Monday, August 17, 2015

Tennessee seeking public comments on state records

The Tennessee Comptroller of the Treasury, Office of Open Records Counsel currently has an open public comment process on the inspection of public records (see this page for background). If you are a researcher and user of public records in Tennessee, please take a look at this process, and consider providing feedback.
Source: Tennessee State Library & Archives, Signing of the Declaration of Independence.
HB0315/SB0328 would have permitted charges for the inspection of public records under the Tennessee Public Records Act. The bill is currently off notice to allow for public input.

Although I do not live in the state, I have documented ancestors who were in the territory that became Tennessee prior to Tennessee becoming a state. I have only been able to do this through the viewing of historic records. I hope Tennessee legislators hear from others who rely on these documents, and that barriers to access should not be put on public records. Tennessee should explore less restrictive methods and consider partnerships with organizations that will help make these public records open and available so that the historical record of the state can be preserved, accessed and used for the benefit of the public.

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