Arapahoe County’s records are a physical connection between our history and the present day.
But Deputy Director of Records Juan Guzman has his mind on tomorrow—and beyond.
“Records tell the story of Arapahoe County,” Guzman said. “It’s our sacred duty to protect them and preserve them for future generations.”
Guzman’s team in the Clerk and Recorder’s Office is overseeing the process of converting millions of records from the County’s founding in 1861 all the way to 1995, when the Recording Division began storing records digitally.
All land records, deeds, marriage licenses and public notices recorded during that 134-year gap have been stored in leather-bound ledgers or rolls of microfilm, leaving them susceptible to water damage, fire, decomposition, and the wear-and-tear of being handled by staff and the public. (Imagine greasy, Cheetos dust-covered fingers flipping through a 100-year-old log of marriage licenses and you’ll get a sense of what keeps Guzman up at night.)
Digitization will not only protect County records, it will improve public to those documents. Anyone with a computer will be able to access records in a searchable database from their homes, 24 hours a day, rather than coming in person to the Records Room in Littleton, Guzman said.
Making the records available online will yield other advantages for County residents and customers, according to Recording Manager Casey Sale.
“Our staff won’t have to spend time hauling oversized record books back and forth from storage, or poring through rolls of microfilm every week,” Sale said. “We’ll be able to reallocate their time and offer more appointments for passport and marriage license services to our customers.”
The entire process is scheduled for completion in early 2022.
October 10 is National Electronic Records Day. The date (1010) is a digital pun on the 1’s and 0’s used in binary coding. Electronic records save money and space, and help the environment by reducing waste. Learn more about the benefits of using electronic records.