Toward Better Access: Court Index Digitization

Gina Strack Digital Archives, Research Guides 1 Comment

Photograph of a probate record book.

When I first learned how to research court records, it was a multi-step process involving research guides, paper binders, and at least two sets of microfilm. Finding a particular case required me to:

  1. identify the court or jurisdiction (perhaps using the Historical Jurisdiction guide)
  2. identify available name indexes or alternatives (using the Court Records guide)
  3. retrieve and search the microfilm
  4. identify case number when a name is found
  5. identify microfilm reel that contains case number
  6. retrieve microfilm and lookup case file by number
  7. make copies

To shorten this process, or at least allow researchers to begin before visiting or calling, the Utah State Archives and Records Service is digitizing many of the most-used court indexes for online access. Using court records isn’t any less complicated, since identifying the correct jurisdiction and other steps are still required, but we hope to move toward better access to records by providing these tools online for all.

Utah Territory

Salt Lake County (Third District)

Weber County (Second District)

Box Elder County (First District)

Beaver County (Fifth District)

Is there a court index you’d like to see online? Let us know in the comments!

Comments 1

  1. In a perfect, or at least a better world I would request the following in descending order:
    1st District Index for Sevier, Sanpete, and Paiute County.
    2nd District for Wayne, Sanpete and Paiute County.
    3rd District for Sanpete.
    6th District for Sevier and Wayne Counties.

    But I will be tickled with whatever we can get. Thanks for what you are doing!

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