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Communications and Public Affairs: 207-7234
Published on Saturday, December 3, 2011

Digitized records - City Clerk Leticia Vacek moves San Antonio's history into the future.

Making archives more I
accessible is good
public policy.
The digital revolution has
changed the way people communicate,
conduct research
and do business. While the
private sector has quickly
capitalized on the potential
of the Internet and digital
communication, government
has typically been a slow ·
adopter. .
That sluggishness is beginning
to change, with the biggest
advances coming in government
transparency. At the
state, county and city level,
online tools exist for citizens
to track contracting, tax collection
and expenditures.
The San Antonio City
Clerk's office is responsible
for storing and maintaining
the city's official records. In
a city with a history as long
and rich as that of San Antonio,
that also makes the office
a historical trove.
Express-News staff writer
Josh Baugh reported that records
requests used to in-
- volve the clerk's office
manually searching a 60,000-
square-foot warehouse. No
City Clerk Leticia Vacek
has begun the process of digitizing
San Antonio's official
- history. putting online in a
searchable format everything
from the minutes of the
Spanish and Mexican munic-
::: ipal governments of San Antonio
prior to Texas independence
to City Council or-
City Clerk Leticia Vacek looks at an
1885 reproduction of the original
Alamo plat. The map, along with
other official city'records, is being
digitized for easier access.
dinances and election results
up to the present day.
The clerk's office is six
months into the digitizing
project and has years of
work to come. "We're just
scanning in, digitizing, indexing
as fast as we can,"
Tina Flores, who oversees
the archives, told the newspaper.
The -digitized product is
good for researchers - both
amateur and professional -
and taxpayers. Vacek and
her office deserve praise for
making San Antonio's history
and official records more
accessible and for streamlining
the records-request process.
For a digital peek into San
Antonio's official past, visit
the 'city clerk's website at Archives!.

Categories: City Clerk