Our website has been updated and moved to the simpler webdress of www.pahr-access.org and our new edress is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Now that SB-361 is the law the original state death certificates 1906-1961 and birth certificates 1906 are available to the general public at the State Archives in Harrisburg. Indices for them are available online through the PA Dept of Health website (the link to them is on our website under Vital Records Currently Available Online). The indexes are rather crude and contain minimal information, but they are better than nothing (at least for now).
We are still pushing for the records to be made available online which can be done at no cost to the taxpayer. Having the records put into a searchable database would make searching for the right record considerably easier and having them online would make these records vastly more accessible to all. However, this will not happen automatically and we’ve already heard contradictory stories about what will be done. So we have to be vigilant to avoid the very real possibility of foot dragging and empty promises. This is discussed in detail on our website.
Thank you for all your help and support.
People for Better Pennsylvania Historical Records Access (PaHR-Access)
Genealogists Researchers Family Historians
We are asking for your help in a grassroots effort to make sure older Pennsylvania state birth and death certificates are made available online
We were quite successful in changing Pennsylvania law to allow state death certificates more than 50 years old and birth certificates more than 105 years old to become open records (currently that means from 1906-1962 and 1906-1907 respectively). They will also be transferred to the State Archives. Now that they can legally be put online we want to make sure the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania does all it can to put them online as has been done in 17 states so far. In other words we do not want foot dragging or empty promises.
While it is great that the records will be transferred to the Pennsylvania State Achieves, putting the records in an online database and using a search engine would make it possible to search through these records in a way that is light years away from manually searching the numerous by year by county indexes and manually retrieving each record at the State Archives.
We need everyone (including out-of-state residents) to write, email, call or visit Governor Tom Corbett's office to keep up the pressure. While there should be no reason to contact any of the state legislators letting the state legislators and the Governor know that the State Archives should be appropriately funded in general rather than underfunded as it is now could help the situation. Naturally the more letters and other forms of contact that are made and the more people involved the better.
Contact information, FAQ, sample letters, forms, links and considerably more information can be found at: users.rcn.com/timarg/PaHR-Access (or Google “PaHR-Access”)
If you have any questions please contact the spokesperson for PaHR-Access:
Tim Gruber email@example.com