Reason 4: Does Every Courthouse Have All of Its Historical Documents Available?


Some state governments have required that original documents and ledgers be permanently transferred/accessioned to the state’s archive. The intention is to provide permanent archival storage in a central location. Documents that are needed by the county for frequent reference, again, may be reproduced on microfilm or digitized and indexed.

Some courts have made separate arrangements to place certain documents on deposit with another institution. This was true when, in 1992, the Clerk of Circuit Court’s office in Hillsborough County, Florida, determined that it no longer wanted to store the older bride and groom marriage indexes and original marriage license documents dating from 1846-1988. The Clerk’s office signed an agreement with the University of South Florida in Tampa to place those documents on deposit while retaining ownership. Those important records are now housed in the university library’s Special Collections department.

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