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How to Find Public Records in Arizona

Public Records Search: Arizona State Archives

Under the umbrella of the Arizona State Library, Archives and Public Records, the Arizona History and Archives Division maintains a website where researchers may visit to request various types of records as well as to request archival research. By visiting lib.az.us/archives/ researchers may find a useful took for locating many public records maintained by this chapter.

The Arizona State Archives lists its mission on the home page. This agency “identifies, collects, preserves, and provides public access to historical manuscripts, government records, books and photographs of Arizona and its peoples.” With this mandate clearly stated, the main page, in an easy-to-navigate fashion, lists various links relevant for locating Arizona public records. Among the links provided by two side by side menus are: family history, Arizona history, photographs, conservation, records appraisal criteria, events, frequently asked questions, archives month, acquisitions, and requests for archival information by email.

As a sample search, click on the last link, requests for archival information by email. While the archives can be visited and photocopies made on hand, to electronically send a request and receive information researchers must include name, email and mailing address, full name of the person you want records for, town or county where the requested person lived, the presumed dates this person resided in Arizona, and the type of document / record that is being requested.

Among the records maintained by this site are marriage, birth and death records. However, there is a virtual treasure trove of other various documents that include items like yearbook entries, medical directories, newspapers, city directories, family histories, etc…The site is incomplete for some years, but researchers have the ability to perform a name search through the site to locate specific listings. Once a name has been matched to a record, the researcher may then submit an email request.

There is a catch to these email requests, however. Apparently this agency has been bogged down by the number of requests they receive and the number of requests that ask for additional professional research. Consequently the site maintains that it cannot perform long term research (open-ended) or interpret the data located on specific records. Furthermore the site breaks down what it will do for free and what will require fees:

“Each off-site public patron request will be limited to a maximum of two names or subjects and one record per name or subject. In-state off-site public patrons will be allowed up to one-half hour of free research twice every four months. Out-of-state off-site patrons will be allowed up to one-half hour of free research once every four months. Additional requests within the four month period will result in a research fee of $15.00 per request for both in-state and out-of-state off-site public patrons.”

This fee structure is somewhat confusing though researchers have a limited number of names they can request records for with no fee. Clicking requests for archival information by email will lead to this agency policy regarding such requests which is following by a form that requesters must fill out to submit electronically. The form actually makes requesting information quite easy. Once the name and record have been located in the database, simply fill out the request form to make a request.

For any more questions about obtained records from this site, the Arizona State Archives can be reached by 602-542-4159 or via email at archive @ lib.az.us. To reach this agency by written request, send queries to:

Arizona State Library, Archives and Public Records
History and Archives Division
State Capitol, Suite 342
1700 West Washington
Phoenix, AZ 85007

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