Wednesday, December 9, 2009

In October announced that it was digitizing and creating a searchable database for all publicly available U.S. Federal Censuses, ranging from the first U.S. census taken in 1790 to the most current public census from 1930. Through its partnership with the National Archives, was adding 9.5 million images featuring over half a billion names to its extensive record collection. With over 60 million historical records already online, will use the U.S. Census records to tie content together, creating a pathway to discover additional records that previously have been difficult to find.

Footnote also helps you find and share historic documents. They are able to bring many never-before-seen historic documents through their partnerships with not only the National Archives but the Library of Congress and other institutions. All of their indexes are open and free to search. You can find names, places and topics. Each search returns a list of documents and small image of the document. Viewing the full image of everything is not free, but they have opened up a select number of titles that are including:

U.S. Milestone Documents: Documents that have shaped American history.
Project Blue Book: 13,000 government UFO reports
Pennsylvania Archives: 100,000 pages from 1664-1880 on Pennsylvania history.
Papers of the Continental Congress: Official records of the original colonies and the early U.S.
Constitutional Convention Records: Convened in Philadelphia in May 1787
Copy Books of George Washington's Correspondence: Explore events that preoccupied George Washington during his years as president through these letters.

You can also explore by Historical Era including: The Revolution 1700-1815; A New Nation 1815-1860; Civil War 1860-1880; Emerging America 1880-1920; Boom and Bust 1920-1935; WWII 1935-1950 (Interactive) ; Post War 1950-2000s; Holocaust Collection; and the Native American Collection. There is a lot of information here, so much so that its almost overwhelming if you are just browsing, and a large portion of it is free. It's worth checking out if you like history or genealogy.

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