Harvard Law Library Launches New Public Records and Factual Research Guide

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Harvard Law Library Launches New Public Records and Factual Research Guide

Cross-posted from Lawtender.com

Ever try looking for information in public records? It can be a daunting task. For someone who has spent countless hours researching public records, I can appreciate what has been compiled by Tim McAllister over at The Harvard Law Library. Anyone who has ever done any type of public research will find everything one would need  through this Public Records and Factual Research Guide.

Public records and factual research can be a daunting task, but it can also be fun and enlightening.  Imagine yourself as a private eye, investigating the background of witnesses, experts, potential clients, adversaries, or claimants.

The term “public records” implies that the information you are researching is public, and available for anyone to review.  Generally, this is true.  However, finding the particular record, for the correct person or contact, can be like looking for a needle in a haystack.  There are billions of public records, and more created every day.  Selecting the right tool, database, agency, or department to get started can go a long way in your research, and save you time and money.

Many of the databases linked below are free to use, but some will require you to pay a fee to access the more detailed records.  Many public records are not online, and you may need to call or visit the particular agency or office that holds those records.  Each state will vary in what it makes accessible online, or even what they define as “public.”  Original documents, too, may not be imaged online, so keep that in mind as you research and decide why you are looking for these records.

The tool allows users to search for people, business records, property records, personal records, court records, criminal records and much more.

Give it a try and let us know what you think.

http://guides.library.harvard.edu/public_records

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