After a long campaign spearheaded by People for Better Pennsylvania Historical Records Access, Vital Records Law Senate Bill 361 was signed into law on December 15, 2011 and will take effect on February 13, 2012. This means that Pennsylvania death certificates over 50 years old and birth certificates over 105 years old will become open records, and will then be transferred to the holdings of the Pennsylvania Archives.
I am elated to hear that Pennsylvania has taken the first step to catch up to other states in terms of vital record access. As the completely redesigned PaHR-Access site points out, the next step is to ensure that these records will become searchable online through the Pennsylvania Archives website. I look forward to helping with this effort in any way that I can.