Back in April we had a lively discussion on this page about the predilection of State Historic Preservation Officers (SHPOs) to insist on receiving all correspondence and reports as paper documents (See SHPOs Kill Trees, Don't They? -- http://crmplus.blogspot.com/2015/04/shpos-kill-trees-dont-they.html). Since then I've dealt with several more SHPOs who simply demand paper without bothering even to explain themselves ("Do NOT submit electronic documents," one orders, to which I am tempted to respond [electronically], 'F**k you, you autocratic twerp.").
When I've asked SHPOs or their defenders about this, the response is always: "Well, gee, if we just had some more MONEY..."
Which is understandable, but BS, I think. Since April I've been digitizing all my old files -- granted I'm not an SHPO, but 60 years of practice has left me with a LOT of paperwork -- and I've learned two things:
1. It's not all that expensive, or difficult; and
2. Once it's done, it's a whole lot easier and cheaper to maintain and access my files.
And if one isn't digitizing a bunch of old stuff, but simply accepting and e-filing new stuff, the cost drops pretty much to zero.
I realize that an SHPO has to handle a whole lot more documents than I do, but I simply do not believe that it would be more costly to do it electronically than to pay people to open and sort and file and retrieve and manage paper documents.
When my scanblitz is complete, I'll post some data on what it's cost me to digitize my ton or so of old paperwork, but in the meantime -- for those who may want to start digitizing, and with thanks to my lawyer son Josh who put me onto it (after making his office paper-free), let me recommend the Fujitsu ScanSnap ix500 (http://www.amazon.com/Fujitsu-ScanSnap-iX500-Scanner-PA03656-B005/dp/B00ATZ9QMO/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1445680476&sr=8-1&keywords=scansnap+ix500). A small, inexpensive, little machine that goes through amazing volumes of paper in minutes, capturing color images of both sides of each sheet. With the part-time help of three students (to whom I'm profoundly grateful), I've reduced roughly 60 bankers' boxes of paper to about 1/4 of a 2 terabyte hard drive just a little bigger than my cellphone (and yes, I'm backing it up on another one). If I can do it, anyone can -- even an SHPO.