25 February 2013

I have again underestimated what the Library of Congress has online -- have you?


Raise your hands if you underestimate what the Library of Congress (LOC) has online? Do you see my hand raised?  Well it is.

I "thought" that I was making pretty good use of the site via its collection of maps, newspapers and slave narratives ... well, as often is the case, I was wrong!

Once again, I stumbled across something I wasn’t familiar with -- Early Virginia Religious Petitions

... presents images of 423 petitions submitted to the Virginia legislature between 1774 and 1802 from more than eighty counties and cities. Drawn from the Library of Virginia's Legislative Petitions collection, the petitions concern such topics as the historic debate over the separation of church and state championed by James Madison and Thomas Jefferson, the rights of dissenters such as Quakers and Baptists, the sale and division of property in the established church, and the dissolution of unpopular vestries. The collection provides searchable access to the petitions' places of origin and a brief summary of each petition's contents, as well as summaries of an additional seventy-four petitions that are no longer extant.

I am constantly on the look out for information about churches – their existence, history and membership since surviving records can be a great source of family history information.

Are there other collections online at the LOC American Memory Collection which you have found a gold-mine of information?


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