Calling all history geeks! We now have access to a database called Fold3, and you should take a look.
Taking its name from the flag folding ceremony, “in which the third fold is made in honor and remembrance of veterans who served in defense of their country…,” Fold3 is a robust collection focusing on U.S. military records. It is particularly strong in the area of the Civil War. Due to their partnership with the National Archives, they have many documents available for browsing that were previously only available through an expensive application process.
Civil War offerings include muster rolls, pension files, battlefield maps, and the entire NARA Mathew Brady collection of photographs, like this one of the Hon. Robert Smalls of South Carolina. They even have court records relating to the Lincoln Assassination.
There are photos and documents for all U.S. wars through Vietnam.
But that’s not all.
In addition to military records, they are actively adding records in other areas, including major newspapers like the Chicago Tribune (1849-1923), city directories, the federal census, and some immigration records. They have whole sections relating to Native American and African American records. Digital images of major historic documents like the Declaration of Independence are available for viewing. The images are very high quality, and easy to print and download.
A few tips for use:
Go through the online tutorial. This will help you get the most out of your searches.
Be sure to use the drop down menu at the top to choose which group of records you’d like to search. The categories include: Fold3 Archives, African American, Native American, Revolutionary War, WWII, and FBI files.
Fold3 is available at any SJCPL location, or use it at home with a valid SJCPL library card. As always, Local & Family History Services is available to answer any questions you may have.