Saturday, January 2, 2010

Repeat: Missouri Digitial Heritage

The below originally appeared on May 6, 2009. (some minor revisions have been made, and an addendum included.)

Through the Missouri Digital Heritage Initiative, the Missouri State Archives and the Missouri State Library, in partnership with the State Historical Society of Missouri, are assisting institutions across the state in digitizing their records and placing them online for easy access. We invite you to explore our website and to join with us in celebrating our collective past.
While the Missouri Death Certificate collection is perhaps the best known part of this collection, there is a whole lot more there. Following is a sample of some of the things you will find there of genealogical or historical interest

We will start with collections housed at the Missouri State Archives:

Index to federal and state census records, 1830-1930, available on microfilm at the Missouri State Archives.
Abstracts of Missouri birth, stillbirth, and death records recorded before 1910.
Index of death certificates, linked to digital images of the original death certificate. Updated annually.
These historic probate records offer insight into the lives of Missourians through wills, inventories, settlements, and guardianship records. Circuit court cases provide a wealth of information on everything from the fur trade to the Civil War, steamboats to McCormick Reapers, and agriculture to urbanization.
Index of coroner records from seven Missouri counties and the City of St. Louis, dates range from 1842 to 1932.
This database, produced by the Missouri Local Records Preservation Program, is a compilation of inventories of local government records identified as having permanent or enduring value and housed primarily in county and municipal offices, but includes some libraries, museums, and historical and genealogical societies that maintain government records. Not all Missouri offices have been inventoried. This database is being updated periodically as additional inventories are completed.
Abstracts of citizenship records from 22 Missouri counties.
Database abstracted from the service cards of over 576,000 Missourians who served in twelve wars and military engagements. Includes those in the War of 1812, the Mexican War, the Spanish-American War, and World War I, as well as the Heatherly War (1836), the Mormon War (1838), and the Iowa (Honey) War (1839). Over 380,000 of the records are for Civil War soldiers.
Listing of microfilm reels, by county, office, and municipality, held by the Missouri State Archives.
Gateway to state records concerning the Missouri-Mormon conflict, 1838-1841. Includes finding aids and some digitized records.

The Digital Heritage collections also includes links to collections elsewhere that have been ‘contributed’ by outside sources.

Contributed by: University of Missouri Libraries
Electronic books from University of Missouri Digital library. [Includes St. Louis Social Registers of 1916, 1922. 1924 and 1925, Missouri Plat books from 1930, Sanborn Maps, and more]

Contributed by: Washington University Libraries

Collection of one hundred and eleven documents, over 400 pages of full-text searchable resource that represents the full case history of the Dred Scott Case.

Contributed by: Springfield-Greene County Library District

Collection of full text indexes and abstracts to records including circuit court record books, coroner's records, alms house records, justice of the peace records and others.

Contributed by: Hannibal Free Public Library

Polk City Directories 1859 - 1925.

Contributed by: Blue Springs Historical Society

Historical photograph collection depicting life in Blue Springs, Missouri.

Contributed by: Harry S. Truman Library & Museum

Collection of 90 documents of President Truman's 1948 Presidential Campaign covering years 1946-1968

This is still a small sampling, but should give an idea of the diverse materials available through this collection. I am hopeful that the initiative, the brainchild of our current Secretary of State Robin Carnahan, will continue expanding unabated if in 2010 she wins her Senate campaign.
On December 28th, the Democrat News, the local paper for Fredericktown, Missouri published a column written by Robin Carnahan: Discover Your Family History with Missouri's Digital Heritage.

The holiday season is a great time to reconnect with family and reminisce about the past. At the Secretary of State’s office, we’ve created a tool Missourians can use to piece together their family history and explore the shared history of our state.

In April of 2008, my office launched the Missouri Digital Heritage Initiative, which provides thousands of documents online, including photographs, newspapers and manuscripts from Missouri’s past. In fewer than 20 months, has received more than 95 million hits from people all across Missouri and the world.
Because of the vast resources it provides, the website has been recognized nationally by two different magazines as one of the best sources for historical and genealogical research provided by any state. This year, Ancestry Magazine named the Missouri Digital Heritage website one of the top-five state websites for online genealogical records. Also, Family Tree Magazine, America’s largest-circulation genealogy magazine, named the site one of the top-10 websites for local searches.

As you visit with your families in the coming weeks, I encourage you to use the Missouri Digital Heritage website to find interesting stories about your family and our state. Maybe you can show your kids their great grandfather’s military record or look up a map of your hometown from the early 1900s. Whether your family has lived in Missouri for generations or you recently moved to our great state, I’m sure you’ll be able to discover something new by using this resource.


Amy Coffin said...

Thank you for compiling all these Missouri resources. I have "starred" this post in Google Reader for future reference.

John said...

Missouri Digital Heritage has compiled all of them. I provide direct links to some of their many collections in this entry, but please, visit the site and browse around. You'll find many more.

Anonymous said...

Thanks John, you are right these links are just the beginning of a treasure trove I've missed.