Friday, August 17, 2007

Digitizing Allen County Library family history books

The Allen County Public Library (ACPL), co-sponsor of this year's FGS conference in Fort Wayne, Indiana this week, announced an agreement with FamilySearch and the Family History Library (FHL) to allow digitization of books from its local and family history collection for publication on the web. The books will be published as part of the Family History Archives (FHA) collection on the website of Brigham Young University's (BYU) Harold B. Lee Library (HBLL).

The FHA project seeks to digitize local and family history books worldwide. Started at BYU over two years ago, the project is now headquartered in FamilySearch offices in the Orem, Utah Canyon Park Technology Center. The FHA project utilizes volunteers and is digitizing books with expired copyrights available at the HBLL, the FHL, and now, the ACPL.

"Publishing those collections from the three libraries involved will make a significant and attractive family history digital library online for genealogists and historians," said David Rencher, director of Records and Information for FamilySearch. Among these institutions are over 100,000 local and family histories.

The FHL and the ACPL are the two largest genealogical libraries in North America. "I believe the strength of our two well known, well used, and well loved institutions working together is a terrific benefit to the genealogical community," said ACPL's Genealogy Center Manager, Curt Witcher.

The Family History Archive is every-word searchable and currently contains over 5,000 titles. Access the collection at www.familyhistoryarchive.byu.edu. See the complete announcement on familysearch.org.

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