About NGS

The Records Preservation & Access Coalition (RPAC)

Who We Are

The Records Preservation and Access Coalition (RPAC) is sponsored by the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies (IAJGS) and the National Genealogical Society (NGS), and supported by the Association of Professional Genealogists (APG), the Board for Certification of Genealogists (BCG), the American Society of Genealogists (ASG), and the International Commission for the Accreditation of Professional Genealogists (ICAPGen). Members of RPAC Committee meet monthly to advise the genealogical community on ensuring proper access to vital records and on supporting strong records preservation policies and practices.

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Help RPAC be proactive on records access issues, subscribe to the Records Advocate at www.RecordsAdvocate.org. The Records Advocate will keep you advised of state, federal, and international access issues throughout the year which may impact your family history research.

Make Sure the 2011 Model State Vital Statistics Act is Not Passed in Your State!
The 2011 Model State Vital Statistics Act if passed in your state will increase the embargo period for access to Vital Records, as well as indexes, to 125 years for birth records, 75 years for death records, and 100 years for marriage and divorce records. These dates for birth and death records became effective in New York City in March 2018, despite strong objections from the genealogical community. If you learn of any legislation which will affect access to public records, contact RPAC at [email protected]. You can read the proposed 2011 Model Act on the National Association for Public health Statistics and Information Systems (NAPHSIS) at NAPHSIS.org.

Open Death Records Initiative
Federation of Genealogical Societies (now merged with NGS) launched the Open Death Records Initiative and  encouraged Presidents of State Genealogical Societies to reach out to their State Vital Records Officers and begin a dialog which encourages greater access to death and other vital records. Within the past three years several states including Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Oklahoma have improved access to vital records. The earlier genealogists become involved, the better the outcome.

The European Union approved the new General Data Protection Regulation which became effective 25 May 2018 and includes the “right to be forgotten.” A person living in one of the twenty-eight EU countries (twenty-seven after Great Britain withdraws) can request that information about them be removed from European search engines. Over the last two years, thousands of requests have been made to Google and other companies. The next steps include e-privacy regulations which have been drafted by the EU but not yet approved which forbid companies from tracking Internet activity without the express consent of the users.


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