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Monday Mention: Digital Public Library of America

Photo: A screenshot of the homepage for the Digital Public Library of America
As I mentioned in a previous post, last week I attended RootsTech, a major genealogical conference. I spent my days absorbing new information, and learning about available resources to help me learn more about my ancestors. I thought I'd share one of those resources with you today. 

The Digital Public Library of America  holds an enormous collection of "images, texts, videos, and sounds from across the United States," according to their home page. I started typing in surnames of my ancestors, and it didn't take long before I found something interesting. When I typed in "Telfer," one of the results that came up was labeled, "Fowler and Telfer families at Fowler's Prairie, Juneau County, 1898." It is an old photo of a large family gathering, but even better, it has a list of names of the people in the photo!  I know that my Telfer line was living in Juneau county, Wisconsin, at that time period, and I recognize some of the names listed. I will need to do a bit more digging, as the George Telfer in the photo might not be my direct ancestor, but a cousin of his. In any case, I'm fairly certain the people in the photo tie in somehow.

Photo: Screen shot of the photo result I obtained when searching "Telfer" 
Now, unfortunately, I am receiving an error message when I click the "view full item" button, but I can see from the DPLA site which library holds the photo, so I can contact that library to see about obtaining a copy. 

If you decide to search for your ancestors on the DPLA site, be aware that you can refine your search by image type, date, location, and other criteria. That would be particularly useful if you are searching for a common name. 

I'm thankful for resources that make research easy! Let me know if you make any exciting discoveries at the Digital Public Library of America.  

Comments

  1. Went and typed in my maiden name, which is very uncommon. Got one very odd result, a picture of a petition for naturalization with that name on it and nothing else from back in the late 1800's. Maybe someday i will want to pursue the whole thing, i get the feeling it won't be that easy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you would like help getting started, I am happy to help. Naturalization petitions are actually helpful (if it is your ancestor's.)

      Delete

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