Scroll through Colonial life with the Harvard Library

This should be a fabulous resource for anyone researching Colonial American ancestry. It isn’t a genealogy database. Instead, it will teach you about the lives your ancestors led and the world in which they lived.

In a few weeks, the Harvard Library will release a new website for its ongoing, multiyear digitization “Colonial North American Project at Harvard University.” Approximately 450,000 digitized pages of all the known archival and manuscript materials in the Library relating to 17th- and 18th-century North America will be available to the public. The library’s vast collection from era, from love letters to receipts, is being digitized for public view

Launched in November 2015 with 150,000 images, the online collection documents life in the European colonies of the Americas and Caribbean, as well as in Great Britain, continental Europe, and Africa. These extraordinary materials enable viewers to see through the eyes of the influencers and common folk of the era, providing insights not only about revolution and politics but also economics, science, society, and much more.

You can view many images from this future online collection in the Harvard Gazette at http://bit.ly/2yEkGHl.

6 Comments

Wow! What a terrific find. Thank you for sharing. Too many think of genealogy as names and a few dates, when in fact it is the fabric of each life of the ancestors who are us. That it has been vetted by Harvard makes it an invaluable resource not only to the public, but to adoptees-like me- who were never to know who they are or from whence they came for whom this is a godsend.

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Once again Dick you’ve pointed us in the right direction as we embrace new technology applied to very very old artifacts, this time thanks to Harvard Library system. I’m thrilled to learn of this! I rely on your newsletter to help filter out all the many updates, news (true vs fake) which we’re bombarded with daily! Thank you.

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Thanks for the heads-up as always! I feel it’s very important to digitize collections such as these for both preservation and wide distribution, not to mention the historical context they offer.
As for the first image on the Harvard page (“cameo portrait of John Hamilton Moore” from the Collection of Houghton Library), I don’t know if he’s the Jonathan Moore (d1742 in Lancaster MA) in my family tree, but his daughter married a Houghton.

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What a GREAT find. Fairly quickly I found two documents referencing my ancestors, one from the 1700s. So excited.

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Thanks so much for sharing this information. I checked out the link and can’t wait to see more of what’s in store for us!

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Yes, thanks very much for this, especially since it comes from my collegiate alma mater.
I’m a graduate of Harvard College in 1959. I was in the U.S. Army from 1953 to mid 1955 during the Korean War, but I was fortunate to spend my service baby-sitting a microwave
radio transmission station on the top of a mountain in France & being billeted in a country-side hotel with 6 other GI’s when we were off-duty.
After I was discharged I somehow got accepted into Harvard College all paid for by the G.I. Bill. I was a very lucky guy!

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