17 March 2011

Sweden: ArkivDigital offers free weekend access

Are you searching family that lived in Sweden?

That country will celebrate Genealogy Research Day on Saturday, March 19. Genealogical societies, archives and libraries will be hosting events many localities.

ArkivDigital and its online service - ADOnline2 - will be free this weekend on Saturday and Sunday.

According to a communication from ArkivDigital, "We hope that this offer also will help genealogical societies and archives to demonstrate what modern genealogical research is all about."

The site is the biggest private provider of Swedish church and historical records online. Some 500,000 images are added each month to the current 24 million images available. The digital color images are available via online subscriptions or as CDs.

There is a list of Swedish counties. Click on each county to see the parishes and volumes available.

Genealogists know that good digital images are as readable as the original register pages. While previous efforts were made to photograph the registers, ArkivDigital believes it was important to do it again, in color.

The site details the imaging (1948-1963) of records by the Mormon Church and recent changes in technology:

Future - digital photographs in color

During the 90's and 00's both SVAR and Genline digitalized many of the old microfilms. Many people think that the original books at the archives are as black, and in many cases, unreadable as those images sometimes are. Fortunately that is not the case. It is the copies that are black and hard to read because the technology in the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s was not as advanced as today and the copies have been transferred several times since then, making the digital images copies of copies of copies. Since ArkivDigital photograph the old unique source material using modern technology the readability is far superior to the old images.
The site offers a good example of the old imaging (left) versus the new image (right):

Tracing the Tribe is sure that all of us have seen record images as difficult to read and wished that new projects would be undertaken to produce better images.

The procedure for obtaining free access this weekend is somewhat complicated, but check out the instructions here.  It involves installation of the ADOnLine2 program.

Do look at the ArkivDigital site if Swedish records are relevant to your research.

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