Have you signed the Genealogists’ Declaration of Rights yet? If you went to the IAJGS conference last summer, you may have signed the books at the IAJGS table in the central hallway.
So far, the Declaration has collected 8,000 signatures, but it needs 10,000 to be heard. Federal and state legislation and regulations are coming this year where it will be critical to have the 10,000 signatures.
if you haven’t signed, it’s important for you to do so. The Declaration comes from RPAC, the Records Preservation and Access Committee. Several organizations (FGS, NGS, ASG, APG, BCG, ICAP-Gen, IAJGS, proQuest, and Ancestry) have banned together to give us a voice in the US and state governments.
Many government entities are threatening to take away any access we may already have to records that are needed to discover our family histories, often under the fear of identity theft. Identity theft almost never occurs through genealogical means — but our government needs for us to tell them and we need enough voices behind our representative speakers for them to listen. Imagine if we had even less access to the records than we do now. How far would you get in your research?
If you didn’t already sign, or don’t remember, please sign the online version at http://bit.ly/gen-declaration. It’s the easiest way to participate in the Declaration. And invite all your friends and family as well. If they support your pursuit of genealogy, then they should be happy to sign.