Most of the posts to this blog involve statutory threats to our access to the records we need. The development of the regulations implementing these statutes give reason for continuing concern about our access and may provide an additional opportunity for the genealogical community to influence the outcome.
With thanks to Helen Shaw, the President of the Maine Genealogical Society (and the RPAC State Liaison) we have such an opportunity at this time. Helen will be coordinating the position of the genealogical community to be presented to authorities in Maine by the 12th of December.
The attachments to which she refers are found here:
In her words:
“Last Friday I, and other members of the vital records stakeholders group, received an e-mail from Theresa Roberts, the rule making coordinator for Data, Research, and Vital Statistics, with the draft revision of the rules for accessing vital records. Stakeholders have until December 12 to submit comments on the draft. A meeting of the group is scheduled for December 12, but the location is not yet set.
Basically what Theresa has done is combine the old rule chapters 4 & 8 into one document. I have attached as pdfs the draft revision and copies of the original chapters 4 & 8. I have only had time to do a quick read through the draft and have already contacted Theresa on some issues. I do think that many parts of chapter 4 have been deleted to the detriment of genealogists, but need to confirm that by comparing the original chapters with the revision.
I would like to have your input on these rules. You all will be my second set of eyes. If you have any chapter meetings coming up, please discuss this issue and pass on any suggestions to me.
I would also like to hear about folks’ problems with accessing vital records over the past 2 years, both at town offices and at the state vital records office. I would also like to hear about how often folks access vital records, again at both the town and state level: are they going in occasionally for themselves or clients; are they looking for one record or many, one surname or many; are they allowed to look at indexes or must they always ask a clerk to look up a record; are they charged a fee — if yes, how much. It would be most helpful if I could have this information before the December 12 meeting. Folks can e-mail me directly or, for chapters, you can collect the responses and send them as a group.
Thanks for your help. Do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.
Helen Shaw <firstname.lastname@example.org>