Posts Tagged ‘National Archives’

Update on National Archives NARA Move in New York City

More information concerning the closing of the National Archive (NARA) Northeast Region New York Branch is received from correspondent, Roger D. Joslyn, FASG.

Those of you that have had the pleasure of using the excellent facility and holdings of the New York City branch on Varick Street will want to know about the changes being made.

It appears as though the downsizing will affect the collections as they move the facility over to the Customs House in lower Manhattan.

“I hope those of you who are interested in the future of the National Archives in New York City and access to its research materials will be able to attend one of two meetings this Tuesday at NARA-NYC, 201 Varick Street, 12th floor, Manhattan, at 10:30 AM or 5:30 PM (or come to both sessions!).

In addition to information about the new location in the Customs House, there will be discussion about which textual records, microforms, and books have been identified to go to the new facility, which will be sent to storage, and which will be offered to local libraries/repositories (the latter concerns only microforms and books).

This list of research materials is still in the “development” stage, so your interest in, concern for, and comments about the materials is important.

See you there!

Check out the previous letters from Roger regarding this matter.

Changes at National Archives Northeast Region, New York City

Update Relocation and Collection Downsizing of National Archives Northeast Region New York Branch

Update on the Update of the Update:

Roger added this correction on the meeting place for Tuesday

“Please note (thanks to Steve Siegel’s pointing this out), the two public meetings this coming Tuesday, 4 May, about the NARA move to the Customs House will be held, NOT at NARA, 201 Varick Street, but at the Naval Officers Room, 3d Floor, in the Customs House at One Bowling Green. Again, the times are 10:30 AM and 5:30 PM.”

National Archives and Ancestry (TGN) Propose Digitizing Project

Footnote and Ancestry are in the news recently regarding the digitizing that Footnote currently does, and the work that the parent company of Ancestry, The Generations Network (TGN), wants to do, at the National Archives (NARA).

NARA is asking for public comment regarding the non-exclusive contract that they intend to sign with TGN to embark on a digitization project at NARA of some parts of their collection.

Footnote and Ancestry are both very reputable companies and we all should be ever thankful to the Archivist who has such great forward thinking to bring this digitized content to the Internet. Online resources just keep getting better and better.

Thanks to Dick Eastman for this notice.

Please do go to the NARA info site and voice your opinion, it really does matter! The comments must be received by April 9th, 2008.
NARA Link:

You may sign up for a Free Trial at Footnote here:

You may sign up for a Free Trial at Ancestry here:

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Free Data at Footnote

OK, Upstate New York Genealogy, tell me why I should subscribe to footnote?

Well that’s a pretty easy question to answer.

First off, you do not have to subscribe to take advantage of many of the features and some of the more important and popular data. For instance, you can just go to footnote and have a look see for free.

They are in the process of bringing much of the microfilm collection of the National Archives (NARA) on-line, as well as other scores of collections from all over. Some of the important National Documents that are available all the time, for free, for everyone are; American Milestone Documents, you will find images of the actual original documents of such as; The Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution, The Gettysburg Address, and other famous documents in American History right up to The Gulf of Tonkin Resolution.

Then you will find several other collections that are totally free, such as; 135 volumes of The Pennsylvania Archives, American Colonization Society Papers, the Amistad Federal Court Records, Constitutional Convention Records, Continental Congress Papers, Custer’s Court Martial, Lincoln’s Assassination Papers, and that’s not all. There are many more totally free collections. I just noticed that some of the New Hampshire Town Records are now coming on and they also are free.

Our recommendation is to go there, take a look. See if it something that you will use, we think you will, and then make the decision later as to subscribing or not. Footnote does offer unyg readers a seven day free trial for all of the collections of data and features that they provide, with no limitations on the amount that you can look at.

We have written about footnote in previous Blogs such as here.

We believe it is one of the better bargains on the Internet for Historians and Genealogists.

Start your Seven Day Free Trial to Footnote here.

Note: update August 1, 2008. Footnote is approaching 60 million online digitized documents. Here is a link to see what types of things would be available for genealogists and historians. Footnote Index . Without a doubt, Footnote is the Best Genealogy Bargain on the Internet. (Dick Hillenbrand)


ps: Please tell us of your successes by using the “comments” tab below.

Visit our main website at


footnote has improved their viewer has improved their on-line records viewer.

This site is extremely important to researchers that desire to see digitized original documents concerning their ancestors or historical research projects.

footnote has partnered with the U.S. National Archives (NARA,) to bring you millions of original documents and images.


Thank you.
Dick Hillenbrand – Upstate New York Genealogy –

The National Archives (NARA) wants your help.

The National Archives (NARA) is asking for input from anyone that is interested in their holdings to submit email comments regarding your own specific wishes for digitization.

There has been a great amount of material made public or by subscription with companies that have been electronically scanning the existing microfilm collection of NARA and offering the images on the web. The key word in that statement is “microfilm.” Here’s how it works. Many of NARAs holdings have been microfilmed previously and researchers have had access to those films through NARA, and the LDS Family History Library, and many other good reference libraries throughout the country. Some of the current commercial vendors like and genealogybank,,, and others, have been running those films through electronic gadgets that convert the film images to digital scans. This has opened up avenues into collections that are instantly available without having to order any film and it is an absolute marvel.

NARA says that only a very tiny percentage of their massive holdings have been filmed in the past and now they are in the advanced planning stage of their direct digital scanning project of a great deal more of their holdings, some of which has never seen the light of day. We are going to be seeing some brick wall battering rams here folks. Direct digital scanning of the complete original document is far superior to scanning those little tiny 35mm photos of documents.

NARA has a pdf file document that you can read and then respond to with your own personal comments and wishes. Here is the link:

Please take some time to cruise around NARAs web site at and come up with some of your own ideas. They do want your help and they promise to consider all input in their decision making process.

I submitted mine and got a very nice answer back the very next day.

For what it is worth, here are some random thoughts to consider from my own wish list. Wouldn’t it be nice if the Federal Census Department actually saved the originals of all of the federal census after they were microfilmed? I have always been under the opinion that the original census returns were destroyed after filming, but what if NARA still had them? Digital scanning is so far superior to the old microfilmed images, due to the tonal qualities, color imaging, and focusing ability, that it would result in history’s most important tool being scanned directly and digitized and we would all now be able to read those blurry, smudged, ink splattered, fly specked, scratched, out-of-focus, low contrast census returns that we all have noted in our research notes with (???)

My other big vote is to have the War of 1812 Service Records and Pension Records scanned. This collection has never been filmed yet and researchers that wanted to take the time and effort could send for photocopies of their ancestors files, however it has been time consuming and quite expensive. Suppose it all was put up on the web? Wow!

These are only a couple of my thoughts. Please come up with some of your own and respond to NARA before their comment cut-off date in November.

The email address to send your comments to is

Dick Hillenbrand
Upstate New York Genealogy

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