History buffs and genealogists can have a lot of fun trolling through the trove of historical documents and photos on Footnote.com. A sampling of the free resources provided by the National Archives to Footnote.com includes:
- Brady Civil War photographs — contains over 5,600 photos commissioned by Matthew Brady, featuring portraits of officers and soldiers, landscapes, and battle scenes.
- Photographs of Presidents, such as Franklin D. Roosevelt, Calvin Coolidge, Harry S. Truman, and Dwight D. Eisenhower.
- Federal court records pertaining to the salvage of the Spanish schooner Amistad, a ship carrying slaves seized by the US Navy in 1839.
- Office of Special Investigations records and case files about UFO sightings investigations.
Beyond simply providing access to these documents, Footnote.com also allows visitors to leave comments, annotations, and story pages. Thus, the creators of Footnote.com hope to harness the power of social networking, allowing visitors to contribute to the website and creating a sense of shared history.
The most interesting example of this shared history is the Interactive Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial. Nearly 1500 images are stitched together to make one 5 gigapixel image of “The Wall”. Visitors can search for individual names and then upload pictures, leave comments or create tributes.
A paid subscription to the website allows access to more collections, including many that may be of interest to genealogists.