As content conversion processes continue to demonstrate their value in historical preservation efforts, the National Archives and Records Administration has extended the technology to help Nebraska curators protect and organize primary sources generated from the Homestead Act of 1862.
According to the Omaha World-Herald, the initiative is part of a multi-year digital archiving plan that will capture materials across 30 states. Nebraska alone has more than 75,000 individual items set to be converted and indexed in the collection. Already, contributors have come forward with some surprising discoveries ranging from early photographs detailing frontier architecture techniques to handwritten letters from President Ulysses Grant.
"If you wanted these records, they existed only in paper form," project coordinator Jackie Buddell told the news outlet. "But now to sit in your robe and slippers at home and scan them on a computer will yield amazing information for researchers and genealogists."
According to the Associated Press, the original four-page legislative act will be delivered on loan from archivists in the nation's capital to Nebraska curators through the end of May to commemorate the 150th anniversary of its signing.