Are public records – birth, death and marriage – really public? Individuals are not allowed access to records or information unless they pay a fee of $10 (certified) or $4 (photocopy).

I have been trying to obtain information/records from the mid-1900s from the city of Lewiston for genealogy purposes, and unless I want to pay $4 for a photocopy, officials there are not willing to help. Four dollars for a photocopy: How do they justify that?

Most town offices, courthouses and libraries will charge anywhere from 10 cents to a dollar for a photocopy, which would include researching a deed or probate record. When I asked how they can justify charging $4 for a photocopy, the clerk called it a search. When I asked how that could be considered a search when I have provided the name and date so it’s only a matter of pulling the record and making a copy, there was no response to my question.

City of Lewiston, that’s outrageous.

Debi Theberge, Bowdoinham