Josh LaRussa is the Register of Deeds Clerk for Chester County, South Carolina. He runs a lean operation and is the only county employee who registers deeds, although he has cross-trained others to cover for him in case he is unavailable. About two years ago, Avenu’s Clearview GRIDS software system started to make Josh’s job easier. GRIDS is a cloud-based record-indexing solution that delivers functionality and peace of mind to those responsible for maintaining all current and historic land records for a county.
Learn what life was like for the Chester County Clerk’s Office before Clearview GRIDS, and how this solution transformed their office.
Following the transformation, Josh LaRussa stated, “Our citizens are happy with the convenience of being able to search online which has saved our staff considerable time and effort.”
Chester County, SC Clerk’s Office
Nestled in the Poconos, 90 miles from New York City, the historic county has seen significant growth over the last couple decades. Pennsylvania also has one of the longest record retention requirements for coroner’s offices. Storing, preserving, and accessing these documents has become a logistical challenge. The county needed to rent more space to accommodate the additional 1,700 records a year, these documents were subject to decay, and it could take weeks to access them. When Tomas Yanac, Jr. was elected as the county coroner in 2017, he saw this problem and new they needed to digitize county records.
In the Spring of 2021, the coroner’s office found out that Avenu’s Digital Processing Services team was already scanning documents for other departments in the county. They jumped at the opportunity to utilize the DPS services, and the process began.
Avenu digitized roughly 481,000 pages and 31,650 case files. This included historical documents dating back to 1837 that had to be handled with care. All these documents were preserved so that they could be searched and accessed digitally. Now when members of the public need files, they can accessed in seconds instead of weeks without any risk of damage to the documents.
Learn the steps taken to digitize almost a half million pages, and how this transformed how the coroner’s office serves the public.
Monroe County, PA Coroner’s Office
“Book One Club” acknowledges jurisdictions digitizing back to “book one,” beginning with the one of our country’s first counties, Plymouth
CENTREVILLE, VA. (PRWEB) –
The Plymouth County Registry of Deeds Office is being honored and recognized as a member of Avenu Insights & Analytics’ “Book One Club.” John R. Buckley, Jr., Register of Deeds for Plymouth County executed a plan to digitize 400 years of land records — all the way back to Book One — to preserve the county’s history for future generations. The Book One Club was launched by Avenu to honor local governments who have gone to great lengths to digitize back to their very first record, also known as “book one.” Avenu will be present at Plymouth’s Registry of Deeds Office on February 9, 2022, at 10:00 a.m. to present the award.
“Digitizing back to sovereignty is a tremendous accomplishment, especially when you are one of the oldest and most historic jurisdictions in our country,” shared Avenu CEO, Paul Colangelo. “John R. Buckley, Jr., Register of Deeds for Plymouth County took great strides in preserving history by going back to Plymouth County’s first land record in 1685, and also going back to Plymouth Colony’s first land record dating back to 1620. He also was one of the first Register of Deeds offices to digitize images that include transcriptions. Together we worked to link the document images with their index information so that the public can easily search and retrieve a piece of history.”
Government records ensure accountability, provide proof of agreements, and serve as a historic account of events. Paper, ink, microfiche, and microfilm are not designed to last forever. As our country progresses in age, there are numerous challenges to records management, including deterioration from usage, sunlight, oxidation, mold, and improper storage. Insufficient storage and the cost of archiving paper records is another growing issue for many offices. Certainly during the recent Covid-19 years it made it easier for both the real estate professionals and the public to access records. Digitizing documents is the future for record management.
“We are honored to be awarded with Avenu’s Book One Club membership. Avenu’s team of dedicated professionals understood the importance of our mission and knew how to properly handle and preserve our records,” stated Buckley. “We were able to preserve our records while also making them available online to the public so everyone can easily access them for generations to come.”
About Plymouth County Registry of Deeds
The Plymouth County Registry of Deeds is an agency of the County of Plymouth and the guardian of historical and modern land records from the Pilgrims to the present. Established in 1685, Plymouth County is among the oldest counties in the United States. The Registry of Deeds has over 17 million images available to the public, which includes all recorded documents, plans, land court certificates, and many special collections. There is no charge to search and view Plymouth’s records.
About Avenu Insights & Analytics
Over 3,000 state and local governments have partnered with Avenu to drive positive results for their communities through software administration and compliance auditing solutions. Avenu’s comprehensive software solutions digitally transform government by modernizing processes, providing online access to records, and reducing costs. State and local governments also work closely with Avenu to increase revenue without raising taxes, streamline internal operations, and improve services by enhancing connectivity for constituents. Avenu is a portfolio company of Mill Point Capital. To learn more, visit www.avenuinsights.com.
