A new records-retention schedule developed by Vital Statistics in 2004 for the management of birth, marriage and death registrations has shortened their active life and accelerated their transfer to the Nova Scotia Archives for permanent archival preservation and public access.
According to the new schedule, records become inactive and are transferred annually to the Archives as follows:
• Births: 100 years after the end of the year in which the birth was registered
• Marriages: 75 years after the end of the year in which the marriage was registered
• Deaths: 50 years after the end of the year in which the death was registered
All records managed by Vital Statistics are indexed electronically during their active life; these indexes are shared with the Nova Scotia Archives at the time of transfer. Because of overlap and interfiling in the manual storage systems maintained by Vital Statistics in the first half of the 20th century, not all paper records created in a particular year will necessarily be transferred to the Nova Scotia Archives with the main body of records for that year.
Upon arrival at the Nova Scotia Archives the paper records are digitized, then microfilmed to archival-quality standards to ensure their security and long-term preservation. The digital images are migrated into the master database system, where they are matched and integrated with the name indexes.The information (images plus linked names) is then uploaded to the public database available at www.novascotiagenealogy.com.