Indiana to digitize millions of birth certificates and marriage records

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

INDIANAPOLIS (Oct. 24, 2014) – The state of Indiana will digitize and post more than 13 million birth certificates, death certificates and marriages records online.

The state made an agreement with Ancestry.com to put the historical records online and make them available to Hoosiers. The birth and death certificates date back to the early 1900s while marriage records include those from 1958 through 2005.

State officials said the archive will be the largest online collection of material ever digitized for the state of Indiana.

Some of the documents will be online and available by next year, with the process expected to be completed by 2016—in time for Indiana’s Bicentennial.

“As we head toward the 2016 Bicentennial and celebrate Indiana’s past, this initiative serves not only present-day Hoosiers by improving accessibility to records, but also future Hoosiers as they look back at state history,” said Gov. Mike Pence of the agreement.

The partnership will save the state more than $3.2 million—the cost to index, scan and make those materials available online. The state would have taken more than a decade to do it. The process will give Hoosiers more access to those records and prevent the original documents for being handled too often and degrading. It will also make sure there are copies of those records in the event they were destroyed.

The Indiana Commission on Public Records has been working with the Indiana State Department of Health’s Vital Records Office to make the Ancestry.com deal happen. Both agencies will receive copies of digital images and indexes. The health department will use its copy to streamline the process of accessing records and providing official copies to Hoosiers. The State Archives will provide access to records more than 75 years old at its facility.

In addition, Ancestry.com members will have access to the documents once the project is done.