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.|
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