State Library, FamilySearch partner to make genealogy records accessible

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, according to a press release.

Michele Reagan

Secretary of State Michele Reagan

“We are constantly looking for ways to provide access to information through technology,” stated Secretary of State Michele Reagan, whose office oversees the Arizona State Library, Archives and Public Records, in the release. “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, the release stated.

“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,” stated CEO of FamilySearch International, Dennis Brimhall, in the release. “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.”

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, according to the release.

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 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, the release stated. For prompt service, call ahead of time 602-926-3720.

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