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Presenter: Brooke Ganz
Tired of being told by state and local archives and government agencies that your family's genealogical records are "unavailable" to the public, or only available if you visit them onsite? We were too, so we figured out how to do something about it. We're Reclaim The Records, a new activist group that filed a first-of-its-kind Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) legal petition in the Supreme Court of New York against the NYC Municipal Archives, for access to twentieth century genealogical records...and won! We also secured the first-ever public release of the indices to hundreds of thousands of vital records from the New Jersey State Archives. And we're filing many more requests against city and state agencies, large and small. This presentation will tell the story behind these cases, walk through the legal basics of FOIL, and teach genealogists how to file their own FOIL requests for their own records.