Friday, May 28, 2010

52 Weeks to Better Genealogy - Challenge 21

Week 21: Examine the website of your state or provincial archives. Take some time to push all the buttons and click all the links. What did you find? Bloggers can write about the site’s high points and share the information with their readers

I love this challenge as it gives me an excuse to spend more time on one of my favorite genealogy websites, The Missouri State Archives.

The Missouri State Archives is the official repository for state records of permanent and historical value. Its mission is to foster an appreciation of Missouri history and illuminate contemporary public issues by preserving and making available the state's permanent records to its citizens and their government.

The organization and operation of the Missouri State Archives falls under the office of the Missouri Secretary of State, Robin Carnahan. We are very fortunate to have such a person in charge of safeguarding our State's history. The archives provides a beautiful research facility in Jefferson City, valuable educational programs throughout the year as well as their online, digital initiatives. The Missouri State Archives website made the list for Family Tree Magazine's 101 Best websites in 2008 and 2009!

Among the many jewels this site has, the two crowning jewels are the Missouri Death Certificates and Missouri Digital Heritage. Online images of death certificates are available for 1910-1959...for free! You may look up by last name and county, find the person you are looking for and download the PDF directly to your computer. No fee, no copy cost, no mailing cost and best of all...no waiting!

It is easy to get lost for hours in the Missouri Digital Heritage project. There are online exhibits detailing various historical events in the state. You may search or browse historical maps, plat books and civil war letters. The Missouri Soldier's database covers the War of 1812 up to WWI, there is information on the culture, transportation and agricultural lives of those living in Missouri. The photograph and images collection is immense and should not be missed.

I have this site bookmarked on my toolbar and visit on a weekly basis if not more. As much time as I have already spent on this website (hours and hours) I still have not viewed all of the collections available. If you have any Missouri connections, you will definitely want to visit and save this site.