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# Thursday, July 23, 2009
Finding Family History in Digital Memory Projects
Posted by Diane

State archives, county historical societies, libraries and other organizations across the country are preserving the history of ordinary people in free online collections of photos, letters, stories and historical documents.

You might find something about a relative in one of these collections. You’ll almost certainly get a good picture of your ancestor's life. Here's a sampling of digital memory sites (I had to stop myself from spending all day surfing for more!) followed by tips on finding a collection relevant to your family:
  • Allen County Community Album: Images at this Allen County Public Library-hosted site portray people and places in Northeastern Indiana. The library’s well-known Genealogy Center also has an Our Military Heritage site with records and photos from researchers across the country.
  • Arizona Memory Project: Collections come from the Catholic Diocese of Tucson, Arizona Jewish Historical Society, state archives, City of Glendale, Gila County and others.
  • Documenting Arkansas: This site's content relates to the Civil War, 1927 Mississippi River flood and other events.
  • Maine Memory Network: More than 200 organizations have contributed materials to this site, which also supports similar projects for Maine communities such as Bath and Isleboro.
  • Montana Memory Project: Cattle brand books, the Fergus County Heritage Book and Rocky Mountain College yearbooks are a few of the resources you'll find here.

  • Terrace Park, Ohio, Building Survey: A local genealogist maintains this site on the history of buildings in an Ohio neighborhood. It has photos, deeds, census and land records, residents' names and more.
  • The Valley of the Shadow: Censuses, church records, letters, diaries and newspaper articles detail life in two communities—Franklin County, Pa., in the North and Augusta County, Va., in the South—before, during and after the Civil War.
Also explore the digital collections on our 101 Best Web sites list, including Seeking Michigan, the Florida Memory Project, Missouri Digital Heritage and the Library of Congress' American Memory.

To find collections related to your ancestors’ lives, look for links to a memory project or digital archive on Web sites for the state archives, local libraries or local historical society. Many projects are listed on Cyndi's List country, state and local pages; as well as USGenWeb state and county pages.

Also try running a Google search on digital history or memory project plus the town, county or state name, or a topic such as Civil War or pioneer.

Click Comments below to share a link to your favorite digital memory project.


Genealogy Web Sites | Libraries and Archives | Research Tips | Social History
Thursday, July 23, 2009 8:57:45 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [6]
Thursday, July 23, 2009 5:56:53 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
The Library of Congress also has available a tasty looking list of links at

http://www.loc.gov/rr/program/bib/statememory/

which looks to be their web guide list of state-level digital collections. One caveat: set aside the good part of a day to "research" before even clicking this link.
Thursday, July 23, 2009 8:10:47 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
I can't thank you enough for the links to different sites you publish here. When you published the link to "Library of Congress Chronicling America",I found information about a very illusive ancestor's two marriages that I never even imagined. And there were many articles. She was quite a ringer! With the married names in those articles, I was able to find her in censuses and many other places. Thanks again.
Phyllis Couch
Wednesday, July 29, 2009 10:04:20 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
Please add the "Kansas Memory" project to your list of Memory Projects. This user-friendly website by the Kansas Historical Society provides thousands of primary source material on all aspects of Kansas History. Some of the digitized items available online for researchers to view are: letters,photographs,diaries,maps,photos of artifacts, etc.

Tne website address for KANSAS MEMORY is:

http://www.kansasmemory.org

JMS
J.M. Sweets
Wednesday, July 29, 2009 12:00:30 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
Be sure to check out "I Remember" pages from either Facebook or Footnote.com.

I have done pages on my 2 brothers who have died and plan to do more on others.
Sue Fritz
Thursday, July 30, 2009 9:12:53 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
Thanks to all of you for your comments and additional resources!
Diane
Diane
Sunday, August 02, 2009 12:06:23 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
If you had ancestors around Grandview, WA check out the Rural Heritage site at http://www.washingtonruralheritage.org/grandview/

Another good memory site is the one at the Yakima Valley Museum. Both of these have lots of historic photos.
Linda Dunham
Comments are closed.