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Friday, January 13, 2006

Dumpster-Diving for History

From The (Martinsville, Ind.) Reporter-Times:

County record disposal concerns historian

By Amy Hillenburg
ahillenb@reportert.com

Thursday January 12, 2006

There could be growing gaps in Morgan County's public records, according to county historian Sam Cline, if the proper process is not followed in storing, reviewing, microfilming and destroying them.

It concerns him that in 1969 and again in 2005, old record books were thrown into a dumpster for disposal and burning.

[snip]

In the 1960s, Cline was doing research in the Morgan County Recorder's office in the courthouse. Thelma Gray was Recorder at the time. She showed him a sight that still haunts him - a room on the third floor where people had merely opened the door and started throwing county records into it.

"I picked up a small book with a real leather cover and no information on the spine or cover and I opened it. The book was the original 1847 tax records for Morgan County," Cline said.

[snip]

[Read the whole story]

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