20 May 2008

NARA and Ancestry: Special access through May 31

Ancestry.com will make its entire US Military Collection free to the public from May 20 through May 31. Click here to view more than 100 million names and 700 titles and databases of military records. The majority come from the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) and cover all 50 US states.

This special public access commemorates the NARA-Ancestry.com agreement which features on site Ancestry.com technicians and scanners at the National Archives for digitization of historical content.

WASHINGTON and PROVO, Utah, May 20 -- The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) and The Generations Network, Inc., parent company of Ancestry.com, today announced an agreement that makes millions of historical records more easily available to the American public. The agreement, which will be signed today at the NARA headquarters in Washington, D.C. and celebrated with a military theme in honor of this Memorial Day, allows for the ongoing digitization of a wealth of historical content, including immigration, birth, marriage, death and military records.

The new agreement provides critical access to these important historical records at a faster rate than ever before due to the placement of Ancestry.com technicians and scanning machines at NARA to continually digitize content for online access. The initial NARA collections to be digitized under the new agreement include INS Passenger and Crew Arrival and Departure Lists from 1897-1958 and Death Notices of U.S. Citizens Abroad from 1835-1974, which have not been available to the public outside of NARA research rooms before now.

"The mission of the National Archives and Records Administration is to provide access to the nation's historical records, and we are proud to have The Generations Network among our valued partners," said Professor Allen Weinstein, Archivist of the United States. "With this new agreement, citizens can discover and learn from these records in remote locations faster than ever before."

For more than a decade, Ancestry.com and NARA have collaborated to make important historical records available to the public, demonstrating their dovetailing commitment to preserving America's heritage. Ancestry.com currently has the largest online collection of digitized and indexed NARA content, including the complete U.S. Federal Census Collection, 1790-1930, passenger lists from 1820-1960 and WWI and WWII draft registration cards. Through this new agreement, Ancestry.com and NARA have greatly enhanced their working relationship. More on the agreement and the long-term relationship between Ancestry.com and NARA can be found at http://www.ancestry.com/nara.

For more information on the agreement, click here.

Professional Services Desk Manager Suzanne Russo Adams has informed readers that she was just made aware of an Ancestry.com page that lists all NARA series and films currently in Ancestry databases:

Scroll past the search template to see a table that lists the NARA series #, the NARA Collection Title, the Ancestry Database Title and the number of film reels and/or fiche in that collection.

She adds that this will prove useful for understanding which NARA records are currently on Ancestry. The page will be updated as more NARA titles are added.

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