ELCA Archives to partner with Archives.com to digitize congregational microfilm

Posted on April 26, 2012 by Joel

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.

About Archives.com

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.

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