Utah Department of Administrative Services

Division of Archives & Records Service

Archives & You

What does the Archives mean to you? The following comments were gathered in 2009.

I really appreciate your online death certificates. They have been wonderful for research. I was wondering, as the years progress, if later years will be released to the public and put online? The Archive research staff is outstanding in their customer service help to patrons.

-Christine J. (June 2009 using death certificates online)

Your state has the best online records of any state I've encountered. It is a pleasure to do research in Utah.

-Linda K. H. (May 2009 using criminal court records)

I am finding the Archives, and especially the death certificates, to be an invaluable resource for researching the branches of my extended family that settled in Utah. Other publicly available databases are far from authoritative and often contain errors. I do hope that the "window" of accessibility will widen in the future as the 50- and 100-years-before-present cutoffs march ahead.

-John C. (March 2009 using death certificates online)

In doing family history; the archives are a tremendous help to me. I have found so many correct dates, places, names of spouses or parents. Without the archives I would be missing a lot of information that is needed for research. I hope someday that the archives will be able to post death certificates beyond what is available now. I use the archives daily.

-Douglas S. (February 2009 using death certificates online)

I work at Provo City Cemetery.   In our spare time (winter) we are filling in the data for the records.   We are able to take a name and date of death only and find parents, marriages, where they were born or died.  We also identify our source (Death Certificate) and list cause of death (which helps families with medical histories).   This information is added to our web site.   It is particular satisfying when we are able to find parents for infants.  It just feels good to connect a baby to a family.

-Cathy J. (Feburary 2009 using death certificates online)

I am the Records Supervisor for Davis County Government, and have worked with government records for 17 years. My responsibilities include all aspects of records' disposition - from creation of microfilm/microfiche, records preservation, records classifications & retention schedules, etc. I just became aware of possible budget cuts to the Archives' staff. I would like to share a few of my experiences with the separate entities in the Archives.

Micrographics: I have worked closely with this department for 17 years. Davis County preserves all permanent records on microfilm. This minimizes storage space, and provides backup film preserved by the Archives. Micrographic standards keep these records consistent across the State and guarantee their legality. The Archives' department has provided excellent quality of film, quick retrieval time, and efficient maintenance of thousands of rolls of film for Davis County. This department processes film for us every week. Brian Carpenter is working with me now to convert digital over-sized plat images to 35mm film. The micrographics department is already working on a "skeleton" crew. There is only a handful of employees in this department, and each one has distinct responsibilities that couldn't be spread any thinner.

Analysts: I work with Rosemary Cundiff on a regular basis in clarifying the disposition of government records. Through Rosemary I've classified hundreds of records in compliance with GRAMA. She has shared input on numerous GRAMA requests and helped to clarify the huge "grey" areas of this law. I have also attended valuable training classes. Proper protection and access of governmental records is a complex arena.

Records Center: Whenever Davis County has transferred paper records to the Records Center, it has been a clean, efficient, easy process.

In conclusion - Records used to be the "Rodney Dangerfields" of businesses - "They don't get no respect", until someone needs a record! In this day of litigation and a new respect for the historical value of records, it is not the time to make cuts in such a valuable resource. I firmly believe there is no waste or overlap in the area of personnel at the Archives. I feel the Utah State Archives and Davis County work as partners in protecting our records and ensuring compliance to proper disposition of these records.

-Yvonne Christensen (February 2009)

Thank you so much for the time and effort you spent on my request. I really appreciate the help you've provided me...You provide a wonderful service...

- Darlene H. (August 2008)
Used birth records, civil case files, adoptions, plus newspapers to find record of twin girls born December 24, 1906)

I can't believe that you responded in less than 24 hours!!!  Thank you  so much for the information.

If had had this much help from other states, I would saved months of  tedious work.

Thanks again for your quick and complete response.

- Robert S. (October 2008 for a death certificate)