will be under discussion Wednesday when government officials meet with experts from State Archives and Libraries.   Meyers says a common problem is changing technology.  Digital data stored in an older format is sometimes hard to access with a newer computer.

“While electronic records are really good for access to be kept for long periods of time, you gonna have to be constantly watching them, constantly making sure those formats are accessible and potentially even migrate them to something else,” added Meyers.

By putting such records on the internet, Meyers says researchers can save themselves a trip to the state capitol in Frankfort.  A workshop takes place Wednesday for government officials on creating and keeping digital records.  It’s part of what’s been dubbed National Electronic Records Day.