Spread the Sunshine!

Sunshine WeekIt’s Sunshine Week, also known as the week- long, nationwide celebration of access to public government information via Sunshine Laws.

Sunshine laws are those laws that secure government transparency. These laws are fundamental to self government. They provide empowerment to our people, accountability to our government employees, and build the public trust. Utah has two key laws to provide transparency:

These laws highlight the legal balancing act between public access and accountability, and a citizen’s right to privacy and public safety. The overall intent is to ensure the public’s access to their government.

Every action of government is your business.
Every document held in government halls is your piece of paper.
Every penny spent by government is your money.
From the courthouse to the statehouse to the White House, government belongs to the governed and not the governing.
You have the right to know what the governing are up to, always.
We are self-governed.
(“It’s Your Right, It’s Your Business” by Jim Zachary, CNHI Regional Editor and Editor, The Valdosta Daily Times)

Here at the Utah State Archives, this can mean a few different things. Our Records Analyst team works with records officers to help with records management and create retention schedules. Our GRAMA Ombudsman, Rosemary Cundiff, assists records officers when they need to respond to a public records request or appeal. She also mediates appeal disputes when necessary. Our Records Processing staff works to preserve and adequately describe records to improve future access. Finally, our Research Center works with the public to provide appropriate access to historical government records in our custody.

TSunshine Week icon transparenthis week we will be posting in tandem with our Records Analyst team (RecordsKeepers.blog) to highlight the ways we work to “Let the Light In” here at the Utah State Archives.

Stay Tuned!

 

Legislative Publications

As the 2017 Legislative Session winds up, we’d like to highlight some relevant legislative publications that have been updated recently.

It’s always best to start with a Research Guide, such as Legislative History or Legislative Records Overview.

The Unannotated Code is the complete, codified law statutes reflecting changes in the most recent session. It has been published since 1982.

The Utah Code Annotated is, however, immensely valuable when it comes to research in the legislative process and how bills turn into law (and sometimes even the intent of the legislation). Unlike other records and publications that are produced by government agencies and preserved by the Utah State Archives, this publication represents the work of editors experienced with legal research,  and is purchased for research and historical context. Supplements and replacement (“pocket parts”) are released a couple times a year.

Administrative Rules are created by agencies of the state’s executive branch and are enacted as laws under regulatory authority granted by the Legislature or the State Constitution. In short, the Legislature has created a method by which Executive branch agencies can codify their own policies and procedures and give them the force of law. Like the Utah Code, the Administrative Code is compiled with authorization by editors and published for the use of legal research. The most up-to-date information on rules is always found at rules.utah.gov.

1850 Weber County Census Online

Image from 1850 Federal Census Weber County Population ScheduleThe original Federal Census Population Schedule for Weber County from 1850 is now online. This census represents the first time that Weber County and the rest of Utah Territory was enumerated by the federal government. The series is significant, in part, because it was previously believed by many that the 1850 census for Utah was only taken on handmade forms and that Utah did not have access to the federal forms. The 1850 Census contains a lot of information concerning the residents of Weber County. It includes the names of everyone living in the county, as well as gender, age, birthplace, occupation, etc. Based on the schedules in this series, the number of residents in Weber County was about 1,141.

Regional Repository Statewide Forum

regional-repository-promo (2017)Currently there are eleven officially recognized regional repositories throughout the state.  The regional repositories are authorized to collect, process, preserve and make available historical records for research and study by the public.  The State Archives can provide copies of government records to these Regional Repositories so people don’t have to travel to Salt Lake City to see government records for their region. Working together with institutions throughout the state, the Utah State Historical Records Advisory Board is committed to preserving Utah’s historical records for future generations.

On March 30, 2017 representatives of these repositories will be meeting at the Utah State Archives to learn, exchange ideas, and plan for the future of the program as this is the 10th anniversary for this meeting.  The USHRAB Consortium is also invited to this meeting.

Records Retrieval Maintenance March 1-2, 2017

asrs-boxes_1200x800Visitors to the Research Center on March 1-2, 2017 will not be able to retrieve records from the collection due to scheduled maintenance. Please plan on visiting either before or after to access records that are not in the Research Center itself. For questions, you may call (801) 245-7227.

Japanese Internment in Utah

AFTERSHOCKS OF PEARL HARBOR When Japanese forces attacked the U.S. naval base in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii on December 7, 1941, a chain of events was set in motion that would permanently alter the directions of each country and its citizenry. Pearl Harbor led to direct U.S. involvement in World War II, drawing millions of U.S. […]

Ogden Police Department Arrest and Jail Record Books Online

 

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The Utah State Archives is pleased to announce that an assortment of arrest and jail record books from the Ogden Police Department have been digitized and are now available online for public access. These record books, dating from 1902 to 1941, document arrests made, and prisoners held, by the Ogden City Police Department. Arrest Record Books and Record of Prisoners Books include: name of person arrested, name of arresting officer, time and place of arrest, charge, and fine or punishment given. The Criminal Record Books and Prisoner Identification Records document individuals held by the police department and may include a prisoner number, mug shot, and the prisoner’s physical description. The two Criminal Record Books available were maintained by two different sections of the police department and contain nearly identical information and photos for the time period they both cover.

RootsTech 2017

Utah State Archives booth at RootsTech 2017
Utah State Archives booth at RootsTech 2017

The RootsTech conference in Salt Lake City was a great experience for the Utah State Archives. It was wonderful to to meet so many old and new friends.

New Look for Website

If you notice anything different about archives.utah.gov, that’s because there’s a fresh new look. This design is made for all kinds of devices from mobile to widescreen.

Can’t find something or see an error? Let us know!

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