Tuesday, September 11, 2012

FGS Archives Award to Tuscaloosa Genealogical Society

Records saved by the Tuscaloosa Genealogical Society
Records saved by the Tuscaloosa Genealogical Society
Photo credits: Tuscaloosa
Genealogical Society
The FGS Archives award is presented to an organization or an individual in recognition of exceptional contributions in the area of archival access, preservation, or services. In the Keynote session of the Federation of Genealogical Societies conference Thursday morning, FGS Director Mike Hall presented the award to the Tuscaloosa Genealogical Society for their project to preserve fragile, deteriorating county records in Tuscaloosa County, Alabama. They call it the Tuscaloosa County Courthouse 7th Floor Records Project.

According to a July 2007 article in the Tuscaloosa News, genealogist Karen Hunnicutt came upon the records in the attic of the courthouse. They were stored in dirty, leaky conditions with no temperature control. The court intended to destroy them once they were digitized.

The Tuscaloosa Genealogical Society obtained permission in 2007 to take more than 450 county probate books and arranged for a temperature controlled environment in which to store them. Society members have moved them all and have cleaned 415 so far. Seventy have been microfilmed. Fourteen have been indexed with a total of 47,000 entries.

Congratulations, Tuscaloosa for a job well done.

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