The state of Indiana will post online more than 13 million birth certificates, death certificates, and marriage records for access by Hoosiers.
The Indiana Commission on Public Records – also known as the State Archives – has entered into a contract with Ancestry.com to digitize the records. Records older than 75 years will start to become available in 2015, with the completion date expected by the state’s bicentennial in 2016.
This will be the largest collection of Indiana’s records ever digitized.
“As we head toward the 2016 bicentennial and celebrate Indiana’s past, this initiative serves not only present-day Hoosiers by improving accessibility to records, but also future Hoosiers as they look back at state history,” Gov. Mike Pence said.
The partnership saves Indiana more than $3.2 million – the cost to index, scan and make accessible the materials – and would have taken the state more than a decade to complete.
It also provides another mechanism to access the records and preserve the remaining originals from excessive use and degradation. It also provides an additional copy in case original copies are destroyed.
Both the Indiana State Department of Health’s Vital Records office and State Archives will receive a copy of the digital images and indexes. The health department will use its copy to improve service to Hoosiers by streamlining the process of accessing records and providing official copies to citizens, while State Archives will provide access to the records more than 75 years old at its facility.
Ancestry.com will provide access to the records to its members.