Archives News, May 2006
Historic Utah birth certificates now available
Utah birth certificates filed more than 100 years ago are now available to family historians and researchers through the Utah History Research Center.
The Utah Office of Vital Records and Statistics transferred birth certificates filed in 1905 (over 3 cubic feet) to the Utah State Archives and Records Service on March 17. There were 5,578 births recorded in 1905, almost exactly divided between boys and girls, according to the Sixth Annual Report of the Bureau of Statistics published in 1906. The original records have been placed into acid free folders and boxes and await microfilming and digitizing. Archives staff has also compiled a series inventory showing the contents of the folders by county and date which will enable researchers to more easily find specific certificates. The inventory and a description of the records is available on the Utah History Research Center web site.
Vital Records staff will create an electronic index after the records are digitized, further facilitating public access.
In March 1905, the Utah Board of Health assumed responsibility for creating birth and death certificates for all individuals who were born or died in Utah. In 1998, HB84 permitted Utah birth certificates to become available to the public “if 100 years or more have passed since the date of birth.” Death certificates become public after 50 years. The Utah History Research Center also offers public access to Utah death certificates filed between 1905-1955.
Utah legislature makes significant changes to GRAMA
The 2006 legislative session was a busy one for the Government Records Access and Management Act (GRAMA). Six bills–HB 12, HB 28, HB 117, HB 188, HB 258 and SB 190–that amended GRAMA were passed and have been signed by Governor Jon M. Huntsman Jr. Most changes to GRAMA became effective May 1, 2006, though HB 258 went into effect on February 6. Following is a brief overview of some of the changes that have broad impact on government agencies. For a more in-depth look at the changes, the summary report prepared by Legislative Research and General Counsel, is available at .
One of the biggest changes concerns the use of information that can be classified as private or controlled. Governmental entities that request potentially private or protected information must provide notice of how that information will be used and with whom the agency routinely shares information. According to the new law, this notice shall either be posted “at all locations where the government collects the information” or “included as part of the documents or forms that are used…to collect the information.” Previously, GRAMA required a governmental entity to provide this information upon request. (See HB 12 and UCA 63-2-601(2).)
Those who handle GRAMA requests are required to receive training. The law now states that it is the responsibility of the “chief administrative officer of each governmental entity” to make sure that “officers and employees… that receive or process records requests receive required training on the procedures and requirements” of GRAMA. (See HB 188 and UCA 63-2-903(3).)
A new category of protected records was created that covers the use of an individual’s home address and home or mobile telephone number. This information is considered protected if it was provided in order to comply with a law and if “the subject of the record has a reasonable expectation that this information will be kept confidential.” (See HB 28 and UCA 63-2-304(51).)
Governmental entities are not required to “compile, format, manipulate, package, summarize or tailor information” or to fulfill a records request if the request “unreasonably duplicates” requests from the same person, or if the same information is duplicated in a “publication or product produced by the agency.” The governmental entity is required to specify where the record can be found in the publication or product. (See HB 28 and UCA 63-2-201(8)(a).)
Agencies are allowed to provide records in a particular format if it does not interfere with their duties. Previously, agencies were required to provide records in specific formats, if the request did not interfere with their duties. (See HB 28 and UCA 63-2-201(8)(b).)
Agencies may provide private, controlled or protected records to contractors or private providers. Certain criteria and restrictions must be met, including the requirements that the use of the record must outweigh individual privacy, the record will not be disclosed, and will not be used for advertising or solicitation. The contractor must provide written assurance that it will adhere to the restrictions. (See HB 28 and UCA 63-2-206(2)(b) and 63-2-206(6)(b).)
Utah State Archives staff news
In December 2006, employees of the Utah State Archives were sad to see two of their long-standing colleagues retire after many years of faithful service.
Patricia Lyn Scott was the manager of the Archives’ records management program. She had been with the Archives for over 21 years. Pat began at the Archives in October 1984 as a local government records analyst—just as the local governments program was being created. Over the years Pat’s assistance to local governments has been invaluable. She helped facilitate records management programs throughout the state—in local communities, counties, school districts, and higher education.
Val Wilson was a patron service archivist who started with the Archives in April 1969 as a micrographics technician. Val began his 36-year-career with the Archives in the micrographics lab. Eventually he moved to patron services to assist patrons in the Archives’ Research Center.
The Utah State Archives will truly miss these two individuals, both for their contributions to the Archives and for the enrichment they brought to the lives of co-workers at and visitors to the Archives.
Au revoir, Pat and Val!
Two Archives employees observed five-year anniversaries with the division earlier this year. Brian D. Carpenter, preservation (micrographics) manager noted his fifth anniversary with the State Archives January 22 while Staci Bates Milillo, records analyst, observed five years with the division on February 26.
Staci Bates Milillo has been named manager of the records analysis section. The announcement was made by Patricia Smith-Mansfield, director of the Utah State Archives, on April 13. Staci replaces Pat Scott. Janell B. Tuttle served as acting coordinator for records analysis and records center during the interim.