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2016 County Clerk News

Clerk’s Office Announces Ancient Documents Portal Now Available Online
Earliest court records catalogued, digitized and readily accessible for viewing

Published: 1/14/2016

For More Information Contact:

Felicia Zammit-McMann (845) 486-2133

POUGHKEEPSIE, NY- Bradford Kendall, Dutchess County Clerk and William P. Tatum III, Dutchess County Historian, are pleased to announce that the Ancient Documents Portal is now open and accessible through the Dutchess County website: 12,000 pages of documents from the county’s earliest court records are now catalogued, digitized, and readily accessible for viewing. The project is a joint effort of the Offices of the Historian and the County Clerk.

Tatum stated, "Thanks to New York State Archives support and exceptional teamwork between county departments, researchers can access this pivotal collection through a keyword search for the first time in its history. The Ancient Documents Collection provides a unique window into the early history of Dutchess County, showing how African-American, Native American, Dutch, and German residents interacted, and demonstrating that Dutchess County has long been an economic and legal hub for the region."

The project was funded by the New York State Archives through the Local Government Records Management Improvement Fund (LGRMIF). Projects receive funding based on the merits of applications from local governments that demonstrate establishing records

management programs or developing new program components. To date, the Dutchess County Clerk’s Office has received $54,850 to complete Phase I and Phase II of the Ancient Documents Portal. An additional $37,800 was recently secured to conduct Phase III of the project, which will commence in 2016.

The Ancient Documents Portal is an online search portal that was developed by the county’s Department of History and the Office of Central and Information Services (OCIS) by combining document images with metadata generated by on-going indexing. The portal will provide readily accessible information to the public and researchers for viewing.

Tim Mahler, OCIS Commissioner said: "It’s always rewarding for OCIS to partner with the County Clerk to use technologies to improve services for County constituents. The Ancient Documents Portal is a great example of how we’re using the County’s Enterprise Content Management (ECM) system to provide 24/7 on-line access to County documents that would otherwise require the public to spend time and money to drive to County offices."

Kendall concluded, "Dutchess County has long and distinguished history, much of which has been documented in the County Clerk’s Office. Through this collaborative effort we are pleased to share our early documents with the public at large. The Dutchess County Clerk’s Office- where history meets technology."

The manumission of Cornelius Jansen, 1763: