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Welcome to Our New Blog

by on August 12, 2009


Welcome to NARAtions, a blog about online public access to the records of the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration (NARA).   (Yes, we know the proper spelling of narration contains two r’s, but we couldn’t resist the pun!)

We hope to hear from NARA researchers and anyone interested in the Archives on topics related to online access and historical research in general. The plan is to post questions periodically and encourage you to share your opinions, ideas, and stories with us.  We will also post news items about descriptions or digitized archival materials available online.


Comments

Zardis Hoffman August 16, 2009 at 8:34 am

Thanks for all the work and information we can all search.

Jill (admin) August 16, 2009 at 9:45 am

Zardis,

Thanks for the encouragement!

- Jill (Admin)

Marcia Zeigler August 16, 2009 at 11:31 pm

Will you discuss What records to explore? I have the Widows Pension file for David Zeigler (Pennsylvania) from the War of 1812. What other records should I explore to discover more genealogical information?

Jill (admin) August 17, 2009 at 9:21 am

Marcia,

We do plan on discussing records to explore in future posts. Have you taken a look at census records or land records yet?

You might want to check out these web pages on Archives.gov (if you haven’t already) that will direct you to other types of records for genealogy research:

- Starting Genealogy and Family History Research: http://www.archives.gov/genealogy/about-research.html

- Genealogy Research in Military Records: http://www.archives.gov/genealogy/military/

- Archival Research Catalog (ARC) Guide for Genealogists and Family Historians: http://www.archives.gov/research/arc/topics/genealogy/

Best of luck with your research!

- Jill (Admin)

Dave August 17, 2009 at 6:06 pm

The Library of Congress website has 100,000′s of photographs & documents in the public domain, at varying resolutions available for online access/download.

Why not NARA?

I realize there is some duplication of records between NARA & LOC, but it would seem NARA would be the logical government entity to provide additional online resources to the tax-payer.

Kristen (admin) August 18, 2009 at 10:51 am

Hi Dave,
We’re glad you’re interested in learning more about NARA’s digitization goals. Here at the National Archives, we’re constantly striving to provide greater digital access to the records in our collections, through both in-house and partnership scanning projects. Our online research catalog, ARC, currently contains over 153,000 digital images and video files, a number that is growing as fast as time and resources allow.

We also encourage you to check out the approximately 40 million pages of records that have been made available online through our partnership with Footnote.com. Accessing these records is free at all of NARA’s Washington, DC area, regional, and Presidential Library locations around the country, and through a subscription fee anywhere else. As you may know, we’ve also recently begun a photostream on Flickr.com, in which over 1,100 public domain items from our catalog are already available to users. We have plans to add many more as the pilot project gains momentum.

Thanks again for your interest; we hope you enjoy the records!

-Kristen

Matt Fisher August 18, 2009 at 10:11 pm

Some time in the last year or 2, the Moving Images department switched from making Digital Intermediates on Digibeta to now making them on film. I was curious if you could address what promoted this change and whether or not funding has been an issue. Thanks for all that you do, it is greatly appreciated and I look forward to keeping up with the blog.

Leslie Waffen August 19, 2009 at 4:38 pm

Hi Matt, under the current contract with our approved vendor labs NARA still requires a digibeta in SD (Standard Definition) to be made at client/researcher expense from an existing preservation only film copy, unless the researcher/client needs to have their copy transferred into a High-Def (HD) format. Then there are options. A full explanation is available on the “How to Order Moving Images” on our NARA website at: http://www.archives.gov/research/order/broadcast-quality-film-dc.html
Funding is not the issue; this policy is in response to customer demand for copies of our films in HD formats which only motion picture film resolution can provide.

Thanks, Les Waffen at NARA’s Motion Picture, Sound & Video Branch.

Gino Siller Photography December 20, 2009 at 7:58 pm

I have just recently came across the numerous blogs that are put on by the government. This is a great idea. I wish all agencies would operate something similar to this to let the public know whats going on. Thanks

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