Disclaimer: This article describes recent changes at Footnote, Inc., the sponsors of this newsletter. There is a possibility that I am displaying some bias in favor of the sponsor, although I honestly don't think that is the case. I'll simply mention the possibility and then let you judge for yourself.
Numerous changes have been made recently at Footnote.com site. This is the company that recently signed an agreement with the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) to place images of millions of historic documents online. The site is valuable for genealogists, historians, re-enactors, railroad enthusiasts, aviation historians, and many, many others. More than four and a half million documents are already online with many more being added every month.
You can read my recent articles about Footnote.com the following additions:
The recent changes at www.Footnote.com include:
- Naturalization Petitions of the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, 1906-1930
- Naturalizations for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, 1906-1930
- Naturalization Petitions for the Eastern District of Louisiana, New Orleans Division, 1838-1861
- The Ratified Amendments XI-XXVII of the U.S. Constitution
- Copybooks of George Washington's Correspondence with Secretaries of State, 1789-1796
- Presidential Photos of Coolidge, Eisenhower, Truman, and Roosevelt
- WWII Japanese Photos
- The Case File of the United States v. The Amistad, 1841
New software improvements include:
Highlighting and drag-and-drop editing - When searching for words or phrases, all documents found will now highlight that word or phrase, making it easier to find the information on the page. Even better, rolling your mouse over any of the highlights in the thumbnail will show you an enlarged view of the word to help you quickly evaluate the document. You can also quickly toggle the highlighted matches on or off.
This is a bit difficult to describe in text. I'd suggest that you search in the (free) Pennsylvania Archives to see how it works.
Annotations - You have always been able to add your own notes to the images on the site, even sharing your notes with others. For instance, you can correct the spelling or add your comments to great-great-granddad's application for payment in the Southern Claims Commission records. Now you can edit the annotations you made previously. To edit simply find your annotation on the document and click "Edit," make your changes, and click on Save.
Annotations are also a little easier to use now. Previously, if you wanted to annotate something at the very top of a document, the annotation window would become hidden. That's fixed.
Filmstrip - the Filmstrip at the bottom portion of the Viewer displays other documents from the same title as the one being viewed. When scrolling through lots of images, the Filmstrip used to slow down depending on how many images were available. Now, the Filmstrip can easily support several hundred images. The speed and smoothness of the Filmstrip will depend on the speed of your computer. For example, I found it easy to scroll through more than 1,000 images in the Filmstrip on my MacBook.
URLs and bookmarks - The next time you are in the Footnote.com Viewer, click on a couple of images in the Filmstrip and watch the URL of the site up in the address bar of your browser. You'll notice the URL automatically changes to reflect the image that you're viewing. This means that you can now easily bookmark documents and send links to your friends.
Get Help - The Help files have been expanded. Just click the Help button (marked as "?") in the toolbar for some guidance.
All of this is available now at http://www.footnote.com.