05 August 2007

Footnote to digitize Allen County Public Library content

I recently wrote about Beau Sharborough's presentation on Footnote.com at the IAJGS International Conference on Jewish Genealogy in Salt Lake City.

A subscription site, Footnote.com's recent press release announces its partnership with the largest public genealogy library in the U.S. - the Allen County Public Library (ACPL) - to digitize millions of historical records and make them available online for the first time.

"The ACPL collections feature unique American and international records including family histories, city directories, military records and historical newspapers.

“We’re excited to partner with the Allen County Public Library and are fortunate to be working with some of the finest archives in the United States,” said Roger Bell, president of Footnote.com. “The content from ACPL is a valuable addition to the millions of records we currently have on our site.”

"As part of the partnership, all ACPL records digitized by Footnote.com will be made available at the library for free. For those that cannot travel to the library, these records can be accessed from a personal computer with a Footnote.com membership.

"In addition to the ACPL, Footnote.com has agreements with The National Archives and Records Administration, the Pennsylvania Archives, FamilySearch, the Center for Research Libraries, and local archives in Goffstown, N.H., South Boston, Va., Harris County, Texas, and others.

"Footnote.com doesn’t just make history come alive, it keeps history alive. Footnote.com has created a site where people with similar interests come together to share their discoveries and insights. Visitors are encouraged to annotate documents, tell their own stories and upload content from their own shoeboxes – all for free."

And for those who see flying saucers, as of July 12, Footnote has digitized the entire Project Bluebook . This is a collection of official records covering the United States Government's investigation of UFO phenomenon (1947–1969), featuring accounts of UFO sightings from every state.

Footnote also offers a seven-day free trial, so you can see what's available. For more information, click here.

If you're wondering what Footnote holds for researchers of Jewish ancestry: A search today for "Jewish," results in 2,808 hits. I've searched for family using Footnote's free access at both the Southern California Genealogical Society Jamboree and the 28th IAJGS International Conference on Jewish Genealogy. Each time, I've found some surprising hits.

Among the record groups were names in the Southerns Claims Commission, Texas births, investigative reports of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Project Blue Book and others.

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