THE FOLLOWING IS FROM THE PAHR WEBSITE
The Pennsylvania State Archives has recently signed a contract with Ancestry.com to have the original state birth and death certificates that are now open records scanned and data extracted. Scanning the originals will provide the best possible images. The contract gives exclusive online access to Ancestry for three years after which the database will be moved to the Pennsylvania State Archives website where it will be free to all. Unfortunately access to the records while they are on Ancestry will require having a subscription to Ancestry. However, the contract does require that Pennsylvania residents have free access to this particular database. How that will be accomplished has not been worked out and they are open to suggestions as to how all Pennsylvania residents and only Pennsylvania residents could have access. Also many libraries and research centers everywhere provide free access to Ancestry.
The processing will start on August 27, 2012 when the first batch of records will be transported to Ancestry's relatively close facilities in Silver Spring, MD. They will start with the earliest records (1906) and after each year is complete the following year will then be processed. While the records are being processed they will not be available at the State Archives. Ancestry is expected to make the records available online as they are processed and data extracted. All the records are expected to be done within 18 months (around February 2014).
The data extraction is expected to include the dates of birth and death, parents' names including the mother's maiden name and hopefully the place of birth. Using a search engine it will be possible to search for a person using any one factor or combination of factors as well as for names that are spelled or phonetically similar. This will be specially important to people who have surnames that are often misspelled or spelled many ways.