Call to Action – Yes We Scan

yes we scan

Yes We Scan is an initiative to create a unified project for scanning the United States federal government’s informational holdings. This would include the National Archives, Library of Congress, Smithsonian Institution, Government Printing Office, National Library of Medicine, National Agricultural Library and all other agencies.

Right now your help is needed in signing an online petition to get the issue reviewed by the White House and to work with officials who can help get an initial review commission created and working on the issues. Click here to sign the petition.

The Yes We Scan initiative has the backing of the National Coalition for History and Society of American Archivists as well as the Archivist of the United States, David Ferriero.

©2012, copyright Thomas MacEntee

Call to Action: Access to Virginia Vital Records in Danger

loud speaker

[Editor’s Note: as the genealogy industry continues to grow and evolve, more and more opportunities are found where the input of genealogists and family historians is needed. Look for more of these Call to Action posts here at GeneaBloggers in the future.]

Calling all genealogists and family historians – especially if you are concerned about access to any and all vital records. Right now plans are in the work to increase restrictions for Virginia vital records – to 125 years for birth records and 75 years for marriage and death records!

What’s Happening with Virginia Vital Records

On Tuesday, November 22, 2011, the Virginia Joint Commission on Health Care (JCHC) will vote on to extend the current access restrictions by another 25 years. Between now and November 22, 2011 you can send your comments to the committee members and let them know why the restrictions to access should not be extended.

What You Can Do about Virginia Vital Records Access

Here is how you can get involved:

  • Send your letter via email to

Senators, General Area, Email address

Linda T. Puller, Fairfax, Prince William, district36@senate.virginia.gov
George Barker, Fairfax, Prince William, district39@senate.virginia.gov
Harry B. Blevins, Chesapeake/Portsmouth, district14@senate.virginia.gov
Edd Houck, Fredericksburg/Orange, district17@senate.virginia.gov
Louise Lucas, Portsmouth – Brunswick, district18@senate.virginia.gov
Ralph Northam, M.D., Norfolk, Matthews, Eastern Shore,  district06@senate.virginia.gov
William Wampler, Bristol and Southwest, district40@senate.virginia.gov
Patricia S. Ticer, Alexandria/Arlington/Fairfax, district30@senate.virginia.gov

House of Delegates, General Area, Email address
Ben Cline, Amherst – Lexington, delbcline@house.virginia.gov
Bob Brink, Arlington, delrbrink@house.virginia.gov
David Bulova, Fairfax, deldbulova@house.virginia.gov
Rosalyn Dance, Petersburg, delrdance@house.virginia.gov
Scott Garrett, M.D., Lynchburg, delsgarrett@house.virginia.gov
Algie Howell, Norfolk, delahowell@house.virginia.gov
Harvey Morgan, Gloucester, delhmorgan@house.virginia.gov
Dave Nutter, Radford/Roanoke,   deldnutter@house.virginia.gov
John O’Bannon, M.D. Henrico, deljobannon@house.virginia.gov
Chris Peace, Hanover, delcpeace@house.virginia.gov

 

Copy and paste the entire block of addresses here:
district36@senate.virginia.gov; district39@senate.virginia.gov; district14@senate.virginia.gov; district17@senate.virginia.gov; district18@senate.virginia.gov; district06@senate.virginia.gov; district40@senate.virginia.gov; district30@senate.virginia.gov; delbcline@house.virginia.gov; delrbrink@house.virginia.gov; deldbulova@house.virginia.gov; delrdance@house.virginia.gov; delsgarrett@house.virginia.gov; delahowell@house.virginia.gov; delhmorgan@house.virginia.gov; deldnutter@house.virginia.gov; deljobannon@house.virginia.gov; delcpeace@house.virginia.gov

And don’t forget to follow the Records Preservation and Access Committee blog at http://www.fgs.org/rpac/ to follow all the latest news about vital records access and changes to laws and policies affecting genealogists and family historians.

Conclusion

Please take a minute and step away from your own genealogy research and get involved. Even if you don’t have Virginia ancestors, realize that other states and entities look at what is being done regarding vital records access – your state or municipality might be next!

Email or write the contacts listed above and let them know as a genealogist and family historian what it means to access such records.  Don’t be afraid to get personal – share your success stories or how you’ve helped a client using vital records.

Many small voices make for one large voice. Our history here in the United States has shown this to be so. Our ancestors call out to us for their stories to be told. Our duty is to let legislators and others in decision-making positions hear those voices and work to provide reasonable and responsible access to vital records – everywhere.

©2011, copyright Thomas MacEntee