19 August 2010

Boston: NEHGS launches AmericanAncestors.org

The venerable New England Historic Genealogical Society, founded in 1845, has launched AmericanAncestors.org, the new website of the expanding and growing regional and national repository of genealogical resources.

Information below is from the press release. I accessed the site several times today but cannot load it now, most likely due to a heavy usage.

The site will contain all of NEHGS's New England and New York content, features, articles, resources, in addition to weekly updates and databases in regional and ethnic specialties, such as sources for mid-Atlantic, Irish, and African American research. The website provides access to 2,400 databases containing 135 million names. Many databases are restricted to members who pay $75 annually, but there is a free section.

The new site provides online access to important research tools and resources, a new image viewer, faster navigation, faster search results and more unique content. Society members and the public will benefit from the improvements. The oldest and largest non-profit genealogical organization has some 26,000 members nationwide.

NEHGS president/CEO D. Brenton Simons said:
"This website marks a transformative experience in our 165-year history, the first genealogical society founded in America. It represents the next major step ahead as we continue to expand our resources." Simons added, "AmericanAncestors.org is a new, dynamic platform from which we will grow in our position as a leader in American genealogy and as the nation’s largest genealogical society."
He added that New England will always be the greatest strength and primary focus, and that the new site will add 25 million more New England names to search. According to the press release, the site will provide:
-- More unique, searchable materials for New England, New York, and other regions.
-- A new "master search" to search across all databases and other web-based content, faster results and easier navigation.
-- A social networking feature for NEHGS members to develop an online profile, input family research information, and share it with others.

-- A state-of-the-art new image viewer for easier saving and viewing of images and data.
-- More news on the homepage and an enhanced blog - "The Daily Genealogist" - to provide stories and helpful research tips
Readers are invited to sign up for the NEHGS "Guest User" free registration for access to weekly news stories, special access to some databases, resources, articles and other research tools. Read more at AmericanAncestors.org.

"American Ancestors" is the new brand identity for NEHGS. In October 2009, it began publishing "American Ancestors Journal," an annual supplement to its quarterly "The New England Historical and Genealogical Register," while its quarterly member magazine was renamed (earlier this year) "American Ancestors: New England, New York, and Beyond."

Located at 99-101 Newbury St., Boston, NEHGS has some 28 million books, journals, manuscripts, papers, photographs, documents, and other artifacts, many centuries-old.

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