Thursday, June 29, 2006

Change in public records access

There's light blogging here this week because I'm away and not able to spend as much time at the computer as normal, but here's something worth posting:, which has been everyone's recommendation for free access to finding public records online via state and county websites (along with some national and international databases too) for a long time now, has become a fee service.

I'd suspected this was coming for a while, but now it's confirmed by an item in the TVC Alert newsletter:
The conversion took place slowly beginning with the introduction of fees in 2004 for faster access. Now, it appears that you cannot obtain any information without registration and payment.

TVC alert recommends some possibilities for replacement directories of public records: BRB's free resource center, Portico at U.Va., and Black Book Online, all of which I've linked to at some point.

I also recently linked to Free Public Records from, which seems to do the same thing that Searchsystems did before it started advertising fees. But I just clicked on it and get a 'problem loading page' message. Ooops. The main page still has a link, though...
(Added later: it is working again on Sunday.....)


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