Sunday, January 10, 2016

Grant Awarded to Digitize Manuscripts of New England's First Churches

NEHGS press release
Several days ago the New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) announced the project New England's Hidden Histories: Providing Public Access to the Manuscripts of New England's First Churches, Incubators of American Democracy had received a $210,000 grant from the Council on Library Information Services (CLIS) in support of the program.

Partnering in this endeavor are the New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS), the Congregational Library and Archives (CAL), the Phillips Library of the Peabody Essex Museum, and the Connecticut Conference of the United Church of Christ.

The grant will enable the digitzation of 28,000 pages of manuscript church records, personal papers of pastors and deacons, and ministerial conference records, dating from 1641 to the mid-1800s.

Items contributed by NEHGS will also be available on its website.

Some items are already up at the Congregational Library and Archives website, under Digital Collections and then New England's Hidden Histories: Colonial Era Church Records. Items in the collection are divided into two categories: Church Records and Personal Papers and Documents. Some items are digitized in color and some appear to be digitized microfilm.

The image viewer comes up as a split panel with the image in the left panel and information in the right panel. You can close that right panel to view the images full-screen. (Note: I experienced a slight problem with the viewer not showing the bottom portion of an image while in split-screen mode. This problem occurs less when viewing the image full screen.)

Those of us with early New England ancestors await to learn what other treasures will be made more accessible.

See you soon at Mt. Clemens Public Library!

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