You Can Help Keep Records Accessible! Sign the Genealogists’ Declaration of Rights!

Have You Signed the Genealogists’ Declaration of Rights?

RPAC thanks everyone who signed the Genealogists’ Declaration of Rights and all the genealogists and blogs that helped spread the word. We are only 205 signatures from reaching our goal of 10,000! If you have not signed, there is still time to sign at http://bit.ly/gen-declaration. At conferences the Declaration was accompanied by “I Signed the Declaration” stickers and “Genealogists Vote” buttons. We also thank Robert Rafford, Connecticut State Liaison for RPAC, who began the Declaration initiative in response to possible restrictive legislation in Connecticut in 2014.

Be Counted as a Genealogist Who Cares About Open Records!

In May 2014, the Records Preservation and Access Committee (RPAC) initiated the Genealogists’ Declaration of Rights at the National Genealogical Society 2014 Family History Conference in Richmond, Virginia, to make a strong statement in support of open access to public records. Through December 31, 2015, RPAC has secured 9,795 signatures of genealogists across the United States at a number of venues including state, regional, and national genealogy conferences, Ancestry Day, Genealogy Road Shows, many local society meetings, and online. More than half of the signatures occurred online as genealogists spread the word. The Declaration and the number of signatures has been mentioned on several occasions when speaking with state and federal legislators or administrators about their efforts to limit access to public records.

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Stay Informed! Sign-up for the Records Advocate!

Help RPAC be proactive on records access issues! Sign-up for the Records Advocate which will keep you advised of both state and federal access issues throughout the year.  To subscribe click-on the “subscribe to the blog” blue box on your right.

The Declaration has enabled RPAC to initiate more discussion about open public records at many genealogical events over the last 20 months and lead RPAC to launch the Records Advocate. Spread the word so the dialog continues to grow.

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Jan Alpert

Chair of the Records Preservation and Access Committee, former president and board member of the National Genealogical Society, and previous conference chair for the NGS Family History Conference in 2011 and co-chair in 2014.

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