I just had an amazing experience with a group headquartered out of Michigan. The five year old company is comprised of highly industrious abstractors who travel the U.S. to image County Records for old books. Currently at 80 employees, this company sends teams of six to various counties around the U.S. The teams literally work 24/7 by getting approval for round-the-clock access in the courthouse, or they use their own specially designed trailer with equipment and work until the job is done. This means the teams trade off and get home only every couple of weeks to see their families.
The teams have a specially developed camera which takes into account the curvature of each open book, so the hefty public record books do not need to be taken apart! As I understand it, two teams of three work twelve hour shifts. One person flips pages, another works the camera scanning each page, and a third person proofs each page and perfects each image as they go. I watched in awe as they used high tech computers to make each page and each document as perfect as it could be. Their dedication to detail and perfection was truly inspiring for those of us who recognize the importance of the records and use those records every day relying on that accuracy.
The Grantor-grantee books and Tract books are sent to staff - anywhere in the country, who index each document. They also convert documents from microfiche, microfilm, aperture cards and various film sizes to online images. The indexing staff can be anywhere, and at least in one instance, a former County Recorder is doing the indexing that others proof.
I have to say I have never been so pleased to consult with a group. They are the epitome of the American Dream. Kudos to them for:
Coming up with an idea that is needed (preserving old record books)
Figuring out a way to do it better (make a camera specifically designed to compensate for the curvature of the sizable book when open so you don't have to take it apart)
Working their tails off 24/7 with am eye toward perfection (check and double check)
Keeping our well qualified American abstractors employed.
They are a brilliant group that I am pleased to know. They insource rather than outsource. Why do we need to go outside when we have people available to us inside. It makes me proud to be an American.
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