Wednesday, January 10, 2007

National Archives and Footnote Launch Project to Digitize Historic Documents

ACROSS MY DESK: National Archives and Footnote Launch Project to Digitize Historic Documents

NOTE: This information was just released by the National Archives. See:

Press Release
January 10, 2007
National Archives and Footnote Launch Project to Digitize Historic Documents

Washington, DC and Lindon, UT.Archivist of the United States Allen Weinstein
and Footnote, Inc. CEO Russell Wilding today announced an agreement 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

This non-exclusive agreement, beginning with the sizeable collection of
materials currently on microfilm, will enable researchers and the general
public to access millions of newly-digitized images of the National Archives
historic records on a subscription basis from the Footnote web site. By
February 6, the digitized materials will also be 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.

"This is an exciting step forward for the National Archives," said Professor
Weinstein. "It will immediately allow much greater access to approximately
4.5 million pages of important documents that are currently available only
in their original format or on microfilm. The digitization of documents will
also enhance our efforts to preserve our original records."

"The partnership with the National Archives will expand significantly the
content we are able to offer professional and amateur researchers," said
Footnote CEO Russell Wilding. "We will continue to add millions of original
documents and images monthly. "

The following represents a portion of the millions of historic documents
that will be made available as part of the National Archives - Footnote

Papers of the Continental Congress (1774-89).
The Papers of the Continental Congress include Journals of the Congress,
reports of its committees, papers submitted by state Governments, and
correspondence of its Presidents and other officers with diplomatic
representatives of the United States abroad, officers in the Continental
Army, State and local officials, and private persons. Among the Papers are
copies of the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation,
the Northwest Ordinance, the Constitution, and other documents instrumental
in molding the new Government. Also included are drafts of treaties and
commercial agreements, papers relating to expenditures and loans, reports of
military progress during the Revolution, and papers relating to Indian
treaties and tribes.

Mathew B. Brady Collection of Civil War Photographs.
One of the largest and most frequently researched bodies of Civil War
photography anywhere, this series originated with some 6,000 glass plate
negatives acquired by the War Department from Brady in 1874-1875.
Encompassing images by the enterprising Brady and more than a dozen other
photographers, including Alexander Gardner and Timothy O'Sullivan, directly
or indirectly associated with him, the series ranges from Brady Gallery
portraits of leading military and political personalities of the
1850's-1860's to views of units, battlefields, ruins, landscapes, camps,
hospitals, prisons, fortifications, bridges, and railroads from
Fredericksburg to Chickamauga to Atlanta.

Southern Claims Commission.
In the 1870s, some southerners claimed compensation from the U.S. government
for items used by the Union Army, ranging from corn and horses, to trees and
church buildings. The claim files contain a wealth of genealogical
information and they consist of petitions, inventories of properties lost,
testimony of family members and others, reports, and certificates submitted
by claimants to the Southern Claims Commission as proof of loyalty to the
Federal Government and value of property damaged or lost during the Civil
War. The materials are arranged by state and thereunder by the name of the

Name Index to Civil War and Later Pension Files.
Pension applications for service in the U.S. Army between 1861 and 1900,
grouped according to the units in which the veterans served. The name index
to the Civil War and Later Pension Application Files contains over 3 million
index entries documenting the applications of soldiers, sailors and their
widows. The index is the entry point for one of the most significant bodies
of Federal records documenting the lives of volunteers who served in the
Civil War, the western Indian Wars, and the Spanish American War.

Investigative Case Files of the Bureau of Investigation, 1908-22.
The Bureau of Investigation investigated real and perceived threats to the
nation and its citizens before it became the FBI. The materials compiled by
the BOI from 1908 to 1922 consist of an index to the investigative case
files, general investigative records, investigative records relating to
German Aliens from 1915 through 1920, investigative records relating to
Mexican Neutrality Violations from 1909 through 1921, and investigative
records transferred from the Department of Justice from 1920 through 1921.
The records are arranged alphabetically by the name of the person or
organization investigated.

About the National Archives
The National Archives and Records Administration, an independent federal
agency, is the nation's record keeper. Founded in 1934, its mission is
unique -to serve American democracy by safeguarding and preserving the
records of our Government, ensuring that the people can discover, use, and
learn from this documentary heritage. The National Archives ensures
continuing access to the essential documentation of the rights of American
citizens and the actions of their government. It supports democracy,
promotes civic education, and facilitates historical understanding of our
national experience. The National Archives meets a wide range of information
needs, among them helping people to trace their families' history, making it
possible for veterans to prove their entitlement to medical and other
benefits, and preserving original White House records. The National Archives
carries out its mission through a nationwide network of archives, records
centers, and Presidential Libraries, and on the Internet at

About Footnote, Inc.
Founded in 1997 as iArchives, Inc., Footnote is a subscription based web
site that features searchable original documents that provide users with an
unaltered view of the events , places and people that shaped the American
nation and the world. At all are invited to come to share,
discuss, and collaborate on their discoveries with friends, family, and
colleagues. For more information, visit

# # #

For press information, contact National Archives Public Affairs staff at
202-357-5300, or Footnote, Inc. spokesman Justin Schroepfer at 801-494-6517

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