Massachusetts Genealogical Council

National Records Access Community

MGC finds itself standing with allies at every step of the way. These groups are also active in promoting access to genealogical records.

The Records Preservation and Access Committee (RPAC) is a joint project of three genealogy groups: the National Genealogy Society (NGS), the Federation of Genealogy Societies (FGS), and the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies (IAJGS). RPAC meets monthly via teleconference. Also attending these sessions are representatives from the American Society of Genealogists, the Association of Professional Genealogists, the Board for Certification of Genealogists, the International Commission for the Accreditation of Professional Genealogists, ProQuest, and Ancestry.

Judy Russell, JD, CG, CGL, has spent more than a decade writing a blog called The Legal Genealogist. She often posts on records access issues.

Reclaim the Records is the new kid on the block, founded in 2015, but it is a brash new kid. Reclaim the Records uses Freedom of Information requests to gather in public records, then makes those publically funded records available on the web for genealogists to use without a paywall.


There are several wonderful blogs that frequently cover records preservation and access issues.

Fred Moss, FGS, “Records Preservation and Access Committee,”

Jan Alpert, NGS, “Records Advocate,”

Jan Miesels Allen, Public Records Access Monitoring Committee of IAJGS,

Judy Russell, “The Legal Genealogist,”

Brooke Shreier Ganz, “Reclaim the Records,”

Post Office Box 5393, Cochituate, MA 01778

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© 2020 by Massachusetts Genealogical Council, Inc.