Federal Grant To Aid In Preservation of Deed Books, Including Slave Records

Doreen Stratton, Recorder of Deeds Robin Robinson, President of the African American Museum Linda Salley, and Katy Meyerson. Credit: Submitted

Bucks County Recorder of Deeds Robin Robinson’s drive to preserve deed books has received a boost thanks to a federal grant.

The $125,000 grant was awarded recently to the Recorder of Deeds by the National Park Service in conjunction with the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).

The federal money came through the Save America’s Treasures program that aims to fund preservation of nationally significant historic collections.

Robinson’s office has deed books and records that cover land, other property, and slaves who were trafficked and also freed. The records date back to the 1684. The Recorder of Deeds said the slave records are special because many of the documented releases from slavery took place before the Civil War.

“It’s exciting, this is what we’ve been searching for, the true history of Bucks County. And now it will be revealed. I’m grateful to be a part of this, to share this history with all of Bucks County and the world,” said Linda Salley, president of the African American Museum of Bucks County.

The funds will help send 61 books for preservation.

“As a history teacher for over two decades, I fully appreciate and support efforts to preserve our shared history,” Bucks County Commissioner Bob Harvie said. “I want to thank the Recorder of Deeds, Robin Robinson, and the National Park Service for securing grant funding for this important project.”

The Recorder of Deeds has led an effort to preserve deed books that date back to 1684 using county funds, municipal grants, and donations from residents. So far, dozens of books have been preserved and the records dating back to the 1600s have been digitized.

About the author

Tom Sofield

Tom Sofield

Tom Sofield has covered news in Bucks County for five years for both newspaper and online publications. In 2012, Tom was honored at the Pennsylvania Newspaper Association Foundation's Keystone Press Awards for his coverage of President Obama's visit to Falls Township in 2011. When he's not covering news in the area, Tom enjoys checking out the newest restaurants and bars, exploring forgotten places of industry in the area, going to local parks and spending time with his friends and family. If there's one thing you should know about Tom, he is a local news junkie through and through. Email: Phone: 215-431-1001