Digital Archives for Genealogy Research
This ebook offers resources for all genealogists, whether they are working on brick walls or conducting reasonably exhaustive searches. You needn’t have famous ancestors to find records in archives that can help your research. Locating finding aids and searching using archival terminology improves search results.
Archives come in several different types: college and university archives, organization or business archives, religious archives, government archives, and others.
Here are some of the records you might find in an archival repository, in person or online:
- Letters and Correspondence
- Unpublished compiled genealogies
- Diaries, daybooks, remembrance books
- Ephemera (tickets, programs, souvenirs)
- Oral histories
- Video and motion picture records
- Slides, negatives, and visual media
- Artwork, drawings, architectural plans
- Tax Records
- Vital records
- Audio recordings
- Personal papers
- Professional papers
- Business records
- Organization records
Calisphere, one of several digital archives for California primary sourcces (courtesy Regent University of California)
The web has opened archival collections to the world. What once required an expensive trip in person, today can be found online if you know where to look and how to use specific search terms.
Archives still have huge backlogs of materials to digitize, but an amazing number of archival finding aids are now available online for collections large and small.
Discover direct links to archives in all fifty US states, and national collections in Europe, Scandinavia, Australia, and around the world.
Links to Archives Around the World
The reading room of the State Archives in Leszno | Archiwum Państwowe w Lesznie in Poland. (author’s collection)
The first section of this Sassy Jane Genealogy Guide offers broad understanding of the differences between archives, library, and museum collections. Discover what kinds of archives exist and the unique records they contain. Unpublished family histories, maps, newspapers, photos, and vital records await.
The second section takes you behind the scenes, showing how archival collections are prepared for use. Online finding aids are the key to any collection. Learn about the genealogical research contained in finding aids. Discover time-saving ways to determine if an archival collection has the material you need.
The third and final section provides direct links to hundreds of US and international archives. Locating and using archival portals online unlocks a world of primary resources. Then discover specific archives terminology that improves search results.
The fourth and final section offers step-by-step advice for requesting archival materials remotely or planning an in-person trip. These steps make the most of your research time, whether online or in person.
“Nova illustrissimi principatur Pomeraniae descriptio cum adiuncta principum genealogia et pnncipum veris et potiorum urbiumininibus et nobilium insignibus” or Great Map of the Duchy of Pomerania. Eilhardus Lubinus (Eilert Lübben) worked on this map from 1611-1618.
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Inside This eBook
I. Understanding Archives
A. Archives, Library, and Museum Collections
B. Responsibilities of Archivists
C. Types of Archives
D. Types of Records in Archives
II. Preparing Archival Collections for Researchers
A. Arrangement and Description
B. Finding Aids
C. Key Element of Finding Aids for Genealogists
III. Locating Archival Materials
A. Archives and Manuscript Portals
B. Major Archival Repositories
C. Search Terms for Archival Portals
D. Dictionary of Archives Terminology
IV. Requesting Archival Materials
A. Planning Your Archives Research Trip
B. Requesting Archival Materials Remotely
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