More of Pulaski County’s public records will be available online in the coming months. On Monday, the county commissioners agreed to let Recorder Sue Fox hire CSI to scan documents predating the 1960s. She said that anything newer has already been made available online. “What we’ll do is we’ll have it complete, every record that we have in our vault right now, back into the 1800s,” she said. “And this is important, too, because of people who do searches just for homestead, hundred-year homestead checks, and people are just doing family histories. They use it quite often.”
To handle the additional data, Fox said the project will also include the purchase of a server and four new computers. The total cost will be about $106,000, with that money coming out of the Recorder’s Perpetuation Fund, which is supported by the fees the office charges.
Fox said CSI’s bid was about $10,000 less than the other one the county received. Not only that, but CSI scans the records on-site. “They’ll bring a trailer in,” Fox explained, “probably park it outside the courthouse, obviously, take the books out there to scan them and then bring them back in, but they will never leave the area.”
Fox expects the scanning itself to take six to seven months, but then the Recorder’s Office will have to index the documents. Once that’s done, the public will be able to access the records using Doxpop, which then charges them a fee. Fox said those who don’t have Internet access will still be able to access the old books or use computers in the Recorder’s Office.
Fox said the project would not include deeds, though. She hopes to make those available online in the future, but that project will have to be coordinated with the Auditor’s and Assessor’s offices.