Using this expanded resource from the National Archives, students, educators, and researchers now have online access to more than 50 million historical records—from Civil War battles and labor disputes to immigration files and engineering plans. The records available in the online database represent a small fraction of the archive’s electronic holdings. They were selected because of their analytical and statistical nature; most deal with information that easily can be looked up based on specific names, dates, organizations, cities, or states. For instance, someone wanting to research a great-grandfather who immigrated to the United States in the 19th century can choose the series of records listed under “immigrants,” enter the relative’s name, and learn which ship he traveled on, the occupation he claimed prior to leaving, the date he arrived in New York, and the country from which he left, among other details. The database draws from the records of 20 federal agencies. To ensure their integrity, the records from the different agencies have not been altered, so some might contain typographical or historical errors. A free registration process is required to access the site.

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