The Godfrey Memorial Library in Middletown, Connecticut, has long been a valuable resource for genealogists. This private library houses thousands of genealogy books and also has an extensive collection of hand-written material, much of which is not available elsewhere. In addition, the Godfrey Library produces the American Genealogical-Biographical Index, or AGBI, which is the equivalent of more than 200 printed volumes. This database contains millions of records of people whose names have appeared in printed genealogical records and family histories.
The Godfrey Library has been digitizing much of their information and is now accelerating that effort. Even better, visitors to LDS FamilySearch Centers around the world will now have free access to the digitized material.
Godfrey Memorial Library Director Richard Black has just announced a partnership agreement between Godfrey Memorial Library and FamilySearch, the genealogy division of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The Godfrey Library's online materials will now become available at 4500 FamilySearch facilities around the world.
Here is the text of that announcement, as posted on the Godfrey Memorial Library's web site at http://www.godfrey.org/announce.html:
Director Richard Black is pleased to announce a partnership agreement between Godfrey Memorial Library and FamilySearch
"We are excited to include Godfrey Memorial Library to our list of premium databases or services offered throughout FamilySearch centers worldwide. They provide some premier resources that will certainly be of great value to FamilySearch center patrons," said Paul Nauta, manager of public affairs for FamilySearch. "In return Godfrey Memorial Library will significantly broaden its reach and awareness by being introduced to scores of researchers through 4500 FamilySearch facilities in over 70 countries," Nauta added.
Many new genealogical websites and services are coming online every day, making more and more records available. FamilySearch is teaming up with these online service providers like Godfrey Memorial Library to introduce patrons to these exciting services and provide even greater online access to the world's genealogical records. These premium services are available for free in family history centers, the Family History Library and FamilySearch operated centers.
FamilySearch is committed to providing as much genealogical data as possible to its patrons quickly and economically. The accomplishment of this initiative will come in part from its own programs, and others will come from affiliations with service providers like Godfrey Memorial Library. This will allow maximum and efficient use of industry resources.
Godfrey Memorial Library can greatly increase awareness of its services through the FamilySearch public distribution channels. FamilySearch workers will innately help patrons use/become familiar with Godfrey's online services. Some limited promotion by Godfrey will be allowed to properly introduce patrons to its full range of services.
Patrons to FamilySearch facilities get access to Godfrey's databases - an otherwise fee-based online service. The FamilySearch resources are frequented by mostly enthusiasts and professional researchers; many of which may elect to subscribe personally to the services for home or remote access.