Church archive goes digital

Church archive goes digital

A visit to the website of the Athens Archbishopric shows that citizens can now submit online applications for a series of documents, such as marriage and divorce certificates, as the Church is promoting the further digitalization of its services.

To that end it is currently implementing a tender for the digitalization of its great archive of marriages and divorces that dates back to 1920. The contractor will have to scan and record data for 570,000 marriages from 1951 to 1991, as well as for 20,000 divorces between 1920 and 1955.

According to the Athens Archbishopric, marriage data were handwritten on card records up to 1960, and then in books. Each marriage has its own card including all the relevant information. There is also a marriage book for every year, whereby each couple of pages includes the data for approximately 50 marriages. Divorce data were also written on cards.

The Church has already created a database with 190,000 marriage entries since 1992 and 136,000 divorces since 1956. The Archbishopric notes, however, that although this speeds up the satisfaction of citizens’ demands, the fact that the archive is not yet fully digitalized means that various problems and obstacles can still crop up.

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