Second in collection size only to the Family History Library (FHL) in Salt Lake City, this library’s online home offers free databases galore, digitized books and genealogy how-tos.
2. ☆ ArchiveGrid
This offshoot of WorldCat locates finding aids from more than 1,000 archival institutions. They help you access 4 million primary source materials, including historical documents, personal papers, family histories and more. Type a search term or enter a location or ZIP code to find nearby archives whose collections you can search.
The new home for this Ohio library’s digitized collections gives you access to photos, city directories, local histories, old yearbooks, atlases and more from the Queen City and beyond.
Now boasting more than 11 million digitized items from some of the nation’s leading libraries, archives and museums, this site can be searched with a single click. You also can explore the materials using maps and timelines.
This partnership with FamilySearch uses sophisticated software to search 80,000 digitized books. It “knows” names, dates and places, and accounts for abbreviations.
Focused on historical materials not available elsewhere, this collection of more than 2.3 million digitized pages, including more than 225,000 manuscript pages, brings the best of Harvard’s libraries, archives and museums to your computer. Collections are searchable and are thematically linked on topics such as the history of immigration to the United States.
7. ☆ HathiTrust
Check out this digital library with nearly 14 million total volumes and nearly 5 billion (yes, that’s with a b) pages of data at last count. Not everything in the collection is accessible to the general public, but if you have an in with a partner institution, such as a university, you can dig even deeper.
From our country’s digitized past in the American Memory collection to the National Union Catalog of Manuscript Collections (which helps you locate unpublished manuscripts held at libraries across the country), Thomas Jefferson would be amazed at what he got started.
Part of the Mid-Continent Public Library in Independence, Mo., the center recently added a free index of 1.5 million US Railroad Retirement Board pension records to what was already a useful site.
Redesigned and updated, this handsome website now features an image stream for serendipitous finds, plus curated collections of everything from postcards to menus, theater history to the Big Apple’s doors, and city directories to maps.
Find out the other 101 best genealogy websites for 2016.
- 101 Best Websites for 2016 main page
- 2016 Best Big Genealogy Websites
- 2016 Best Websites for Exploring Your Ancestors’ Lives
- 2016 Best US Genealogy Websites
- 2016 Best Sites for Sharing Your Genealogy
- 2016 Best Websites for Putting Ancestors on the Map
- 2016 Best Genealogy Library Websites
- 2016 Best Websites for Finding Ancestors in Old Newspapers
- 2016 Best African-American Genealogy Websites
- 2016 Best Cemetery and Directory Sites for Genealogy
- 2016 Best Tech Tools for Genealogy in 2016
- 2016 Best Immigrant Ancestors Websites
- 2016 Best British & Irish Genealogy Websites
- 2016 Best International Genealogy Websites
- 2016 Best Genetic Genealogy Websites
- 2016 Best Genealogy News & Help Websites