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If you’ve got British colonial roots in North America, you know how tough it can be to learn more about your family during that time. According to the article, plans are afoot to digitize and make available millions of British colonial documents. The Gazette reports not one but two major digitizing projects underway relating to British colonial documents in the U.S. Digital archives and libraries give us remote, fingertip access to original and published materials we might never otherwise know about or be able to access. May 8, 2013 by Lisa Opening pages of rare 1905 Sanborn Map of San Francisco, showing city just before 1906 earthquake. Genealogists rely on historical maps to help us navigate the geography of our ancestors’ lives.


I blogged recently about the DPLA, which aims to create an enormous, free digital library we can all access online.
A larger-scale Colonial Archives of North America has plans to digitally assemble pre-Revolutionary War material from Harvard and several historical societies, archives and Libraries in New England, New York and beyond (including Montreal).
Look here for books, government documents, photographs, manuscript items, memorabilia, audio recordings and more.
It will be great to have the Rumsey map collection searchable on the DPLA so we can search these maps while we look for any other sources on any particular location our ancestors lived. It will capture around 30 million pages of 17th- and 18th-century material from more than 1600 manuscript collections at 12 different Harvard repositories. I was pleased to see that records relating to businesses, poverty, public health and indigent care will form part of the anticipated collection.


His entire collection of about 150,000 maps will eventually be housed at Stanford University. You can also get step-by-step instructions in my book The Genealogist’s Google Toolbox.
There are still that many colonial-era documents sitting largely untouched in public and private archives, far from the reach of the everyday genealogist. Meanwhile, we can all enjoy the thousands of images we can search on his site or at the DPLA.



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