Thursday, October 15, 2009

Mining for Genealogical Information in Federal Records

We might think of the National Archives as containing a static body of information, and genealogists anxiously await each new set of records scheduled to come online.  What we might not realize is that in the U.S. (and probably so in other countries as well), the repository is not static at all. The federal archives are continually adding new data, transferred from other government bodies -- information previously unavailable to the general public. In her article, "Mining for Genealogical Information in Federal Records," Rita Marshall makes a case for going straight to the source and NOT waiting for the movie (or online data release) to come out. Old and new, a considerable amount of valuable information is housed in the federal archives that is not available elsewhere. While a trip to Washington D.C. might not be in the stars for all of us, it is important to know what's available. Professional researchers and look-up volunteers in the area of a particular archive are a possible resource.

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