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DIGITIZING OF THE CIVIL REGISTERS AND MATRICULA
FROM BUCHAREST AND BRAȘOV COUNTY
(ROMANIA)
Rafael Dorian CHELARU
(”Al. I. Cuza” Academy, Faculty of Archival Sciences,
Bucharest)
CURRENT STATE OF THE ART
 Real and urgent need for digitization of the relevant collections held
by the Romanian National Archives
 Very few archival collections have been transferred into digital
content : some photographic material, medieval documents up to
1600 (see http://arhivamedievala.ro/)
 Primary cause: cronic lack of financial and human resources for long
term digitization projects
 Main primary causes:
 lack of governmental long-term policies focused on archives,
 insufficient administrative expertise in running EU financed projects
 cumbersome bureacratic and legal procedures
 lack of incentives for innovative projects
GETTING STARTED
 2014 – a competition was launched for collaborative research
projects in 9 domains (including cultural patrimony) financed
from public funds
 the application proposed by a consortium (Faculty of Archival
Sciences, National Archives of Romania and an IT company)
won the competition and got a financial support of c. 280.000
Euros in total (1/2 of the initial financial package)
 the consortium proposed a pilot genealogical database of 2
civil status collections from Bucharest and Brașov
county – the first of its kind in Romania
 In October 2014, the contract was signed and the project was
initiated
TARGET COLLECTIONS – BUCHAREST
 Matricula and, later, civil status registers were introduced in
Romanian lands (including Bucharest) since 1832
 Until 1863, the registers were filled by the parish priests and
administered by the Orthodox Church
 After 1863, they were transferred to the local authorities (mayors)
and administered by the Ministry of Interior
 The matricula collection (1832-1865) includes 334 units (c. 16 linear
meters) originating from 122 parishes in Bucharest and suburban
communes
 The civil register collection (1865-1912) includes 2095 units (c. 94
linear meters)
 The finding aids consist in several dozens of lists of names grouped
in 3 categories (births, marriages, deaths), under each year
1867 civil
status
register
recording
deaths
(Bucharest)
1900 civil
status
register
recording
births
(Bucharest)
TARGET COLLECTIONS – BRAȘOV COUNTY
 In Transylvanian Saxon lands, the matricula were used since
16 th c. (the Orthodox church kept matricula since 18th c.)
 The civil registers were introduced in Transylvania since
1895, following a decree issued by Hungarian authorities
 The matricula collection in Brașov county archives (1639-
1895) consists of 669 units
 The civil status register collection includes 1570 units issued
by civil authorities from towns and villages within the
administrative limits of the actual Brașov county
 A primary database in Access is available for all matricula and
registers opened for public
17th c.
matricula
register
(Brașov
county)
1819
matricula
register
(Brașov
county)
WHAT IT’S BEEN DONE UP TO NOW
 For Bucharest collection – the complete digitization and indexing of
finding aids up to the level of names
 Undergoing digitization of all registers and matricula using steady
cameras and lamps
 For Brașov county collection – undergoing digitization of all registers
and matricula starting with the oldest units
 For indexing, we’ll use the available database to import the
metadata up to the level of years and parishes/communes
 Image standard – JPEG at 350 dpi
 Payments flow with great delays
 Not enough financial resources to use professional scanners
for registers
 Many units are in a poor state of conservation
TECH SPECS…
 A web application using Symfony framework
(PhP 5.4x) suitable for long term projects
 A MySQL 5x database
 An Apache 2.2x server
 3 roles (guest, registered user/community
member, admin)
 12 main features including searchable content,
describing units and entities, account
administration etc.
 Currently under testing…
(http://195.82.131.197/arhgen/web/)

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ICARUS-Meeting #17 | Transparency - Accessibility – Dialogue. How a creative archival landscape can effect society - Rafael Chelaru: Creating a Genealogical Database

  • 1. DIGITIZING OF THE CIVIL REGISTERS AND MATRICULA FROM BUCHAREST AND BRAȘOV COUNTY (ROMANIA) Rafael Dorian CHELARU (”Al. I. Cuza” Academy, Faculty of Archival Sciences, Bucharest)
  • 2. CURRENT STATE OF THE ART  Real and urgent need for digitization of the relevant collections held by the Romanian National Archives  Very few archival collections have been transferred into digital content : some photographic material, medieval documents up to 1600 (see http://arhivamedievala.ro/)  Primary cause: cronic lack of financial and human resources for long term digitization projects  Main primary causes:  lack of governmental long-term policies focused on archives,  insufficient administrative expertise in running EU financed projects  cumbersome bureacratic and legal procedures  lack of incentives for innovative projects
  • 3. GETTING STARTED  2014 – a competition was launched for collaborative research projects in 9 domains (including cultural patrimony) financed from public funds  the application proposed by a consortium (Faculty of Archival Sciences, National Archives of Romania and an IT company) won the competition and got a financial support of c. 280.000 Euros in total (1/2 of the initial financial package)  the consortium proposed a pilot genealogical database of 2 civil status collections from Bucharest and Brașov county – the first of its kind in Romania  In October 2014, the contract was signed and the project was initiated
  • 4. TARGET COLLECTIONS – BUCHAREST  Matricula and, later, civil status registers were introduced in Romanian lands (including Bucharest) since 1832  Until 1863, the registers were filled by the parish priests and administered by the Orthodox Church  After 1863, they were transferred to the local authorities (mayors) and administered by the Ministry of Interior  The matricula collection (1832-1865) includes 334 units (c. 16 linear meters) originating from 122 parishes in Bucharest and suburban communes  The civil register collection (1865-1912) includes 2095 units (c. 94 linear meters)  The finding aids consist in several dozens of lists of names grouped in 3 categories (births, marriages, deaths), under each year
  • 7. TARGET COLLECTIONS – BRAȘOV COUNTY  In Transylvanian Saxon lands, the matricula were used since 16 th c. (the Orthodox church kept matricula since 18th c.)  The civil registers were introduced in Transylvania since 1895, following a decree issued by Hungarian authorities  The matricula collection in Brașov county archives (1639- 1895) consists of 669 units  The civil status register collection includes 1570 units issued by civil authorities from towns and villages within the administrative limits of the actual Brașov county  A primary database in Access is available for all matricula and registers opened for public
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  • 11. WHAT IT’S BEEN DONE UP TO NOW  For Bucharest collection – the complete digitization and indexing of finding aids up to the level of names  Undergoing digitization of all registers and matricula using steady cameras and lamps  For Brașov county collection – undergoing digitization of all registers and matricula starting with the oldest units  For indexing, we’ll use the available database to import the metadata up to the level of years and parishes/communes  Image standard – JPEG at 350 dpi  Payments flow with great delays  Not enough financial resources to use professional scanners for registers  Many units are in a poor state of conservation
  • 12. TECH SPECS…  A web application using Symfony framework (PhP 5.4x) suitable for long term projects  A MySQL 5x database  An Apache 2.2x server  3 roles (guest, registered user/community member, admin)  12 main features including searchable content, describing units and entities, account administration etc.  Currently under testing… (http://195.82.131.197/arhgen/web/)