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Vermont State Archives Awarded Grant to Preserve Court Records
The Vermont State Archives and Records Administration has been awarded a grant of $118,078 from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) to preserve and make more accessible archival court records. The Vermont project is one of nineteen archival projects from around the country that the NHPRC awarded funding for this year.
The 22-month project, beginning in October, will provide for the long-term preservation of and access to 446 cubic feet of recording books, dockets, and case files from the Caledonia, Lamoille, and Orleans County Courts. VSARA intends to build upon the experience of this project to launch a wider effort that eventually will address the archival needs of all of Vermont's court records.
Dating from 1794 to 1945, the records chronicle not only the Vermont judicial system but also the larger American experience, and will expand perspectives on numerous issues, including crime and punishment, economics, and all facets of social history.
Because they often provide details about the lives of individuals in a way that few other records do, court records also are particularly useful to genealogists and family historians. When court records concern land disputes and similar issues they may also document rights that persist today.
Recent collaborative efforts between VSARA and the Judiciary to improve records management in the courts have contributed to the success of the grant proposal.
See also: Grant will help Vermont organize court records (Burlington Free Press, 8/23/11)