Lowell Deeds

The latest on real estate recordings and new technology from the Middlesex North Registry of Deeds in Lowell

April 19, 2007

No More Record Books

by @ 4:14 pm. Filed under Registry Ops

By the year 2000, it had become clear to me that providing registry information on paper was an obsolete, expensive and inefficient method of operation. The budget crisis of late 2001 gave us the incentive to cease making paper record books when our volumes were at number 12000. Today, six plus years later, we’re on (virtual) book 21000 which means in that short period of time (about 4% of the registry’s existence), we would have added 9000 additional books to our shelves (about 43% of the registry’s books). Our savings in materials and floor space have been substantial. Now it appears that the rest of the state will follow our lead. Yesterday, officials from the Secretary of State’s office met with the Registers of Deeds of all the state registries and announced the creation of a “digital archive” facility at the state record’s center in Boston. There, a massive scanning operation will digitize all registry record books after which the books can be placed into storage or destroyed. The message from the Secretary of State’s office was clear and unequivocal: The days of creating new record books must end as soon as possible and existing paper record books should be removed from the shelves once suitable electronic versions are readily available. Here in Lowell, we’re not only removing the books; we’re removing the shelves, as well, to free valuable for space for other registry functions. Much will happen over the next few weeks, so check back here for updates.

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