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North America Local and County Histories to Go Online

from FamilySearch.org (August 15, 2007):

Three genealogical libraries pool their collections in massive digitization effort

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH—Thousands of published family histories, city and county histories, historic city directories, and related records are coming to the Internet. The Allen County Public Library (ACPL) in Fort Wayne, Indiana, Brigham Young University Harold B. Lee Library, and FamilySearch's Family History Library in Salt Lake City announced the joint project today. When complete, it will be the most comprehensive collection of city and county histories on the Web—and access will be free at www.familyhistoryarchive.byu.edu.

The digital history project will target over 100,000 published family histories and thousands of local histories that are rich in names as well as biographical and genealogical data associated with those names. "Publishing those collections from the three libraries involved will make a significant and attractive family history digital library online for genealogists and historians," said David Rencher, director of Records and Information for FamilySearch.

"I believe the most immediate, substantial contribution of this collaboration will be the addition of local history materials," said Allen County Public Library's Genealogy Center Manager, Curt Witcher. The collaborative project will digitally scan thousands of historic city directories, as well as city and county histories from North America. The ACPL and the Family History Library have the largest collections of city and county histories from North America. "I believe the strength of our two well known, well used, and well loved institutions working together is a terrific benefit to the genealogical community," added Witcher.

Once digitized, the collections will have "every word" search capability, which allows users to search by name, location, date, or other field across the collection. The search results are then linked to high quality digital images of the original publication. Digitization efforts have begun. New additions will be noted and hyperlinked in the Family History Library Catalog at FamilySearch.org as they are digitized. The collection can be accessed currently at www.familyhistoryarchive.byu.edu.

FamilySearch is providing the computers, scanners, and camera operators required to complete the project. FamilySearch is a nonprofit organization sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. FamilySearch maintains the world's largest repository of genealogical resources accessed through FamilySearch.org, the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, and over 4,500 family history centers in 70 countries.


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I am thrilled at this news. I have already found an ancestor in the BTU site. I have been able to "save" the individual pdf. pages to my computer. However, individual pages are not very useful since they are out of context.
Is there any way I can "save" the complete article so that the individual page is then tied into a complete history so it then makes sense?

What I have done in the past with online books (family and local histories) is use the "next page" and "previous page" buttons to gather as much of the info (or "story") as I need. Then, I copy the title page and the page that lists date and place of publication, publisher's name and such. Sometimes this is all on the title page ... sometimes, on the next page. At any rate, this way, I can always find the book, again, if I need to gather more info later.

If what you mean is that you want to download the entire book, at once ... well, most sites don't allow this. Sometimes, the permission to publish the book online includes the stipulation that it be available only a page at a time. (Which is the way you would, then, have to save it ... unfortunate, perhaps, but generally true.)

Have they given any sort of estimated completion date for the combining project?

I think it is great. Now people who can not afford memberships will be able to have better access to these records.

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