Sunday, July 4, 2010

4th of July @ the US National Archives

What could be more appropriate than a visit to the United States Nation Archives on the 4th of July? This is the second in my discussion of genealogy research sites in our nation's capitol. The Archives contain an incomprehensible amount of documents that are byproducts of the work of various offices of our federal government.

It was only a little over a decade ago when one had to visit the National Archives, one of it's regional branches or a large and specialized genealogy library to be able to review census records. How times have changed. Today we have come to expect to be able to review census records in more than 2,000 libraries who subscribe to Ancestry Library Edition or even from the comforts of home if one is fortunate enough to have a personal subscription to Ancestry. In addition, is in the process of opening a wealth of other documents to armchair researchers. One thing for researchers to remember is that documents created by the federal government are not protected by copyright as they are considered to be in the public domain.

I will not pretend to describe all the resources available at the National Archives. I would suggest that your exploration begin but not be restricted to the page on Resources for Genealogists and Family Historians. Also visit Inside the Vaults - The Declaration of Independence to see a short video about the document which celebrates its 234th birthday today.


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