Discover … Internet Archive

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Internet Archive:  Described as ‘a non-profit library of millions of free books, movies, software, music, websites, and more.’[1] Internet Archive is a great site to search for just about anything. The “Wayback Machine” allows the archives of the web to be searched.  Users are then able to view archived web pages even for web sites which no longer exist.

In terms of genealogical research there is a wealth of information available.  Clicking on their American Libraries collection, for example, pulls up over 2,450,000 different items in over 1000 collections.  A quick look under North Carolina Directories shows 925 city and business directories with a wide range of years.

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Internet Archive. https://archive.org/

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You can then select a specific directory to look at.  Each directory is fully searchable and easily downloaded.  All collections on Internet Archive can be filtered by Media Type, Year, Topic and Subject, Creator, and Language.

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Internet Archive. http://www.archive.org/details/bransonnorthcar1869rale

The Internet Archive collection for World War II contains almost 6000 items including 2,839 movies, newsreels and audio recordings.   Did you know you can see census records on Internet Archive?  The United States Census collection holds over 23,000 items, with approximately 13,004,791 page images.

Several historical societies provide content to Internet Archive as a means of preserving it for the future.  The Minnesota Historical Society provides newspapers and manuscripts in the 2,661 items on Internet Archive and the Georgia Historical Society has several old journals and books in its’ collection.

You can even listen to Winston Churchill as he sends his thoughts to American troops and citizens on Thanksgiving 1944, or to President Roosevelt as he calls on Congress to declare war on Japan on 8 December 1941.  Both can be found in Internet Archive’s Community Audio collection.

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Internet Archive. https://archive.org/details/FDR_Declares_War_19411208

This brief introduction doesn’t do justice to the incredible resource that Internet Archive is.  It’s a great tool to add to your genealogy toolbox.

[1] Internet Archive.  https://archive.org/. accessed March 31, 2017

Discover … Fulton History

Discover-Fulton

Fulton History is a historical newspaper site containing over 37 million newspaper pages (as of December 2016)[1] from the USA and Canada, as well as a few other locations. Even more remarkable is that the site is run by one person, Tom Tryniski, of Fulton, New York. Besides access to millions of newspaper pages, there are also postcards, maps and photographs.

The site is searchable and each newspaper page can be downloaded as a PDF. There is help available in the FAQ including different ways to search the database.

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fultonhistory.com FAQs

To see which newspapers are available, click on the FAQ-Help-Index button at the top of the page. The first few lines contain the link to view all the newspapers available on the site.   Instead of going through the index page by page, download the index as a Microsoft Excel file.  The link to download it is at the top of the screen in blue.

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Index of Newspapers, Fultonhistory.com

The downloaded Excel file gives you a list of newspaper titles arranged alphabetically by County.   It’s an easy way to see which counties are covered and by which newspapers.

If you have ancestors in New York State, then you have at your fingertips an incredible free resource thanks to the efforts of Mr Tryniski.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fultonhistory.com

Discover … The Arizona Memory Project

Discover-AZ-Memory

The Arizona Memory Project is a project of the Arizona State Library, Archives and  Public Records. The site provides access to a wealth of primary source documents, photographs, maps and other multimedia items showcasing Arizona’s past and present.

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A specific collection can be searched (of which there are over 270) or a general search of the entire site can be done.  You can narrow your search by creator, coverage, date, subject or type.

AZ Memory search

I conducted a few different searches to see how the search engine worked and was impressed with the results.  From a search on a specific ancestor’s name which resulted in finding an oral interview with an extended family member speaking about a second great grand-uncle and his settling of Alpine, Arizona to a general search on territorial stage-coach routes and a book detailing those routes across Arizona.  A location search for the settlement of Maricopa Wells (a settlement which developed as a watering hole and rest area along the Butterfield Overland mail route and which no longer exists) resulted in several photographs of Indian ruins close to Maricopa Wells as well as photographs of various named and unnamed people standing outside their homes in the area.

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A search for a specific event, in this case, for the ‘Gunfight at the OK Corral’ yielded scans of original documents including the recently discovered ‘Coroner’s Transmittal Page to the Clerk of the District Court concerning the Inquest of the gunfight at the OK Corral’. These missing documents were discovered in the Cochise County Courthouse in 2010 and were transferred to the Arizona State Library, Archives and Public Records where they were scanned and preserved.

The Arizona Memory Project is a rich resource for anyone conducting research in Arizona.