Food for Thought from the ELCA Archives
REDWOOD CITY, Calif., April 17, 2012 – Archives.com, a website that makes family history research simple and affordable, is pleased to announce its partnership with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) to digitize and index 1,000 reels of microfilm containing millions of baptism, confirmation, marriage, and funeral records. Archives.com will make these records available online for the first time as part of its ongoing effort to expand its collection of over 2.1 billion historical records.
With the help of digitization and indexing partners, Archives.com will create digital indexes of these records. The documents cover Lutheran congregations throughout the U.S., and will be accompanied by images of the original parish register ledger books. Dating from 1793-1940, these new collections will help users uncover valuable information about their ancestors that isn’t available anywhere else online.
Joel Thoreson, Archivist for Management and Reference Services at the Evangelical Lutheran Church Archives notes, “We’re very excited to work with Archives.com in digitizing and indexing these records. Researchers have long sought the ability to do easy searches for individuals across multiple congregations. Currently, without knowing the exact congregation at which ancestors worshipped, finding those individuals is a slow and painstaking process.”
Archives.com estimates that digital indexes and images resulting from the 1,000 microfilm reels will be available online later this year. Nearly all of the records were handwritten in Norwegian, German, Danish, and Slovakian, in addition to English, making this an especially unique and valuable record set.
Archives.com Senior Director of Product Joe Godfrey said, “Church records are rich with genealogical information, and we’re excited to be partnering with the ELCA to make their impressive collection available online for the first time. Access to these records will allow our users with ties to the Lutheran church to discover more about their ancestors than ever before.”
Archives.com makes over 2.1 billion records available to its users, including a comprehensive U.S. census collection and is continually adding new content. Please visit the Collections page to learn about the records available on Archives.com, and to receive regular updates about the website please visit the Archives.com blog.
Archives.com is a leading family history website that makes discovering family history simple and affordable. The company has assembled more than 2.1 billion historical records all in a single location, and makes them available at a price that’s up to 80 percent less than the leading competitor. Archives also partners with other leading family history websites to provide a comprehensive resource for researching your family history. Archives.com is free to try for seven days, allowing anyone to explore the benefits of membership without risk or obligation. For more information and to start discovering your family history, please visit http://www.archives.com/.
About the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Archives
The Archives of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America preserves and maintains the records of predecessor church bodies, inter-Lutheran organizations, as well as records of leaders, congregations, and synods of the church. Located outside of Chicago, the ELCA Archives hold genealogically rich collections of oral histories, microfilm, photographs, as well as other archival materials and exhibits. To learn more please visit http://www.elca.org/archives.
Dusting off the old blog to celebrate Home Movie Day in the Archives.
The embedded film’s can was labeled Augsburg LSU 1942, but after digital transfer it is pretty obvious that it is not related to Augsburg or to the Lutheran Free Church at all, but rather the Lutheran Student Union of the Evangelical Lutheran Church. The campus scenes included were shot at the 1942 convention at Augustana College in Sioux Falls and at the 1944 convention at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, both colleges of the ELC. The LSU was the college-age auxilliary to the Young People’s Luther League. Executive Secretary of the YPLL from 1941-1948 was Oscar C. Hanson, whose son Mark is now the ELCA Presiding Bishop. Oscar Hanson appears in shots in this film at both conventions.
A rough timeline of the film:
0-1:05 four unidentified individuals
1:06-2:04 LSU Augustana 1942, Concordia College students exiting Dakota Bus Lines bus.
2:04-2:34 Registration, Oscar C. Hanson on steps of college building
2:34-2:40 Augustana Administration Building
2:40-3:08 Press room
4:39-6:34 LSU, Luther College, 1944, C.K. Preus Gym, arrivals, shots of buildings
6:56-7:24 More shots of Luther including Martin Luther statue
7:24-8:32 Oscar C. Hanson and students
8:32-end First Lutheran, Decorah
Solomon, the ELCA Archives online catalog, contains information on the archival and reference collections held by the headquarters of Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Information on books, videos, cassettes, archival collections, films, reel-to-reel tape recordings, and more is found in the catalog. In addition to catalog information on the material held by the ELCA Archives, some catalog records include a link to digital content in the form of pdfs, photographs, and certain movies produced by ELCA predecessor church bodies.
Eloquent Systems, Inc., the company that designed and supports the catalog recently upgraded the catalog software to includes several new social media features. People browsing the catalog can now provide Facebook comments on particular items, tweet about an item, or email or print a catalog record – as well as several other options for social media and sharing. There is now also the Google Translate tool.
We hope you like the new features!
Attached to this post is a mp3 file for the Lutheran Vespers program that was broadcast 50 years ago today, March 4, 1961. Pastor Harry Gregorson, who originated the program in 1947, presented the Lenten sermon based on Luke 23: 34: “And Jesus said: ‘Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.’” A bit early in the church year for 2011, March 4 was the Saturday before the third Sunday in Lent for 1961.
Production for Lutheran Vespers remained in Sioux Falls, but was under the auspices of The American Lutheran Church as of January 1, 1961. The reel-to-reel collection of tapes for Lutheran Vespers held by the ELCA Archives begins with the program for January 8, 1961.
We have a lot of photographs in the collection at the archives. We think that between digital images and prints we have somwehere between 300,000 and — a gazillion. Of those gazillion, here are some other snow-themed photographs we thought you might enjoy.
You might think being a deaconess was all work and no play, but this photograph proves otherwise — they had time to get in a snowball fight or two.
And these guys — talk about tough. Some of these Lutherans are sitting on the snow banks. Let’s hope they didn’t need too many takes to get the shot.