National Archives Puts More Popular Records Workshops Online
Press Release · Monday, July 30, 2012

More "Know Your Records" videos now available on National Archives’ YouTube Channel

The National Archives has launched new online videos of its most popular genealogy “how to” workshops. These videos cover “hot topics” in genealogical research such as Civil War records, online resources and databases, and more. These workshops led by National Archives experts are available on the National Archives YouTube channel [].

The National Archives produced Know Your Records video shorts cover the creation, scope, content, and use of National Archives records for genealogical research. “We are happy to make more of our most popular genealogy lectures available online. We welcome researcher feedback and will continue to make more workshops available online for free for viewing by anyone, anywhere, at any time,” said Diane Dimkoff, Director of Customer Services.

For the first time, researchers and staff voted for their favorite topics—and the National Archives listened:

Access to Archival Databases (AAD) for Genealogists (54:57)
National Archives electronic records expert Dan Law discusses using electronic records for genealogy research and shows how to access such records using the National Archives Access to Archival Databases (AAD) online search engine.

Documenting Death in the Civil War (1:22:29)
National Archives genealogy expert John Deeben explores War Department death records created during and after the Civil War. These records show how the government documented personal circumstances of soldiers’ deaths on the battlefield, in military hospitals, and in prisons.

Let No Man Put Asunder: Freedmen’s Bureau Marriage Records (1:12:09)
National Archives archivist Reginald Washington explores marriage records from the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands (the Freedmen's Bureau). The Freedmen’s Bureau provided assistance to tens of thousands of former slaves and impoverished whites in the Southern states and the District of Columbia. These records from 1865 through 1872 constitute the richest and most extensive documentary source for investigating the African American experience in the post–Civil War and Reconstruction eras.

Army Service in the Civil War: An Overview (1:02:44)
Over 2.8 million men (and a few hundred women) served in the Union and Confederate armies during the Civil War. National Archives genealogy expert John Deeben demonstrates how to research and use Civil War Army service records.

Exodus to Kansas: The 1880 Senate Investigation of the Beginnings of the African American Migration from the South (1:05:26)
National Archives archivist Damani Davis examines Federal records relating to the “Kansas Exodus” (the so-called “Exoduster” movement), which was the first instance of voluntary, mass migration among African Americans. This mass exodus generated considerable attention throughout the nation and resulted in a major 1880 Senate investigation. See more information [].

National Archives Records on (56:38) has digitized selected National Archives microfilm publications and original records and made them available on their web sites for a fee. Lead Family Historian for Anastasia Harman discusses these records and their use for genealogy research. Access to and Fold3 (formerly is available free of charge in all National Archives Research Rooms, including those in our regional archives and Presidential Libraries. For a list of National Archives records available online through and other digitization partners [].

Background on “Know Your Records” programs

The National Archives holds the permanently valuable records of the Federal Government. These include records of interest to genealogists, such as pension files, ship passenger lists, census and Freedmen’s Bureau materials. The “Know Your Records Program” offers opportunities for staff, volunteers, and researchers to learn about these records through lectures, ongoing genealogy programs, workshops, symposia, the annual genealogy fair, an online genealogy tutorial, reference reports for genealogical research, and editions of Researcher News for Washington, DC, area researchers.

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For Press information, contact the National Archives Public Affairs staff at 202-357-5300.

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