News Releases

August 22, 2011

Vermont State Archives Awarded Grant to Preserve Court Records

Secretary of State Jim Condos announced today that the Vermont State Archives and Records Administration (VSARA) – a division of the Secretary of State’s Office – has been awarded a grant of $118,078 from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) to preserve and make more accessible archival court records. The Vermont project is one of nineteen archival projects from around the country that the NHPRC awarded funding for this year.

Essential for documenting the history of the state as well as the rights of its citizens, Vermont’s court records have long been difficult for the public to access and are threatened by physical deterioration. The 22-month project beginning in October will provide for the long-term preservation of and access to 446 cubic feet of recording books, dockets, and case files from the Caledonia, Lamoille, and Orleans County Courts. VSARA intends to build upon the experience of this project to launch a wider effort that eventually will address the archival needs of all of Vermont’s court records.

Dating from 1794 to 1945, the records chronicle not only the Vermont judicial system but also the larger American experience, and will expand perspectives on numerous issues, including crime and punishment, economics, and all facets of social history. Because they often provide details about the lives of individuals in a way that few other records do, court records also are particularly useful to genealogists and family historians. When court records concern land disputes and similar issues they may also document rights that persist today.

The creation of VSARA in 2008 and the completion of the new archives facility in 2010 have allowed the agency to begin to pursue projects of this scope. Recent collaborative efforts between VSARA and the Judiciary to improve records management in the courts also contributed to the success of the grant proposal.

The NHPRC, a statutory body affiliated with the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), supports a wide range of activities to preserve, publish, and encourage the use of documentary sources, created in every medium ranging from quill pen to computer, relating to the history of the United States.

Secretary of State Jim Condos has over 20 years of elected public service, including 18 years at the local level and 8 years as a Vermont State Senator, in addition to more than 30 years of private sector business experience.

Source: Secretary of State
Last Updated at: August 22, 2011 08:56:34