Press/Journalists

Press Release
January 10, 2007

National Archives and Footnote Launch Project to Digitize Historic Documents

Washington, DC and Lindon, UT…Archivist of the United States Allen Weinstein and Footnote, Inc. CEO Russell Wilding today announced an agreement to digitize selected records from the vast holdings of the National Archives. The 4.5 million pages that have been digitized so far are now available at www.footnote.com/nara.

National Archives Documents Available on Footnote.com

Mathew B. Brady Collection of Civil War PhotographsThe National Archives and Footnote.com are working as partners to bring unprecedented access to selections of the vast holdings of the National Archives. Learn More.

Visit our Research Rooms and Presidential libraries to access the documents free of charge.

This non-exclusive agreement, beginning with the sizeable collection of materials currently on microfilm,will enable researchers and the general public to access millions of newly-digitized images of the National Archives historic records on a subscription basis from the Footnote web site. By February 6, the digitized materials will also be available at no charge in National Archives research rooms in Washington D.C. and regional facilities across the country. After an interval of five years, all images digitized through this agreement will be available at no charge through the National Archives web site.

"This is an exciting step forward for the National Archives," said Professor Weinstein. "It will immediately allow much greater access to approximately 4.5 million pages of important documents that are currently available only in their original format or on microfilm. The digitization of documents will also enhance our efforts to preserve our original records."

“The partnership with the National Archives will expand significantly the content we are able to offer professional and amateur researchers,” said Footnote CEO Russell Wilding. We will continue to add millions of original documents and images monthly. ”

The following represents a portion of the millions of historic documents that will be made available as part of the National Archives - Footnote Agreement.

Papers of the Continental Congress (1774-89).
The Papers of the Continental Congress include Journals of the Congress, reports of its committees, papers submitted by state Governments, and correspondence of its Presidents and other officers with diplomatic representatives of the United States abroad, officers in the Continental Army, State and local officials, and private persons. Among the Papers are copies of the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation, the Northwest Ordinance, the Constitution, and other documents instrumental in molding the new Government. Also included are drafts of treaties and commercial agreements, papers relating to expenditures and loans, reports of military progress during the Revolution, and papers relating to Indian treaties and tribes.

Mathew B. Brady Collection of Civil War Photographs.
One of the largest and most frequently researched bodies of Civil War photography anywhere, this series originated with some 6,000 glass plate negatives acquired by the War Department from Brady in 1874-1875. Encompassing images by the enterprising Brady and more than a dozen other photographers, including Alexander Gardner and Timothy O'Sullivan, directly or indirectly associated with him, the series ranges from Brady Gallery portraits of leading military and political personalities of the 1850's-1860's to views of units, battlefields, ruins, landscapes, camps, hospitals, prisons, fortifications, bridges, and railroads from Fredericksburg to Chickamauga to Atlanta.

Southern Claims Commission.
In the 1870s, some southerners claimed compensation from the U.S. government for items used by the Union Army, ranging from corn and horses, to trees and church buildings. The claim files contain a wealth of genealogical information and they consist of petitions, inventories of properties lost, testimony of family members and others, reports, and certificates submitted by claimants to the Southern Claims Commission as proof of loyalty to the Federal Government and value of property damaged or lost during the Civil War. The materials are arranged by state and thereunder by the name of the claimant.

Name Index to Civil War and Later Pension Files.
Pension applications for service in the U.S. Army between 1861 and 1900, grouped according to the units in which the veterans served. The name index to the Civil War and Later Pension Application Files contains over 3 million index entries documenting the applications of soldiers, sailors and their widows. The index is the entry point for one of the most significant bodies of Federal records documenting the lives of volunteers who served in the Civil War, the western Indian Wars, and the Spanish American War.

Investigative Case Files of the Bureau of Investigation, 1908-22.
The Bureau of Investigation investigated real and perceived threats to the nation and its citizens before it became the FBI. The materials compiled by the BOI from 1908 to 1922 consist of an index to the investigative case files, general investigative records, investigative records relating to German Aliens from 1915 through 1920, investigative records relating to Mexican Neutrality Violations from 1909 through 1921, and investigative records transferred from the Department of Justice from 1920 through 1921. The records are arranged alphabetically by the name of the person or organization investigated.

About the National Archives

The National Archives and Records Administration, an independent federal agency, is the nation's record keeper. Founded in 1934, its mission is unique —to serve American democracy by safeguarding and preserving the records of our Government, ensuring that the people can discover, use, and learn from this documentary heritage. The National Archives ensures continuing access to the essential documentation of the rights of American citizens and the actions of their government. It supports democracy, promotes civic education, and facilitates historical understanding of our national experience. The National Archives meets a wide range of information needs, among them helping people to trace their families' history, making it possible for veterans to prove their entitlement to medical and other benefits, and preserving original White House records. The National Archives carries out its mission through a nationwide network of archives, records centers, and Presidential Libraries, and on the Internet at www.archives.gov.

About Footnote, Inc.

Founded in 1997 as iArchives, Inc., Footnote is a subscription based web site that features searchable original documents that provide users with an unaltered view of the events , places and people that shaped the American nation and the world. At Footnote.com all are invited to come to share, discuss, and collaborate on their discoveries with friends, family, and colleagues. For more information, visit www.footnote.com.

# # #

For press information, contact National Archives Public Affairs staff at 202-357-5300, or Footnote, Inc. spokesman Justin Schroepfer at 801-494-6517

07-41

Top of Page

PDF files require the free Adobe Reader.
More information on Adobe Acrobat PDF files is available on our Accessibility page.

Press/Journalists >

The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration
1-86-NARA-NARA or 1-866-272-6272

.