10/3/2023 – Today I got to drive up to Essex Junction to deliver eight volumes of marriage certificates to Kofile, the company that handles our record preservation and restoration. Kofile is a national company based out of Texas which acquired two local restoration companies, Brown’s River and Marotti, and maintains a facility in Essex Junction. The Clerk’s office has been working with Kofile / Brown’s River / Marotti since before Bonnie was clerk.
I was treated to a warm welcome from our regional Kofile rep, Bob Gerencser, and Administrative Assistant Kathy Taylor. The tour included a peek into their enormous vault to see the shelves of books awaiting restoration, plus a visit to their lab, where four women were diligently working on a large restoration project. I found it interesting that Kofile uses both cutting edge technology for scanning and preserving old documents and also still uses a giant paper cutter and book binding clamps that look like they stepped out of the 19th century.
Below you can compare unrestored and restored marriage books.
You can see that the unrestored book contains a variety of page sizes crammed together; it is difficult to search and delicate to handle. The restored book will have each page flattened, de-glued, deacidified and contained within a mylar sleeve.
Fun fact: of all the vital records – birth, death and marriage – marriage certificates are the only type where the original is still maintained by Town Clerks. Death and Birth were centralized in 2019 and are handled electronically by the state, and while the state receives a copy of each marriage certificate filed with a Town Clerk, the original remains in our vault.