I thrive on research. I never know what insights I might gain as I wander from book to book and document to document. But sometimes I don't want to wander. I just want an answer, and I don't want distractions: I want it now.
Enter the computer.
Over the past few weeks, the Museum has been the site of activities that promise to help streamline research in San Joaquin County's government records. The objective of those efforts is to digitize most of the County's deeds and to make major parts of them available over a computer at the recorder's office.
This is a significant event. In recent years, the County's collection of historic deeds have been scattered among a number of locations, the county museum being one of them. Some volumes might be found in the archives of the Museum, whereas others might be housed in downtown Stockton. The same goes for indexes: a researcher might need to travel miles to view volumes that should be sitting next to each other on a shelf.
Digitization of these records promises to bring about major changes. Not only will the project end up creating one centrally located digital repository, it will also enhance capabilities to search and view. In addition, it will save users time and money, reduce their levels of frustration, and enable them to manipulate data in ways previously impossible.
Meanwhile, preparation of the updated historic records inventory discussed in the previous blog promises to facilitate research in other county records.
The digitization project has only started. The person to thank for this turn of events is the San Joaquin County recorder/county clerk, Kenneth Blakemore, under whose direction the scanning has commenced.
Stay tuned for occasional updates.