National Archives Reaches Deal With FamilySearch to Digitize Civil War Records

The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) and the Genealogical Society of Utah (GSU) have announced a five-year partnership agreement to digitize case files of approved pension applications of widows of Civil War Union soldiers from NARA’s holdings.

The partnership will begin with a pilot project to digitize, index, and make available the first 3,150 of the pension files. Upon successful completion of the pilot, GSU, doing business as www.familysearch.org FamilySearch, in conjunction with Footnote.com, intends to digitize and index all 1,280,000 Civil War and later widows’ files in the series. These records, are currently available only at the National Archives Building in Washington, D.C.

FamilySearch will make the digitized materials available for free through and in 4500 family history centers worldwide, or on a subscription-based website operated by a third party, subject to National Archives approval. They will also be available at no charge in National Archives’ research rooms in Washington, DC, and regional facilities across the country. In addition, FamilySearch will donate to the National Archives a copy of all the digital images and the associated indexes and other metadata that they create.

This agreement is one of a series of agreements that the National Archives has reached or will reach with partners to digitize portions of its holdings.

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