For ten years the Lincoln Archives Digital Project has been hard at work to provide you with the rich resources of the National Archives online for your use.
First we have to request the records, which are not indexed or inventoried, in any way. The records in the boxes are bifolded, sometimes trifolded. The record has to be flattened, scanned, refolded, and placed back in the box, in the order it was found. The document is placed in an Excel spreadsheet to provide an inventory, along with data from the document, which is placed in the database, to enable full search capabilities.
The records are organized in the same manner, just like they are at the Archives. Records are organized in many ways. Chronological, alphabetical, by case file, by state, by department.
Once the records are placed online, they are transcribed. Tragically, cursive is not being taught in schools. In a decade most of the younger generation won’t be able to read these records.
Metadata and keywords are added to each document to make it possible for the related records in the 20 million plus documents to be able to link in a matter of seconds.
Scanning. We use Epson G10000 scanners. Every document is scanned at 600 dpi, 24 bit for preservation purposes. In most cases, we are able to scan approximately 30 documents per hour.
The website is hosted on an Amazon cloud.
This project has not received any federal funding. We depend on you, the user, to donate to the project. We hope that you will appreciate the hard work that has gone into the project and help provide the funds necessary to pay the monthly hosting costs, and enable us to hire additional staff to help scan and provide IT and Development. We can’t do it without you.
What are you getting that you can’t get at the National Archives? Just about everything. You have 24/7 access to these records from the comfort of home, minus the dust, of course! The records are searchable. Unlike Fold3 and Ancestry, these records are in color, in their original format. And they are available online, free of charge.
In your lifetime, you will never be able to spend the hours required to view the over 20 million records that are available at the National Archives. For those who live either outside of D.C., or in another country, the funding necessary to fly to D.C., the housing costs, food, etc. and the time you will need to devote searching through boxes that have no inventory, are immense.
There is NO advertising on the website. No distractions, nothing to slow up the process of doing what you come to do on the website, find records and do research.
If you appreciate the work being done to provide these records to you, please donate and help us do the work we are trying to accomplish.
So click on the “Donate” button at http://www.lincolnarchives.us. Help us get these records online.