Ector County approves project to preserve and digitize historic records

Published: Jun. 16, 2023 at 9:33 PM CDT
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ODESSA, Texas (KOSA) - The Ector County Commissioners Court approved a more than $7.7 million project with Kofile Technologies to preserve their historical documents at the District Clerk’s Office, County Clerk’s Office and Sheriff’s Office.

“Actually digitizing all of these documents, so some of the outdated plats in the county clerk’s office, commissioners courts agenda minutes going back for decades, historical records in the district clerk’s office that date back since sovereignty,” said Ector County Judge Dustin Fawcett.

We’re talking 5.5 million pages of documents at the Sheriff’s Office, close to one million at the District Clerk’s Office and over 6,000 pages and images at County Clerk Jennifer Martins office, who’s plat records are deteriorating quickly.

“The ink is starting to bleed, the plastic sleeves that they’re stored in are starting to adhere to the actual paper,” said Martin.

It can take Martin days for her to find what she’s looking for.

“Some of the books that I have in my office weigh anywhere from thirty to forty pounds,” said Martin.

It’s a constant battle to keep the records safe.

“Over the years we’ve had floods, we’ve had sewer leaks, now we have termites,” said Martin.

This new method would speed up the process for everyone involved.

“They actually have technology to improve the quality of the pictures that previously existed to make them more legible, easier to see what they are,” said Fawcett.

Martin says hopefully once the records are digitized they will be online so people wont even have to contact their office.

Their job now is to compile all of the documents and ship them to Kofiles secure facility in Dallas, to have them completed by the end of 2026.

Martin works with these records daily, so for her and the other clerks this will be a drastic improvement as they improve the print and more.