Friday, September 11, 2015

State Library of Arizona, FamilySearch partner to make genealogy records accessible


PHOENIX - Today, Arizona has joined 35 other states in making the Arizona State Library, Archives and Public Records genealogy resources available online via FamilySearch.org, the website for FamilySearch International, a nationally recognized nonprofit family history organization, to make more genealogy research material available online for statewide access 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The initiative will make thousands of historical books of genealogical importance freely accessible online for family history researchers worldwide.

The State Library and Archives also becomes an affiliate organization of FamilySearch, a designation which will give Arizonans greater and more convenient access to the wealth of genealogical resources.

"We are constantly looking for ways to provide access to information through technology," said Secretary of State Michele Reagan, whose office oversees the Arizona State Library, Archives and Public Records. "The partnership with FamilySearch allows us to provide access to genealogy research internationally, helping those who cannot afford to travel access the information they need."

FamilySearch is providing scanning and digital hosting services for 5,000 books at no cost to the state. In return, FamilySearch will make the digital images of the books freely available online for research globally. Once scanning is complete, the original copies of the books will return to Arizona. Scanning is expected to take about six months to complete.

Dennis Brimhall, CEO of FamilySearch International, said, "We are happy to join with the Arizona State Library and Archives to digitally preserve and make some of their historical book collections more accessible to their patrons worldwide. Each of the books contains countless rich stories about ancestors that are just waiting to be more readily discovered and told. We are excited to help patrons begin making those connections through this project."

"We'd like to thank all of the volunteers from the genealogy community including the Arizona Genealogical Advisory Board West Valley Genealogical Society, the Irish Cultural Center and the Family History Society of Arizona who generously volunteered their time," said State Librarian Joan Clark. "With the support and solutions provided by these organizations, we have been able to process the collection in an efficient manner.

"We look forward to continuing our relationship with the genealogy community in Arizona," Clark continued, "and to providing access via the internet or in-person at the Arizona State Archives in Phoenix."

In addition to the materials that can be accessed through FamilySearch, researchers will be able to use other genealogy resources at the Polly Rosenbaum Archives and History Building. There, they will find recent genealogy books, databases, the Arizona Collection, maps, state publications and documents, and other archival collections.

Some duplicate materials from the genealogy collection have been transferred to the Irish Cultural Center and West Valley Genealogical Society.

The reading room at the Arizona State Archives is open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. For prompt service, please call ahead to 602-926-3720.


About the Arizona State Library, Archives and Public Records

The Arizona State Library, Archives and Public Records, a division of the Secretary of State, helps Arizonans know and obtain information about their government, their state and their world. We provide expertise to empower informed decisions.


About FamilySearch

FamilySearch International is the largest genealogy organization in the world. FamilySearch is a nonprofit, volunteer-driven organization sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Millions of people use FamilySearch records, resources, and services to learn more about their family history. To help in this great pursuit, FamilySearch and its predecessors have been actively gathering, preserving, and sharing genealogical records worldwide for over 100 years. Patrons may access FamilySearch services and resources free online at FamilySearch.org or through over 4,600 family history centers in 130 countries, including the main Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.