The National Archives announced recently that it will help with the first pilot project of the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA).
According to the National Archives’ press release, “The DPLA is a large-scale, collaborative project across government, research institutions, museums, libraries and archives to build a digital library platform to make America’s cultural and scientific history free and publicly available anytime, anywhere, online through a single access point.
“The DPLA is working with several large digital content providers – including the National Archives and Harvard University – to share digitized content from their online catalogs for the project’s two-year Digital Hubs Pilot Project. This pilot project is scheduled to launch on April 18-19, 2013 at the Boston Public Library, which will host an array of festivities, including presentations and interactive exhibits showcasing content from the DPLA’s content partners. The DPLA will include 1.2 million digital copies from the National Archives catalog, including our nation’s founding documents, photos from the Documerica Photography Project of the 1970’s, World War II posters, Mathew Brady Civil War photographs, and documents that define our human and civil rights.”
If you’re like me, you’re wondering what genealogically-interesting documents will have a home on the DPLA. There’s a great blog post on the DPLA site that talks about partnerships with state and regional digital libraries, including the Kentucky Digital Library, which has more than 800,000 pages of newspapers, and over half a million pages of “books, photographs, archival materials, maps, oral histories and pages of other paginated publications.”
NOW we’re talking! The DPLA will certainly be a resource worth watching!
“The World Digital Library, a collaborative international project led by the Library of Congress, now includes more than 10,000 manuscripts, maps and atlases, books, prints and photographs, films, sound recordings, and other cultural treasures. The 10,000-item milestone was reached earlier today with the addition of a set of priceless manuscripts from the Walters Art Museum of Baltimore, Maryland, a WDL partner since 2010.
The latest contributions include an early 16th-century Gospel manuscript from Ethiopia, written in Amharic and in Geez, the ancient liturgical language of Ethiopia; a manuscript containing a richly illuminated Ottonian Gospel book fragment believed to have been made at the monastery of Corvey in western Germany during the mid-to-late 10th century; and a menologion, or church calendar, in Greek, created in Byzantium circa 1025-1041.
With the latest additions, the WDL includes 10,037 rare and unique items, comprising nearly 500,000 images. Content contributed by 102 institutions in 46 countries is on the WDL site, which can be accessed in seven languages: Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish.
Proposed by the Librarian of Congress and launched in 2009, the World Digital Library makes significant primary materials from countries and cultures around the world freely available. The principal financial supporters of the WDL are Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Qatar National Library of the Qatar Foundation, and the James Madison Council of the Library of Congress.”
Read more at the Library of Congress Press Page.
A ton of genealogy and family history research can be done for free. In this episode I’ll share 15 fabulous free websites and what I love about them. These are essential for everyone serious about saving money while climbing their family tree.
(Get your ad-free Show Notes Cheat Sheet at the bottom of this page in the Resources section.)
Episode 77 Show Notes
1. Genealogy records – Familysearch
- Free account
- Download and print
- Historical records
- Digitized Books
- Browse Images
2. Books, Magazines & Newspapers – Google Books
- 10 million free digitized book
- Google’s newspaper collection
- City directories
- County histories
- Court records
- Government reports…
Tip: Use the Tools button on the results page to reveal the filter menu. Filter your results down to just full digitized and searchable books by selecting Full View.
Learn more: Elevenses with Lisa episode 30.
3. Records – Find free records at Ancestry
Website: tinyurl.com/lisaancestryfree (affiliate link)
- Use the link to zero in on only free records
- All types of genealogical records!
- Use fields to search just the free records and free indexes.
- Free Trial available
Learn more: Elevenses with Lisa episode 17.
4. Burial Records – Find a Grave
- over 170 million burial records.
- birth, death, and burial information
- many submissions include additional biographical details (possibly an obituary) and information about spouses, children and parents.
- Name fields:
? replaces one letter.
- * represents zero to many letters. g. Lars?n or Wil*
- Search for an exact birth/death year or select a range, before or after.
Select “More search options” to:
- Search for a memorial or contributor by ID.
- Include the name of a spouse, parent, child or sibling in your search.
- Use partial name search or similar name spellings to catch alternate spellings or broaden your search.
- Narrow your results to famous, Non-Cemetery Burials, memorials with or without grave photos and more.
5. Free downloadable worksheets – Family Tree Magazine
- 5 Generation Ancestor Chart
- Family Group Sheets
- Ancestor Research Worksheet
- Records Checklists
- Family Relationship Chart
- Online Search Tracker
- Ancestor Surname Variant Chart
- Oral History Interview Worksheet
- S. Census Checklist
- Genealogy Source Documentation Guide
6. Resources & Information – US Gen Web
- Free, volunteer organization for 25 years
- Organized by State then Organized by County
- Free guidance from experienced researchers in that area
- Links to free records
7. Resources & Information – FamilySearch Wiki
- Organized by country, state, county…
- Provides an overview
- Directs you to where known records are located
- Alerts you to pitfalls and tips from experts at the FHL
Learn more: Elevenses with Lisa episode 64.
8. Passenger Lists – Ellis island Website
- Passenger lists images & transcriptions
- Photos of Ships
- the Wizard
- One page form
Snagit Clipping Tool: Here’s our link for purchasing your copy of Snagit (screen clipping tool) Thank you for using our link. Use coupon code GENEALOGY15 to get 15% off. (We will be compensated at no additional cost to you, which makes the free Elevenses with Lisa show and notes possible.)
Learn more: Elevenses with Lisa episode 34.
9. Books, Images, Videos – Internet Archive
- Old webpages
- Audio Recordings
Learn more: Elevenses with Lisa episode 43.
10. Photo Identification – Dead Fred photos
- A place to post photos for potential identification
- Reunite orphaned photos with families
- Find old family photos
11. Military Records – Soldiers and Sailors
“Cooperative effort between the National Park Service and several public and private partners whose goal is to increase Americans’ understanding of this decisive era in American history by making information about it widely accessible.
- Men who served in the Union and Confederate armies during the Civil War.
- Histories of Union and Confederate regiments.
- Links to descriptions of significant battles.
- Selected lists of prisoner-of-war records and cemetery records.
Learn more: Genealogy Gems Podcast episode 149.
12. Postcards & Newspapers – Old Fulton Postcards
- Started as New York post cards
- Expanded into newspapers
- Now boasts “Search over 41,433,000 Historical
Newspaper Pages from the USA & Canada”
- Take the time to visit the Help & FAQ section
- Visit the Old Fulton New York Post Cards page at the FamilySearch Wiki.
13. Newspapers – Chronicling America
- Newspaper Directory (1690-present)
- Digitized Newspapers (1777-1963)
- Image search with Newspaper Navigator
Learn more: Elevenses with Lisa episode 26.
14. Land Records – BLM GLO
- Land Patents
- Land Surveys
- Legal Land Descriptions
Learn more: Elevenses with Lisa episode 67
15. Video – YouTube
- Home Movies
(search by surname,
“old home movie”, locations)
- Old Newsreels
- Local TV station coverage
Learn more: Elevenses with Lisa episode 58.
- Download the ad-free show notes (Premium Member log in required. Not a Premium Member? Become a Genealogy Gems Premium Member.)
- Subscribe for free to our Genealogy Gems YouTube channel so you’ll never miss another episode.
- Subscribe to my free email newsletter to get notifications of new videos and articles.
Questions and Comments
Please leave your questions and comments below.