ProQuest Releases Online Database of Freedman's Bank Records for the Library Market
Important resources for African-American genealogical research available to the library market for the first time online
ANN ARBOR, Mich., January 20, 2006 - ProQuest Information and Learning announces the launch of Freedman's Bank Records, a leading resource for African American genealogical research. ProQuest made improvements to the existing index and has made Freedman's Bank Records available to the library market for the first time online through HeritageQuest Online.
Freedman's Bank was an outgrowth of a plan to provide banking services to African Americans drafted during the Civil War. It was formally known as the Freedman’s Savings and Trust Company. In an effort to establish bank patrons’ identities, Freedman’s Bank collected a substantial amount of information about each applicant and his or her family. At the close of the Civil War, the Freedman's Savings & Trust Company was the primary bank for America's freed slaves and others from 1865-1874. This HeritageQuest collection documents more than 105,000 applicants and over 480,000 of their relatives.
“Freedman’s Bank Records is considered one of the most important resources for African-American genealogical research,” says Rod Gauvin, senior vice president of marketing and publishing. “We improved the existing index by adding links to the original bank registers —saving librarians and researchers time in tracing family history.”
In the past one would need to travel to the National Archives to view these records, or to the larger libraries that would have them on film. Now through HeritageQuest Online researchers can view the original Freedman’s Bank Records documents, as well as an easy-to-read text transcription.
Freedman’s Bank Records in HeritageQuest Online have several unique features including sortable columns in the results list, which help find individuals who are difficult to locate, especially those with common surnames. Users can also browse through bank record images by branch.
HeritageQuest Online also combines digital, searchable images of U.S. Federal Census records with the digitized version of the popular UMI® Genealogy & Local History collection, and other valuable content such as the Periodical Source Index (PERSI), and American Revolutionary War Era Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files. HeritageQuest Online is available for in-library and remote use (home access) at thousands of public libraries across the
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