The Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) launched a beta of its discovery portal and open platform on April 18, 2013. The portal delivers millions of materials found in American archives, libraries, museums, and cultural heritage institutions to students, teachers, scholars, and the public. The Utah State Archives has contributed hundreds of thousands of pages through its participation with the Mountain West Digital Library.
Far more than a search engine, the DPLA portal provides innovative ways to search and scan through its united collection of distributed resources. Special features include a dynamic map, a timeline that allow users to visually browse by year or decade, and an app library that provides access to applications and tools created by external developers using DPLA’s open data.
“The DPLA’s goal is to bring the entire nation’s rich cultural collections off the shelves and into the innovative environment of the Internet for people to discover, download, remix, reuse and build on in ways we haven’t yet begun to imagine,” said Maura Marx, Director of the DPLA Secretariat. “Regular users can search in the traditional way using the portal, and developers and innovators can build on big chunks of code and content using the platform—we’re creating access, not controlling it.”
Utah State Constitution in the Digital Public Library of America
Call’s Fort Cemetery Map
All public records at the Utah State Archives are accessible through the Research Center. However, once processed the records are easier to use with proper storage and fuller descriptions, including online series inventories. The following list includes record series that were processed during the month of Marc 2013:
Salt Lake City Recorder
School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration
Researchers may now search for death certificates by name for 1961. Previously, images have been available for browsing. Thanks to our volunteers and staff, you may look for a death record by name, date, or county.
The death certificate collection was first released online in December 2006, covering 1904-1956 through a partnership with FamilySearch. Since then, the Utah State Archives has added more years when they become public 50 years after the date of death. This may be done initially with browsing by county and date, similar to traditional research on microfilm. The final goal is always to be able to search by name and retrieve for free a digital copy of the death certificate record. The Archives updates the index continually based on comments and suggestions from users, ensuring that it is complete and accurate.
Birth certificates issued by the Utah Office of Vital Records and Statistics in 1905 are now online and freely available to the public. The searchable index and digital images may be accessed from archives.utah.gov/research/indexes/81443.htm.
In addition to identity and proof of citizenship, the registration of births assists with monitoring public health issues and the programs created to alleviate them. The original permanent records were transferred from Vital Records to the Utah State Archives and Records Service in 2006, prompted by the Inspection of Vital Records Act passed in 1998 making historical records public. The name index is a collaborative effort of the staff of Vital Records, volunteers and staff of the State Archives, and includes the child’s full name, parents’ full names, date of birth, sex and county. FamilySearch captured digital images of the original paper records.
The Utah State Digital Archives provides close to a million images of historical records online and free to the public, including death certificates from 1904-1961. With worldwide online access, patrons have the ability to do research from anywhere while the State Archives efficiently fulfills its mission “to provide quality access to public information.”
FamilySearch International is the largest genealogy organization in the world. Millions of people use FamilySearch records, resources, and services to learn more about their family history. To help in this great pursuit, FamilySearch has been actively gathering, preserving, and sharing genealogical records worldwide for over 100 years. FamilySearch is a nonprofit organization sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Patrons may access FamilySearch services and resources free online at FamilySearch.org or through family history centers in 132 countries, including the renowned Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.
All public records at the Utah State Archives are accessible through the Research Center. However, once processed the records are easier to use with proper storage and fuller descriptions, including online series inventories. The following list includes record series that were processed during the month of February 2013:
Department of Natural Resources. Geological Survey
Salt Lake City (Utah) Water Commission
District Court (Eighth District : Uintah County)
The organic act passed by the U.S. Congress on September 9, 1850 created an office of territorial secretary with three major functions:
(1) To record and preserve all laws and proceedings of the Legislative Assembly (2) To record all acts and proceedings of the Governor in his executive department (3) To provide copies of these official acts to specific federal officials
The EXECUTIVE PAPERS are really part of a larger record keeping system maintained by the Executive Department of the territorial government. Most of the individual documents filed in the series are those that were sent to the Governor or the Secretary requesting or supporting some official action; copies of the actual pardon, appointment notice, requisition, or other “official act”; or copies of documents which reflect actions taken directly by the Governor, such as messages to the Territorial Assembly and proclamations.
Governor Young’s Special Election Proclamation
Recordkeeping was not quite the same for governors during the territorial period (1850-1895), compared to more recent years with offices full of staff to keep track of correspondence, photographs, and artifacts. The Archives does have a few things in its holdings to provide insight into territorial governance, which are now going online as part of the Utah Territory Project.
Governor (1850-1857: Young)
Governor (1880-1886: Murray)
Governor (1889-1893: Thomas)
Legislative publications available in the Research Center
As the 2013 session of the Legislature gets underway, we’d like to highlight some relevant publications that have been updated recently.
It’s always best to start with the 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, when it was recognized that the full annotated code was getting unwieldy just to check what the “law of the land” was for a certain year.
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 the use of research and future 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 http://www.rules.utah.gov.
The Research Center will be closed Monday, January 21, 2013 in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. It will open once again Tuesday, January 22, 2013 at 9 a.m.
The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 6,100 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 10 years to get that many views.
Click here to see the complete report.