Center for Archival Collections
Local Government Records Indexes
A note on indexes. Before local government offices began using computers to record and store their records, this information was recorded in ledger books. After 1850, it was common for these ledgers to have an "index" section at the front--with one page set aside for each letter of the alphabet. After creating a record, the clerk would turn to the front of the volume and record the names in the index section, along with the page number where the record appeared. Searching these index sections, volume by volume, is still the most common way to determine whether a record exists for an individual. However, records which were stored in files, rather than in books, or those which were organized by a case number or location often did not have name indexes. Thanks to computers, new indexes can now be created for records that had none. Check back often as we add to these new indexes. Remember that there are already many separately-published indexes to local government records, but there is no single resource that indexes everything.