Today's Federation of Genealogical Society's luncheon featured the Archivist of the United States, David S. Ferrier. He spoke of the long standing cooperation between NARA and FGS, specifically the FGS Malcolm H. Stern-NARA Gift Fund supporting digitization and preservation of records. He spotlighted the current objective, to digitize the 1812 Pension files, mentioned in an earlier blog entry today. Among others things I recall from his speech:
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- The 1940 US federal census will become available to the public, free of charge on 2 April 2012. Among the unusual questions are: Where did you live in 1935? Who in the household provided the information? Was anyone in the household working as part of the WPA, CCC or the Youth Conservation Corps? NARA is digitizing this record group 'in house' because of right to privacy laws.
- As part of President Obama's "open records" initiative, the National Archives is moving forward with social networking sites with blogs (6 at this time!), Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Twitter and most recently the wiki. See: http://archives.gov/social-media
- "Citizen Archivists" is a term Mr. Ferrier used to describe the collaboration with individual researchers who bring hidden documents from deep within the files. A citizen archivist discovered the diary of a Revolutionary War soldier in a US Senate file box. Mr. Ferrier encouraged several attending the luncheon who had original WWII military papers on their ancestors to submit copies to St. Louis, where the staff is attempting to work around the fact that two floors of military records for this time period were destroyed in a fire years ago.
Happy family tree climbing!
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