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Home: Regional: U.S. States: Virginia: Wise County

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Low Fee Subscription To Survive
Posted by: J. Jack Kennedy, Jr., Esq. Date: January 22, 2000 at 02:44:16
In Reply to: MARRIAGES - save them! by Genealogist of 1659


Yes, the Wise County Circuit Court must change from FREE to tiny-fee access to the
growing content database hosted by a private
firm in Sterling, Virginia

The database has been hosted at MIXNET the
past 14-months at no cost to the User public.
Private donations, State Technology Trust Funds, and Library of Virginia Grants have helped build the content. We can not justify
the $8,000 cost to serve 2,500 free subscribers most of which do not reside in Wise County today. We believe our approach to be reasonable.

The Clerk of Court will direct budgeted funds into record preservation and digital
conversion for greater access. Database
hosting, however, must be supported by the subscribers to maintain quality of support and access. The annual cost $8,000.

On February 29, 2000, Millennnium Leap Day, we will launch the low-cost fee service.

Some may elect to be critical of the fee service and the Clerk of Court but the alternative is to cease the on-line database operation. The content conversion costs and the hundreds of subscribers (2,500-plus now) is growing more and more difficult for us to support with no budget expansion.

Fee paying subscribers will gain better response time from the server and User support from the vendor. The Clerk of Court Office will focus our efforts on content
expansion and record preservation with our budgeted, grant, and donated funds.

The alternative is to totaly discontinue the on-line service or pay more each year and the subscribers increase and halt database
expansion and paper-to-digital conversion.

We have proivided the service for FREE the past year while building the vast content.
It is unrealistic to think we can continue
to provide the database totally for free.

BTW, we are about to complete the first fifty (50) years of digitally imaged marriage bonds (1856 to 1905) on CD-ROM
next month. We have recovered marriage bonds
that were previously lost from the local collection. MIXNET is the vendor who will sale CD-ROMs to those who desire them. It is under consideration now as to whether or not to add these to the web database for the
subscription service. CD-ROMs, however, have much faster search query and image load ability. This has been a very important access endeavor. History is being re-opened again.

So, indeed, enjoy the FREE database. But also
SUBSCRIBE under one of four User plans.

Support the efforts to provide web access to public databases.

REMEMBER, the data is ALWAYS FREE on premises.

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