Section 17. The register shall, at the expense of the county, procure and keep duplicate record books, in which he shall make fair and legible copies of the record of any deed or other instrument existing in the registry which has become worn, mutilated or indistinct, if so directed by the county commissioners, or if so requested by any person lawfully interested in preserving the same. He shall attest such copies, referring in his certificate of attestation to the book and page of the original record, and shall note on the margin of the first page of the original the volume and page of the duplicate records containing the copy. Such copies shall have the same force as the original records. He shall receive the same fees for copies and notations as for an original record, payable by the person requesting the same.