At the National Genealogical Society (NGS) annual conference the Genealogists Declaration of Rights was unveiled. The Genealogists Declaration of Rights was promoted by the Records Preservation and Access Committee (RPAC), of which IAJGS is a sponsoring member. The Genealogists Declaration of Rights has been approved unanimously by the boards of the three sponsoring members of RPAC, the Federation of Genealogy Societies (FGS), NGS, and IAJGS.
The Declaration of Rights is a statement advocating open access to federal, state, and local public records. The Declaration affirms America’s long history of open public records, which has been threatened the last few years over concerns about identity theft and privacy. At the NGS conference approximately 500 people signed the Declaration. The Declaration is also available online for signing: bit.ly/gen-declaration.
The Declaration will be available at the 34th IAJGS International Conference on Jewish Genealogy for signing as well as the FGS Conference later this summer.
While this Declaration is US-focused, IAJGS is aware that the access to records is a worldwide problem. As different countries have different privacy rules a “one-size” fits all did not work. IAJGS encourages other members located outside the United States to adopt a similar Declaration that complies with their countries’ privacy rules—they need to confer with the other genealogical organizations in their countries to develop their Declaration permitting the widest possible support. IAJGS is ready to assist members outside the US with their Declaration.