Instead of flipping through decaying paper files, families interested in tracing their heritage soon may have another electronic resource.
Salt Lake County has partnered with the Genealogical Society of Utah to make digital copies of more than 100,000 of the county's oldest birth and death records.
The information - it took two months to burn onto DVD - now is available for armchair historians through county offices. In about a year, it will be on the Web.
"They're right in our backyard," county records manager Terry Ellis said about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' Genealogical Society. "It was a good opportunity."
Ellis said the project could have cost taxpayers $1 per image but that the Genealogical Society did the work for free.
Death records from 1847-1949 were digitized along with birth records dating back to 1890.
Ellis said county officials were told about a year ago the books were falling apart.
"It was a really good cooperative venture," she said.
Anyone interested in checking the pioneer records can contact the county's archives office at 801-468-2330.
- Derek P. Jensen