Archiver > IRISH-IN-CHICAGO > 2007-09 > 1189183319

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Subject: Re: [IRISH-IN-CHICAGO] Cook Cnty Records online!!
Date: Fri, 7 Sep 2007 11:41:59 -0500
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I wonder why the tinyurl address didn't work. Here's the article in full. (I
apologize in advance for the length).

Old County Records Being Put Online September 7, 2007

Professional genealogists and people interested in researching their family
tree will soon be able to access key records from home instead of ordering
by mail or traipsing down to a musty office in the Loop, Cook County Clerk
David Orr said Thursday.

If all goes as planned, newly digitized versions of county records such as
birth and death certificates and marriage licenses will be available
beginning in January on one searchable Web site that will revolutionize how
such research is done, Orr said. "It's going to be a big boon for us and for
the genealogy folks who have to go through us to get the records," Orr said.
"It will allow them to go online to see if the records exist, to find
relatives and purchase copies online."

The Web site is part of a massive yearlong effort to digitize the county's
24 million vital records, which date to 1871, when record-keeping began
after the Chicago Fire wiped out previous stockpiles, clerk's office
spokeswoman Kelley Quinn said.

The records have stacked up for decades in the basement area of the county's
administration building at Clark and Randolph Streets, where conditions have
not been ideal. "We've had rats, floods, fires, bugs, you name it," Orr
said. Over the years, the county has made special efforts to save some
records, including employing a special "freeze-drying" process to restore
documents that had water damage, he said.

Scanning and indexing each record was completed in June, and the county is
uploading about 1 million files per week into a computer server, a process
that is expected to be complete by the end of the year, Quinn said.
"Everything will be updated and fully digitized at that point," Quinn said.
Once the digitizing process is complete, Cook County will be one of the
first counties in the U.S. to have all such materials stored electronically,
she said.

The genealogy Web site will offer a tutorial for people interested in
researching family trees and allow users to search for relatives by name.
Once the proper person is found, users can pay a fee to download records and
print them at home. Documents available online will be birth certificates
that are at least 75 years old, marriage certificates more than 50 years
old, and death certificates more than 20 years old, Quinn said. She said
that certified copies, which are required to obtain official documents such
as a driver's license, will not be available online. No Social Security
numbers will be available on the online documents, she said.


[mailto:] On Behalf Of

Sent: Friday, September 07, 2007 11:27 AM
Subject: Re: [IRISH-IN-CHICAGO] Cook Cnty Records online!!

Just wondering if anybody besides me had trouble accessing this site.
It got me to the Tribune, but the page wasn't available.

> I found this gem in the Chgo Tribune today! I had to read the article
> because I couldn't believe what I was reading J
> tory

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