Archivist of the United States Allen Weinstein and Footnote, Inc. CEO Russell Wilding today announced an agreement to digitize selected records from the vast holdings of the National Archives. The 4.5 million pages that have been digitized so far are now available at www.footnote.com/nara.Footnote also has a blog, which you can view here. In the blog, they mention records from Pennsylvania (1700-1800s) that they are digitizing.
This non-exclusive agreement, beginning with the sizeable collection of materials currently on microfilm,will enable researchers and the general public to access millions of newly-digitized images of the National Archives historic records on a subscription basis from the Footnote web site. By February 6, the digitized materials will also be available at no charge in National Archives research rooms in Washington D.C. and regional facilities across the country. After an interval of five years, all images digitized through this agreement will be available at no charge through the National Archives web site.
Footnote allows users to interact with the materials -- to annotate, to download and to upload! Quoting their Terms & Conditions:
Members and All-Access Members have permission to post historical documents to the Website, to create Member Pages, to annotate historical documents and to post comments on Member Pages and on historical documents. They may also create a special profile that can be seen by other Users. All-Access Members have access to some collections of documents that are not available to Members.Basic membership is free. All-Access Membership costs $9.99/mo. or $99.99/year. All-Access members have access to all of the content. And, indeed, on the homepage, you can see that some content is free, while some isn't. (I have no idea what makes some content not free.)
Haven't heard of Footnote? Neither had I until I saw the a blog post that mentioned it, then the press release. It is definitely worth exploring.
Technorati tag: Digitization