Not Trusting Digitization, Some Want Mass. Law Books Preserved

Jun 2, 2017

A small group of residents in Franklin County -- and a top Massachusetts lawmaker -- are urging court officials to stop destroying legal books and documents.

When the Franklin County courthouse was renovated, its law library shrunk by more than three quarters - leading to the digitizing and shredding of many books.

In a letter to the Trial Court, Senate President Stan Rosenberg urged the preservation of more original documents.

Lisa Hoag, a Wendell resident who uses the law library for research, said it's critical to keep multiple paper copies in case of damage, and she worries that digital versions can be altered.

"The only way to verify that what you're looking at is an authentic record, especially if it's something that's close to 200 years old," Hoag said, "is to look at the actual physical historic record."

Hoag said she's organized a public meeting on Wednesday, June 7, with several court officials.

A statement from the court said documents were weeded thoughtfully and openly, focusing on titles that are not part of the core collection.