The Daviess County Clerk's Office has been awarded $16,164 in grant funds for the preservation and management of its records.

The Local Records Program funding is an annual two cycle grant that provides archival and records management assistance to county and city offices, school districts and health departments. The awards, determined by the Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives (KDLA), are meant to support agencies in their efforts regarding microfilming, preservation, equipment, automated indexing, digital imaging systems and codification of ordinances.

The clerk's office's plans for this first cycle of funding will revolve around Courthouse Computer Systems digitizing the records and Cott Systems converting them to microfilm, said Chief Deputy County Clerk Richard House.

"We are going to image 112 miscellaneous books," he said. "In this first phase, we will take the images, which will go into our system for the public use and then they will microfilmed and sent to the archives as well as the library. We have taken advantage of this to preserve these documents and make sure the public has access. The scanning will be done by the end of this year. Hopefully, it will be faster and once that happens we will have the images and the next vendor will take those and make the microfilm."

The application for the next phase of the grant is due on Jan. 28, said Daviess County Clerk Leslie McCarty, with the hopes of receiving funds this time next year. The focus of the second-cycle funding will revolve around the restoration of older books, some of which date back to the establishment of Daviess County, she said.

"The preservation portion will be expensive," she said. "We will have knowledgeable people down here to give us a quote, because it is an expensive process to rehab a book. They will try to revive the books by taking them apart. Books back then were sewn together. Now, many of them are glued. If they can sew the books back together, then they will. If that isn't an option, then they will be placed in acid-free sleeves and placed into the appropriate binders to preserve them."

The KDLA awarded $449,656 to 20 organizations statewide in the first round of its 2020 grant awards. The other counties that received funding are: Bourbon, Boyd, Clark, Clinton, Franklin, Jackson, Jessamine, Lawrence, Letcher, Mason, Magoffin, Menifee, Monroe, Montgomery, Nicholas, Pike, Rockcastle, Warren and Washington.

Jacob Mulliken, 270-228-2837, jmulliken@messenger-inquirer.com

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