Abbie Gripman has an article in the Arizona Daily Sun about the Arizona Department of Health Services’ website that has over 400,000 “historical” birth and death records from the Arizona state archives. Since early 2004, the site has served up over 3.5 million pages – not too shabby at all.
“Surpassing the 3 million mark in such a short period of time underscores a large and growing demand for historical records,” said Department of Health Services Director Susan Gerard. “Genealogists and casual family tree researchers have found they can save time and money with our site when searching for their family roots.”
Before the Web site was available, accessing historical records was cumbersome and costly, requiring manual searches by state Vital Records employees, a $3 fee per request, and a two- to three-week wait to receive them.
There have been more than 2.4 million documents downloaded from this Web site. If these documents had been requested from the state Office of Vital Records, it would have cost the public more than $7 million ($3 per document).
You can access the website here: http://genealogy.az.gov . Hopefully more states will follow suit with this (it could be proposed as a cost-saving measure that the public wants).