The Arlington County Circuit Court Clerk’s office has made an additional 900 deed books totaling 540,000 land records accessible online.
The project, more than two years in the making, will assist those searching records from 1869 to 1950. Previously, records back to 1951 had been made available online.
The 1869-1950 materials always had been available to the public, but only in person at the courthouse – which could be a challenge, especially in the COVID era.
The modernization project was initiated by Clerk of the Circuit Court Paul Ferguson under the auspices of Chief Deputy Clerk Christina Dietrich. The office partnered with the technology firm Granicus to digitize the older documents and expand the interactive database.
“While the project began as an effort to preserve historical documents, a significant outcome is improved access to important records for county residents and businesses,” Dietrich said.
She noted that online access would aid those engaged in title searches as well as research into the county’s past.
Brent Blankenship of Granicus praised Ferguson for making the data available online, as well as ensuring long-term preservation by moving it to a digital format.
“His commitment to the preservation of the books and access to the records is exemplary,” Blankenship said.
(Officials also noted that many property deeds from years ago are themselves works of art.)
The earliest part of the database takes researchers back to a time what what was then known as “Alexandria County” (modern-day Arlington) was still joined as a political entity with the adjacent town (later city) of Alexandria. In 1870, the two jurisdictions formally severed political ties; in 1920, Arlington was given its current name by the General Assembly.
The new database can be found at https://courts.arlingtonva.us./circuit-court/land-records/services.