How a Countywide Project Tackled over 14 Million Paper Records and Entered the 21st Century
Monroe County, PA was founded in 1836, is the home of the Pocono Mountains and is a mere 76 miles from New York City. Like all local governments, Monroe County is required to keep detailed records of everything from land grants and property deeds to court filings and tax data. These documents provide vital information and are an indispensable resource for both government employees and constituents.
Simple enough at first, but as time marches forward Monroe County has grown along with its population and court cases, which means that the number of records that need to be preserved has grown EXPONENTIALLY. The County had thousands of boxes of files overflowing in multiple physical storage locations across six different buildings.
This made retrieval of documents an additional challenge and required going to an off-site location, looking down long rows of files stored on shelves, and sifting through boxes to locate the desired file.
Some of these paper artifacts are 100 years old. Over time, paper experiences deterioration that occurs from usage, sunlight, oxidation, mold and storage. Even ink was not engineered to last 100 years. Fast forward to present times where counties across the country are facing insufficient storage and the cost of archiving paper records is a growing issue coupled with the need for immediate anywhere access.
Ultimately, Monroe County’s challenge was to efficiently preserve records for long-term use, being able to easily access records while reducing storage requirements, provide a disaster recovery plan while staying on budget.
Learn the steps taken to tackle over 14 million paper documents and create a digital archive for the county.
Monroe County, Pennsylvania
As America races towards its 250th birthday, there are numerous challenges to preserving records from the very beginning of our nation. One of the main challenges is deterioration that occurs over time from usage, sunlight, oxidation, mold and improper storage. Many early records are handwritten, requiring transcription services. Insufficient storage and the cost of archiving paper records is another growing issue. Cities and counties across the country are taking action to preserve their history.
Over the last 40 years, Avenu’s Digital Processing Services team has partnered with jurisdictions to preserve records (historic, governance, vital, land, financial, and administrative) and make them available for generations to come. Billions of documents and images have been digitized and transcribed by our experts, securing them from wear and tear, accidents, and natural disasters, while enabling the public to easily search and access them.
In honor of Presidents’ Day, we wanted to look at a previous preservation project involving a historic record with two past presidents. Let us set the stage with a brief history lesson.
For nearly 200 years, John Adams (2nd President) and John Quincy Adams (6th President) were the only father-son pair to serve as Presidents. In 1800, John Adams lost his presidential reelection campaign to Thomas Jefferson, and in 1802, John Quincy Adams was elected to the U.S. Senate from Massachusetts. In 1803, during the first year of John Quincy Adam’s term in the U.S. Senate, John Adams and his wife Abigail Adams, sold over 320 acres to their son.
Avenu partnered with Norfolk County, MA to transcribe and digitize 871 books. Included in this project was the four-page deed of sale for this property. The deed details thirteen different lots owned by John Adams that were purchased for $12,812. It provides a detailed account of how John Adams acquired different lots, structures on the property, various uses of the land, geographic boundaries, and the names of individuals who owned neighboring property.
All of this property he attests “are free of all encumbrances… that I have good right to sell and convey the same to the said John Quincy Adams, & that I will warrant and defend the same to the said John Quincy Adams and his heirs and assigns forever against the lawful claims and demands of all persons.”
The document is also noteworthy because both John and Abigail Adams signed and sealed the document as the property transferred included property from Abigail’s dowry. This deed along with numerous historic documents from Norfolk County can be viewed online.
Avenu takes great pride in using our technology and experienced team to preserve records for future generations. Each document preserved provides a detailed account of the individuals, land, and events that occurred throughout the history of our nation.
Avenu also digitized Plymouth County, Massacheusetts’ historical records in advance of the 400 anniversary of Plymouth Colony.
Anyone with responsibility for managing vital, land, historic and other public records in local government knows the challenges. Processing a growing volume of new documents and making the best use of older ones takes technology, expertise and storage space.
Plymouth County, Massachusetts is one jurisdiction that has figured out the right balance between needs and resources. Gain insight into ways the Plymouth:
– Preserved deteriorating, historic records from the founding of the first colony
– Improved searchability, discoverability and document access
– Accommodated statutory requirements for records management
– Reduced archiving space needs, risk from disasters, and costs
Avenu’s Digital Processing Services include the digitization of an unlimited number of documents in any format, size, and condition.
We then create a secure digital archive that seamlessly integrates with your current systems and workflows, keeping all your documents up-to-date for public and professional use. Increase efficiency across legal proceedings, government decisions, and more with blazing-fast, easy -to-navigate access to your entire archive of digitized documents.