Utah Department of Administrative Services

Division of Archives & Records Service

Archives News, August 2009

State Mental Hospital records donated

Historical records about Utah's State Mental Hospital were donated to the Archives by Brent Ashworth of Provo, Utah. Ashworth collects rare documents. The hospital opened July 15, 1885, at Provo (then a days’ travel from Salt Lake City) as the Territorial Insane Asylum. The donated records fill gaps in existing records series and contribute significantly to the documentation of the hospital’s functions and institutional history. These records are important to Utah’s cultural and historical past and document significant government responsibilities. The Archives is fortunate that these records have been returned to state custody.

Supreme Court research guide posted online

A research guide to assist researchers in using the record series of the Utah Supreme Court which are available at the Utah State Archives has now been adapted for online use (http://archives.utah.gov/research/guides/courts-supreme.html). Originally compiled in 1997, the new online version was updated and checked to include any records series added since its writing.

Family Tree Magazine recognizes death index

The Utah Death Certificate Index was named one of Family Tree Magazine’s 101 Best Web Sites under the category of 10 Best Sites for Vital Records (http://familytreemagazine.com/101for2009). This searchable database includes more than 250,000 death certificates, from 1904 to 1956, linked to digital images of the originals.

Electronic records management conference held

The Archives held its annual Electronic Records Conference at the Salt Lake Public Library auditorium on June 17. In the past this conference has been offered only to local governments, but this year the conference was expanded to include state agencies (records officers and IT personnel). It had over 100 registrants. The conference was designed to address some of the issues of the new environment of record keeping, management, and preservation. Topics included e-discovery, state e-mail guidelines, electronic records management software, and digital preservation. The conference was sponsored by the Utah State Historical Records Advisory Board.