Thursday, February 12, 2015

Access to Vital Records is Under Attack! How Can You Help?

Access to Vital Records is Under Attack! How Can You Help?
Records Preservation and Access Committee
Access to Vital Records is Under Attack! How Can You Help?

Thursday, 12 February 2015, Session T221, 4:30 p.m., Room 255A

Vital records are being threatened at both the state and federal level. Learn about the 2011 Revision of the Model State Vital Statistics Act, which if passed in your state will close access to birth records for 125 years and death records for 75 years.

Also learn about how the 2013 Bipartisan Budget Act signed at the end of 2013 has limited access to the Social Security Death Index for three years after someone’s death. Although the Interim Rule allowed forensic genealogists to become certified for access to the Limited Death Master File during the embargo period, the proposed final rule increases the costs and security requirements making access prohibitive for a small business which includes forensic and professional genealogists.

Attend session T 221 and learn how the genealogical community has responded to these attacks and how you can help.

RPAC has initiated a “Genealogists’ Declaration of Rights” advocating open access to federal, state, and local public records. More than 5,000 genealogists have signed online at or at conferences and other gatherings of genealogists. Stop by the RPAC Booth #1115 and sign the Declaration in the Exhibit Hall. For more detail see our previous blog post at:

What is RPAC?
The genealogical community works together through The Records Preservation and Access Committee (RPAC), a joint committee which includes The National Genealogical Society (NGS), the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS), and the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies (IAJGS) as voting members. The Association of Professional Genealogists (APG), the Board for Certification of Genealogists (BCG), the International Commission for the Accreditation of Professional Genealogists (ICAPGen), and the American Society of Genealogists (ASG) also serve as participating members. RPAC also includes participation from a few of the commercial providers of genealogical information including FamilySearch,, and ProQuest. RPAC meets monthly or more often if required by current events, to advise the genealogical community on ensuring proper access to vital records, and on supporting strong records preservation policies and practices.

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