The Archives.gov web site has received a major facelift. This site is operated by the National Archives and Records Administration. Now the information is easier to search than ever before.
The Archives.gov website is the public face of a year-long series of changes: from an enhanced social media presence, a revamped Federal Register website and a new Archives researcher wiki space:
- A new homepage selected by user feedback
- Interactive map of Archives locations nationwide
- Streamlined access to historical documents and military service records, which 81 percent of Archives website visitors said they were looking for
- Sections organized by topic, which focused on the needs of both everyday browsers and experienced researchers
- Links to social media sites, including Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, YouTube, and Archives blogs
The No. 1 goal, according to Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero, was making the site more usable.
“It’s essential for the National Archives to have a user-friendly online presence,” he said. “We hope to reach new audiences while still engaging our long-time users, researchers and visitors. This redesign . . . reflects the ongoing effort to engage the public and make records of the National Archives easier to find and use.”
Comments by Dick Eastman:
This is for the Archives.gov web site, owned and operated by the National Archives and Records Administration. Please don't confuse this announcement with the archives.org or archives.com web sites, both of which are operated by completely different organizations.
While the updates to the archives.gov web site appear to be useful, I don't see any significant changes for genealogists. The few databases that NARA has made available online are all on Ancestry.com, Footnote.com, AncestralQuest.com, and a few other web sites. The databases have been placed online on commercially-operated web sites at essentially no cost to the taxpayers. None of them are available on Archives.gov where taxpayers pay for everything.