Saturday, January 14, 2012

Free Help for the National Archives -- Know Your Records


The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), Washington, DC

Usually, here at FreeGenealogyTools, we're highlighting digital resources you can access for free.

Today, we (and I'm using the royal we...it's really just me) are turning the tables a bit. The Know Your Records (KYR) program at the National Archives is asking for some free help from you.

KYR is a pretty cool program of seminars, newsletters and other outreach activities designed to introduce history researchers to the amazing collections at the National Archives. Most of KYR's activities have only been available in the Washington DC area. Now, KYR wants to put some of its videos online. Their genealogy lectures -- they've hosted hundreds over the years -- have covered topics like:
  • Access to Archival Databases (AAD) for Genealogists
  • Passport Applications, 1795–1925
  • Alien Files (A-Files) for Genealogy Research
  • The Freedman’s Savings and Trust Company: A Gold Mine for Black and White Genealogists
  • World War II Finding Aid
  • Documenting Death in the Civil War
Good stuff! They even have specialty sessions on using Ancestry.com and other commercial family history resources that include NARA records.

Anyway, KYR wants your vote! Let NARA know which presentations you'd most like to see posted online at YouTube and iTunes U. Your votes will determine what new videos get posted...but you don't have to wait to get the flavor of what's available. A few KYR videos are already online at YouTube:
Have fun.


Don't forget to also check for your family history at Ancestry.com and  NewspaperArchive. These are subscription databases, but they are among the most powerful research tools available for looking into family roots.