National Emergency Library

In response to the unprecedented closure of libraries around the country due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Internet Archive has created The National Emergency Library.  The Internet Archive will suspend waitlists for the 1.4 million (and growing) books in their lending library by creating a National Emergency Library to serve the nation’s displaced learners. This suspension will run through June 30, 2020, or the end of the US national emergency, whichever is later.

During the waitlist suspension, users will be able to borrow books from the National Emergency Library without joining a waitlist, ensuring that students will have access to assigned readings and library materials that the Internet Archive has digitized for the remainder of the US academic calendar, and that people who cannot physically access their local libraries because of closure or self-quarantine can continue to read and thrive during this time of crisis, keeping themselves and others safe.

This is an amazing resource.  Be sure and check it out at the link below.

https://archive.org/details/nationalemergencylibrary

New York State Adoptee Birth Certificates Now Legally Accessible

As a strategic partner of the New York Adoptee Rights Coalition (NYARC), “Reclaim The Records” announces that the bill to equalize the right of access to original and un-redacted birth certificates for New York adoptees and the descendants of deceased New York adoptees has been signed into law. This means that if you’re someone who was born and adopted in the state of New York, even if you don’t live there anymore, or if you’re the direct descendant of a deceased New York adoptee, you can apply for a copy of the original and un-redacted birth certificate starting on January 15, 2020.

Further information, and specific details about the application process, will be posted on the NYARC website in the coming months: http://nyadopteerights.org/

New York is now the tenth state to allow people to reclaim their own records, without preconditions or redactions. And there will be many more coalitions pushing for similar laws in other states in the next few years. So if you’re a genealogist or a historian, or a member of a genealogical or historical or lineage society, please consider formally and publicly supporting these other states’ efforts, too.

Researching Ancestors who fought in the Civil War

If you are interested in researching ancestors who fought in the Civil War, pay a visit to the Civil War Soldiers and Sailors Database, provided by the US National Parks Service at https://www.nps.gov/civilwar/soldiers-and-sailors-database.htm.

The Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System (CWSS) is a database containing information about the men who served in the Union and Confederate armies during the Civil War. Other information on the site includes histories of Union and Confederate regiments, links to descriptions of significant battles, and selected lists of prisoner-of-war records and cemetery records, which will be amended over time. The CWSS is a cooperative effort between the National Park Service and several public and private partners whose goal is to increase Americans’ understanding of this decisive era in American history by making information about it widely accessible.