Saving Important Government Records

The job of preserving old historical records is a major challenge for local governments as record keeping transforms from books to computer files.

The records room at the Lowndes County Courthouse contains important documents well over 100 years old. These priceless record books can't survive forever, and that's why clerk of superior court Sara Crow met with archive expert Randall Gooden to start the process of saving these precious papers.

Sara Crow says, "I think we all get to a certain point when we're trying to preserve records and many times we do need outside professional advice, and this time it’s from the state."

Paige Dukes, Lowndes County spokesperson, says, "The state has been very generous in offering some programs to Georgia counties’ grant programs that we can apply for, and will assist us in the retention of the records."

Historical records experts say they like what they see going on in Lowndes County, and because of what they see, they think Lowndes County should have a good chance of success in preserving its records for the future.

Randall Gooden, archive specialist, says, "What I've seen so far is there's already been a lot of progress made, already a lot of policies in place to help achieve the archiving goals."

Now that Gooden is finished with his assessment, Lowndes County officials will be able to make adjustments before applying for state grants to help offset the cost of preserving these records for generations to come.

The documents involved in the preservation effort range from property records to court filings, all of which could be needed for legal reasons in the years to come.