Oxford County, Maine

Agenda for Sept. 16    Commissioners meeting

Correction officer    employment opportunities

County given land near    regional airport

Deputes request cell phone    upgrade

Chief Deputy says military    equipment saves lives

County switching deeds    records company

Commission Meeting    schedule Aug-Dec 2014

Approved 2014 budget

Republicans choose Turner    to run for commission

Diane Jackson withdraws    from commission race

Terry Hayes leaves    commission race

Airport has long to-do list

Legislature overrides jail    bill veto

Commissioners consider    Albany Basin Mining project

Airport future discussed

New county DA takes on    domestic violence

Commissioners okay    electronic timekeeping

County takes over airport

Commissioners approve $2.9    million tax note

Bonnie Seames named EMA    Director of the year

 Jail feeling space crunch

 Sheriff seeks re-election

 2014 final budget OK'd

 911 dispatch - the glue that    binds emergency services

County tax levy by towns

New technology, old problem: Oxford registry of deeds addresses preservation in the digital age

by Christopher Crosby, Staff Writer Sun Journal Aug. 25, 2014

PARIS — The Oxford County Registry of Deeds stands mostly empty, but not idle.

The metal shelves containing the recorded history of land ownership over the past 209 years are unattended; the climate-controlled room is occupied by only the register and a small staff. But across the country — and maybe the world — unseen hands are perusing the county’s deeds online.

The digitalization and online accessibility of the county’s documents has signaled a physical exodus from the registry’s room, nestled sleepily behind a thick wooden door in the county courthouse on Western Avenue.

Registry of Deeds archiving
Register of Deeds Patricia Shearman, right, opens a historic map-book containing hand-drawn and colored deeds dating back to the founding of the county in 1805.

“This place used to be a bustling metropolis, with standing-room only,” said county Register of Deeds Patricia Shearman.

Computers and other devices have changed how users access the registry; anyone with an Internet connection can access records from a neon-lit screen, which cuts down on the time and expense of traveling from far-flung corners of the county to Paris.

But as the race to scan documents tries to meet demand, a reciprocal effect is taking place — the county stopped printing new paper deed books in 2006, and with that move, a new problem has arisen.


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