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Tuesday, 3rd November 2009

More Digitization Underway: This Time Footnote.com is Digitizing the U.S. Census from 1790-1930

Footnote.com is once again partnering the National Records and Administration Agency (NARA) to digitize massive amounts of content and then make that material available, often for a fee, available online. Footnote is becoming--and for some has already become--and important resource for historians, genealogists, students, and others.

This time around, Footnote.com, is digitizing all publicly available Census materials from 1790-1930. These dates represent the period when all materials (including names) from a given census have been made publicly available. Through its partnership with NARA, Footnote.com will add more than 9.5 million pages of content when the census database project is complete. We've learned that Footnote.com is digitizing all of this material on their own.

From a Footnote.com Blog Post:

With over 60 million historical records already online, Footnote.com will use the U.S. Census records to tie content together, creating a pathway to discover additional records that previously have been difficult to find.

The Interactive Census Project Home Page offers much more detail and examples. You can also create email alerts when new states are added to the census database. On the lower-left side of the page you can track the progress of each census has been digitized. As you'll see, the 1860 census is complete and the 1930 census is just about done.

Searching is free, Footnote provides numerous options to refine your search (here's an example). Accessing the complete record is fee-based either subscribing to the database for a annually or monthly. You can also by individual documents for $2.95. Btw, Footnote.com also sells institutional access to libraries through EBSCO.

Footnote looks at the census project as a "highway" to assist the researcher in finding more information in other databases.

If you've been reading ResourceShelf for a while you've seen an increasing number of mention their services. Here's a list of a few of them,

+ In August of 2009. we posted on the release of a joint project with the National Archives (NARA) to digitize holocaust material.

+ In December of 2008, in a partnership with NARA, Footnote released the largest interactive World War II collection online.

+ In March, 2008 we posted about Footnote.com offering an interactive version of the Vietnam Wall.

Our first post about Footnote dates back to January, 2007.

If you run this search using the ResourceShelf database, you'll be able to see and read all of our Footnote.com posts.

But wait, there's more. A quick review of the Footnote "press room" offers up even more projects. You can learn about them here.


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