Friday, November 29, 2013

Can you get Czech Records that have not been digitized but are old enough to be made publicly available?

My Czech cousin answered a question I have had for a very, very long time. I thought it would be good to post this for others who may be wondering the same thing.

Privacy laws in the Czech Republic limit public viewing of records to those older than 100 years for birth records, older than 75 years for death and marriage records. If there is a register (a book) that has records (individual entries in the book) that are less than the required age, the register cannot be digitized and made available publicly.

The question is, what about the people inside the book whose records are old enough to be viewed? It makes sense that the registers can't be digitized until all of the records within meet the requirements. But how would you access the other records that do meet the requirements?

I suspect that practices *might* vary from archive to archive, just as they do from courthouse to courthouse in the United States. However, the general rule is that officials don't allow individuals to look at these registers. They make photocopies themselves. My cousin says that this is done only for direct descendants, and you have to pay to have it done.

But! The point is, it can be done. That is exciting.

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