Lowell Deeds

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

January 27, 2009

Old Indexes: Get your copy now

by @ 1:34 pm. Filed under Indexing, Registry Ops

Those of you who come to the registry and use our public search computers are familiar with our electronic version of the pre-1976 indexes. Everything back to 1629, both Grantor and Grantee, are available as “electronic books” in PDF format. For the past three years, we have tried repeatedly to make these indexes available on their website. Given their electronic size, that’s been a challenge. We were making real progress when the current budget crisis struck, forcing us to cut funds that had been allocated for the completion of that project and prompting us to alter our strategy.

Recently, registry employees began a massive back indexing project. We have began with documents recorded in 1975 and are indexing them directly into our computer system without regard to the manner in which they were previously indexed. This will ensure that the data in our searchable database is consistent and in compliance with the latest deed indexing standards. Despite our best efforts, this will be a lengthy project. In the meantime, we have decided to once again make the indexes in PDF format available to you in electronic form for your own use.

Formerly, we asked you to provide us with a set of CDs upon which we would copy the various indexes. This required more than a dozen CDs, making it very difficult for us to physically copy that many disks for the number of customers who wanted the data. But as is often the case, technology may have come to our rescue. The combined Grantor and Grantee indexes from 1629 to 1976 total 12.5 gigabytes of storage space. Today, you can purchase a “thumb drive” also known as a “flash drive” of 16 gigabyte capacity for about $40 (at Walmart, at least). So, if you wish to obtain a copy of our indexes, next time you come to the registry, bring a blank 16GB flash drive with you and we’ll make you a copy that you can then add to any and all of your computers.

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