Keep Access to Records
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Welcome to MGC
Massachusetts enacted its first law ensuring that public records remain accessible in 1641. The public good is improved when historians, genealogists, journalists, authors, investigators––all citizens––have access to records produced by our government. Genealogists owe it to themselves to advocate for open public records.
The Massachusetts Genealogical Council (MGC) was founded in 1980 and is the umbrella organization representing Massachusetts genealogists, historical societies, and individuals concerned about records preservation and free and unfettered access to civil records. MGC serves as the records access watchdog and provides a reality check for the Massachusetts legislature regarding access issues. Thanks in large part to efforts by MGC, genealogists are able to access all Massachusetts vital records.
MGC regularly communicates with members about Massachusetts and federal legislative activities concerning records preservation and access in several ways: the MGC Sentinel, our blog; through electronic email bulletins, educational seminars, and through the MGC Newsletter.
Scroll down and click on links to see how MGC helps keep records open and accessible to the public.
These are the ways in which MGC works to keep records open and accessible.
Click on the links to learn more!
Federal records like the Social Security Administration's Death Master File (SSDA) are in danger of being closed. MGC monitors national legislation and sends a liaison to the Records Preservation and Access Committee.
Who are we? People need open access to records for so many reasons: military repatriation cases, health family histories, probate and inheritance cases, press investigations, legal research, genealogy, guardianships, and historical research, to name but a few. We have a right to access public records!
MGC receives support from both organizations and individuals. See a list of our current organizational supporters here. Won't you consider lending us your support, too? Our basic level is only $10 per year, and gets you a discount to our Seminar.
The MGC Board of Officers and Directors is run entirely by volunteers. We are always looking for help, and joining our team is a great way to learn about the genealogical community, conference planning, and of course, legislation. The pay is lousy, but the rewards are so satisfyingll! We'd love to show you the ropes. Click here to read more about the responsiblites of each position. You don't need to be an expert we'll train you!