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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Department of State creates digital library of legal, historical documents

Secretary of State Omar Marrero Díaz

By The Star Staff

As part of its duty to preserve the island’s legal and historical heritage, the Puerto Rico Department of State launched its new “Virtual Legal Library” on the agency’s online portal this week.

The library provides free access to an extensive archive of laws dating from 1902 to the present, Secretary of State Omar Marrero Díaz announced.

“In its initial phase, this portal will allow citizens to carry out exhaustive searches for laws and joint resolutions, which will greatly simplify the process of finding and accessing current and historical legislation and regulations,” the state secretary said.

The online tool will allow citizens to perform accurate and detailed searches using a variety of parameters, including law or regulation number, title, status and relevant words.

Users will also be able to access a complete compendium of important laws of Puerto Rico such as the Civil Code, Electoral Code, Penal Code and the Uniform Administrative Procedures Act, among others.

“The portal will be updated regularly with the latest laws, joint resolutions and current regulations,” Marrero Díaz said.

The information is available in text format online and in PDF format, providing a detailed look at the original documents as they were approved. The site will also allow the user to register in the system and use additional functionalities, including personalized searches. However, users do not need to register to explore without restrictions.

Following an extensive document digitization process, the virtual library was developed in collaboration with the Cyber Technology Division and local company Document Control Systems Inc.

One of the project’s main objectives was to preserve historical documents for future generations.

“Historically, the State Department has served as a repository for countless historical documents, including all laws and regulations signed since the beginning of the last century,” Marrero Díaz said. “The process of digitizing the documents seeks in part to preserve this heritage and promote research work of a historical, legal and socio-political nature.”

The Virtual Library project included the rehabilitation of the Department of State vault, which involved an approximate investment of $200,000. The General Services Administration, the Institute of Puerto Rican Culture, and the State Office of Historical Preservation coordinated the work.

The secretary of state also emphasized the importance of the initiative to strengthen citizen participation and promote greater transparency in access to legal information.

“This new portal represents a significant step in our efforts to provide citizens with a powerful and friendly tool that allows them to know and understand the laws that govern us, as well as a historical legacy for future generations about a chapter marked by the change of sovereignty under the Treaty of Paris,” Marrero Díaz said.

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1 commentaire

Eddie Simpson
Eddie Simpson
21 févr.

This is a significant step forward in accessibility and preservation of vital legal and historical documents. As these materials become digitized, ensuring their authenticity for international use becomes paramount. Services like Apostille24 play a crucial role in verifying and apostilling such documents, facilitating their recognition and acceptance across borders. This collaboration between the Department of State and Apostille24 enhances the utility and credibility of the digital library, ultimately benefiting researchers, historians, and legal professionals worldwide.

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