Public Records Access Monitoring

Do you know of any threats to the accessibility of materials for genealogical researchers? Send us an email

International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies (IAJGS)

The International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies has a great interest in monitoring legislation that might limit access to genealogical source materials.

We have therefore established a Public Records Access Monitoring Committee to share information about new legislation and any  threat it may pose to genealogical researchers having access to the records they need to be successful in searching out their Jewish ancestry.

Article: Restriction of Access to Records Is Increasing Threat to Genealogical Research,
by Jan Meisels Allen, (Part 1 - Part 2) This article first appeared in the Fall 2013 issue of AVOTAYNU

  • Power Point Session on  Public Records Access at IAJGS 33rd International Conference on Jewish Genealogical Societies.
  • Handout from Session on Public Records Access at IAJGS 33rd International Conference on Jewish Genealogical Societies.
  • Microfilm Unit Records Onsite Review
  • Recent Archival Accessions Brochure
  • Archival Records Brochure (may 2013)
  • Links to Legislative Websites
  • Latest Alerts
  • Annual Report
  • Public Records Access Monitoring Committee Charter
  • The IAJGS along with the rest of the genealogical community are concerned that legislators and regulators believe that access to vital records is a cause for identity theft, however, there is no proof that access to records is the cause of identity theft. We believe access to public records must remain open.

    The IAJGS has joined with other genealogical organizations including the Association of Professional Genealogists (APG), National Genealogical Society (NGS), and The Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) in endorsing the position paper and calling on legislators to keep records open.

    A group of professional genealogists within APG formed the Keeping Genealogical Records Open Workgroup (KGROW) in 2007 and prepared the position paper. " The Case for Open Public Records". The KGROW committee recommends in their paper that “lawmakers respond to the ID theft problem, not try to prevent a nonexistent problem.” Further, they encourage “private companies and government improve their protection of personal data.” The Case for Open Public Records position paper is available at: http://apgen.org/publications/press/APG-KGROW.pdf

    Charter of the Public Records Access Monitoring Committee
     

         The purpose of the Public Records Access Monitoring Committee of the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies is to:

         1. Monitor activities and proposals of libraries and repositories of genealogically relevant documents, records and materials, in regard to changes in procedures for access, storage, maintenance, preservation, transfer, or incipient destruction of such genealogically relevant documents, records and materials. Included are legislative and regulatory activities in both governmental and non-governmental repositories, which have records of genealogical value.
         2. Communicate the information about such activities to the President and the Board of the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies (IAJGS). Such communication will include recommended courses of action for the Board.
         3. Assist the Board of the IAJGS in responding to the activities and proposals of libraries and other repositories, and to pending legislation, through public and private activities. 

         The Public Records Access Monitoring Committee will also maintain a historical record of positions taken and responses made by the IAJGS

    Committee Procedures

         IAJGS members will inform the Public Records Access Monitoring Committee, through its members or Chairperson, of issues of concern, in writing.
         The Chairperson of the Public Records Access Monitoring Committee will facilitate communication among Committee members to evaluate the importance and genealogical impact of the issue brought to the Committee.
         The Committee will jointly develop courses of action to recommend to the President and Board of the IAJGS.
         The Chairperson of the Public Records Access Monitoring Committee will communicate the courses of action developed by the Committee to the President and Board of the IAJGS.
         Actions taken by the IAJGS will be publicized only by the President of the IAJGS or a representative designated by the President.

    Approved by the IAJGS Board of Directors,
    November 8, 2003

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