Thursday, November 24, 2005

ACROSS MY DESK: ArchiveCDBooksUSA expansion

NOTE: The following was just received from Bob Velke of All inquiries should be addressed to him at:

Bob Velke
Archive CD Books USA
9110 Red Branch Road, Suite "O"
Columbia, Maryland 21045
(410) 715-2260 x150

Family history archiving project expands to the United States

Columbia, Maryland – 24 November 2005 - The international Archive CD Books Project today announced its expansion and renewed focus on family history resources within the United States with the debut of a new partner company, Archive CD Books USA (

The project makes digital reproductions of old family history resources available to the public, donates original publications to libraries and other institutions, and cooperates with those repositories to preserve their existing collections for future generations. Its uncommon focus on book preservation has led to cooperative relationships with some of the most important repositories of family history records in the world, including Trinity College in Ireland and The National Archives of England and Wales.

Many organized efforts to digitize old books result in the destruction of the original so that its loose pages can be fed through high-speed scanners. But the idea of cutting off an old leather binding is unthinkable to historians and book lovers. "The Archive CD Books project focuses on giving the public access to these fragile resources, some of which are more than 400 years old, while protecting the original so that it is still available to scholars in another 400 years," said Rod Neep, who founded the project in the UK in 2000.

In recent years, the popularity of the project has led to the opening of branch offices in Ireland, Australia, and Canada. "The new U.S. affiliate is key to our goal of making these family history resources accessible to researchers around the world," said Neep. "After a false start under different management in 2003, the new U.S. partner company brings respected leadership and renewed focus on the priorities of American researchers," he said.

The principal of the new Archive CD Books USA is Bob Velke, who also founded Wholly Genes Software in 1991. That company’s cornerstone software product, The Master Genealogist, has earned the reputation as the most powerful family history project manager on the market and is preferred by experienced researchers in more than 40 countries around the world.

Archive CD Books USA also benefits from the experience and reputation of Robert Charles Anderson, one of the pre-eminent genealogists in the United States. Anderson is a Fellow of the American Society of Genealogists and is the Director of the Great Migration Study Project for the New England Historic Genealogical Society, editor of the Great Migration Newsletter, and co-editor of The American Genealogist. He serves as Genealogical Consultant to the new company.

"Like others in the genealogical community," said Velke, "we are passionate about old books. But some of the most valuable resources are held in protective custody and out of reach of researchers. By cooperating with libraries, societies, and other book lovers and by applying professional digitizing and preservation techniques, we are very pleased to help put that material back in circulation and into the hands of family history researchers who need them."

In addition to the thousands of digitized rare books which it makes available from its partner companies, Archive CD Books USA has already accumulated nearly a thousand rare books of its own through purchases, gifts, and promised loans to the project. One of the company’s debut products is a digital version of "A Genealogical Dictionary of The First Settlers of New England" by James Savage which was originally published in 1860 and is now offered for just $9.95 on CD-ROM. "Even a hundred and forty years after publication," said Anderson, "Savage's four-volume set remains the starting point for most research problems in seventeenth-century New England. No other single source covers the first century of New England settlement so broadly."

Even experienced researchers would benefit from the full-text search that is supported by the digitized version of this important work. It reveals thousands of embedded references to people and places which are lost to those who rely on the book’s simple alphabetical list of surname headings.

The company web site ( offers a free newsletter for those who want to be notified of special offers and the release of new titles. Dealer inquiries are also encouraged.

For information:
Phone: 410-715-2260 x150

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