FamilySearch Awarded Silver Anvil Honors

FamilySearch International was awarded Silver Anvil Honors for its supportive collaboration that led to the success of the Freedmen’s Bureau Project.

FamilySearch credits the 25,000 volunteers who helped with the Freedmen’s Bureau Project as “silent recipients” of the 2018 Silver Anvil Award for Integrated Communications. The award was bestowed upon FamilySearch by the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA).

The Freedmen’s Bureau Project was announced by FamilySearch International on June 19, 2015, in conjunction with Juneteenth and the 150th anniversary of Emancipation Day. FamilySearch International collaborated with the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society (AAHGS), the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC), and the California African American Museum (CAAM).

The online crowdsourcing initiative to transcribe the historical documents was completed in 366 days, on June 20, 2016, with the help of civic, educational, and religious groups. At least 120 indexing events were held across the United States and in parts of Canada.

Nearly 1.8 million African-American historical documents were indexed by the volunteers, resulting in searchable online records for those hoping to find long-lost ancestors. Previously, the microfilmed records of the original Freedmen’s Bureau records were only available to view at The National Archives and Records Administration or in a field office.

The FamilySearch online database allows researchers to locate individual names and access digital copies of original handwritten records. This allows many people to use that information to find their own family history and to build their family trees.

The Public Relations Society of America Silver Anvil Awards are considered the “Oscar” of the communication industry, began in 1945. The Silver Anvil Award is considered the most prestigious and iconic award in Communications.

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* Four Million Freedmen’s Bureau Records Released

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