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Benton County circuit clerk’s office digitizing records

Searching for Benton County historical land deeds and other records will soon be much easier thanks to the work of the Benton County Circuit Clerk’s office.

County Circuit Clerk Brenda DeShields’ office hired U.S. Imaging to scan more than 20,000 records, some dating back to 1900.

“They [U.S. Imaging] are doing a fantastic job for us,” DeShields said. “They are not only scanning for easier access, but for preservation of the record, and while at it they are enhancing the quality of the document.”

Some scanned documents look better than the original, DeShields said.

“This is so exciting to me to have all of our deed records scanned, preserved and readily accessible for all to use.”

The public will be able to search, save and print the records from the county circuit clerk’s website within six to eight months. Until then, the county circuit clerk’s office will have access to them in a digital database in their office which will allow them to service the public efficiently.

“It will help the staff within the office assist those that call or come in wanting copies of their families’ deed records,” DeShields said. “Currently, this would require a search via handwritten indexes through several years and then pulling the book to make copies.”

This records project is no small endeavor. U.S. Imaging is currently scanning records around the clock.

DeShields offers some advice to counties looking to put their records online. She recommends they reach out to professionals such as U.S. Imaging.

“First they [counties] need to know what books they would like to have scanned, reach out to their recording software provider to see who they have worked with in the past with projects ... then reach out to several companies that can scan records...”

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