Thursday, March 17, 2016

Fantastic Find: Discover the Inventory of Counties, Cities, and other Organizations throughout the United States using Historical Records Survey Reports

From the New Deal Programs: Selected Library of Congress Resources:
The Historical Records Survey was inaugurated in 1935. Employing white-collar workers, the project inventoried and published state and county historical records. It surveyed and indexed selections of manuscript collections held in public and private depositories, prepared a bibliographic record of books published before the copyright law of 1876, surveyed federal records in state depositories, and undertook related historical projects designed to provide scholars with a more detailed account of public and private records throughout the country.

Oooh!!  This is helpful!

I stumbled upon these works when I kept noticing that that at the top of the FamilySearch catalog results list, for any given county I was researching, there seemed to be a "Historical Records Survey" work, available to view online no less.

These can be used in conjunction with FamilySearch's Wiki pages, Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources, and The Source: A Guidebook to American Genealogy, to discover what types of records can be found in any given area.

A few ways to access these works:
FamilySearch Catalog results page for author search: Historical Records Survey
The Online Books Page by author: Historical Records Survey (U.S.)

For example, using FamilySearch to see what they have on Anderson County, Tennessee (where my Noslers and Hibbs were in the early 1800's), I found the following:

I've been under-utilizing the catalog section of FamilySearch.  It pays to spend some time to see what works exist.

There's that Inventory entry.  I wonder what that means?

I love instant gratification: "To view a digital version of this item click here

There is page after page of sourced information about the county, some information reflecting the contemporary conditions when the report was created, and some include historical overviews:

Names, sources, all kinds of things to play with.

© 2016 Copyright, Christine Manczuk, All Rights Reserved.

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