July 25, 2014

NC Archives vs. Virginia Archives

I've spent many a happy hour at the North Carolina archives elbow deep in books, abstracts, really old documents and microfilm. I also take rich advantage of the option of ordering documents from the archives via their online portal. I appreciate that they will search for my request and bill me a measly $2 via email. Once paid, they send me the document via snail mail. The only thing that could make the process any better was if they would send me the documents electronically. But for $2, I'm not gonna complain. I love this service!

I appreciate it even more after visiting the Virginia archives site. Known as the Library of Virginia, it is organized differently than North Carolina. That's not necessarily a good thing. Not only can you not order documents electronically (must print a form, fill it out, and MAIL or fax it), but the charges are very high comparatively. It's $10 for an obit or marriage notice. It's $25 if you want a copy of the marriage bond/license or a deed. And a whopping $30 if you want an estate record or will.

Is it just me or is that crazy? Am I missing something?

Plus, they will not search for anything you can get from the National Archives.


It's a good thing that I only need very early Colonial records from Virginia for a couple of immigrant ancestors!

I know they have overhead and have to pay trained staff to do the leg work on requests, but $30 just seems excessive for a will. Don'tcha think?

Makes me love my North Carolina even more.

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