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PostPosted: Sat Jul 28, 2007 1:00 am 

Joined: Fri Mar 30, 2007 4:31 pm
Posts: 1018
Location: USA
I just became aware that the U.S. National Archives has entered an arrangement with a private company which has resulted in online access to some major details in many federal documents formerly available only with in-person visits at an Archives facility. Further complete access is possible with payment and, in 5 years, free access will be available. If you have sharp eyes and/or some ability to enlarge the full-document images appearing on the screen without a subscription, then you can gather further details. I don't know how this info compares with what is available on other subscription services. The coverage across all U.S.
jurisdictions seems a bit spotty at present, with the Northeast well
covered. Note that some city directories are included, likely because
the private company already had those done.

The benefit of this indexing is that all names involved in a document have
been placed in the search database, so that you can see if a target individual served as a witness in someone else's proceedings. Also, you can do more than just input a surname, since Boolean searches are enabled. Note that many documents require a reversal of the surname and a personal name if using quotation marks to construct a search term.

Here is the official description:

"The National Archives recently announced an agreement with to digitize selected records from the vast holdings of the National Archives. The 4.5 million pages that have been digitized so far are now available at The digitized materials are available at no charge in National Archives research rooms in Washington D.C. and regional facilities across the country. After an interval of five years, all images digitized through this agreement will be available at no charge through the National Archives web site."

Sharon Carberry
Researching Carberry in 1850s/60s Montreal only

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