Friday, March 10, 2006

Research Note: ArchiveGrid

Superb New Finding Aid

Last night as I was surfing the 'Net, I happened on a site that led me to a place called I'll let ArchiveGrid explain itself:

ArchiveGrid is an important destination for searching through historical documents, personal papers, and family histories held in archives around the world.

Thousands of libraries, museums, and archives have contributed nearly a million collection descriptions to ArchiveGrid. Researchers searching ArchiveGrid can learn about the many items in each of these collections, contact archives to arrange a visit to examine materials, and order copies.

So I was curious about what this could do for me. I selected one of my family names, Birdsong, and typed it into the ArchiveGrid search engine. The very first--I say again, the very first--of 19 hits was for the Emory University collection of papers related to George Lawrence Forsyth Birdsong! See the search result here. George L.F. ("Larry") Birdsong was the father of George Preston Birdsong, whose story has been told in this space several times.

That first success was enough to sell me on ArchiveGrid. I've since used it to identify locations of other historical collections relevant to my quest. It's being offered free through the end of March and perhaps beyond.

And thanks to Kimberly Powell at About Genealogy for the original tip!

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