State Archives Online – Hawaii to Virginia

Open BooksHawaii – The Hawaii States Archives Digital Collections has begun to digitize many of the records and indexes and place them online. The following are those areas completed: A Name Index from 1790 to 1950 with personal and business names (only the letter A’s are completed to date), Photographic Collection, Marriage Indexes from 1826 to 1929, Divorce Case Files Indexes from 1848 to 1915, Indexes of Probates from 1847 to 1917, Index to Wills from 1852 to 1916, Indexes to Citizenship records from 1844 to 1898, Government Office Holders from 1843 to 1959, Index of Japanese & Portuguese Passenger Manifests and World War One service records. Comment: A good start by Hawaii to place photos and records online.

Massachusetts – The Massachusetts Archives with online collections include the Index of Passenger Manifests from 1848 to 1891, Index of Vital Records from 1841 to 1910 (births, marriages, deaths) and the Archives Collection Index Database from 1629 to 1799 (colonial information, emigrants, towns and Indian affairs). Comment: The indexes help to some degree in family history research, but the Massachusetts Archives needs to add more images of actual records and photographs.

South Dakota – South Dakota’s Naturalization Records Index with ‘First Papers’ and ‘Second Papers’ filings. Provides name, county of residence, birth country and date of intention to apply for citizenship and then the final date when citizenship was achieved. Heritage West Collection for South Dakota has many photo images online. However, not a separate collection online with the South Dakota Archives. There is a search engine available of South Dakota newspapers and cemeteries. There is also some information, including maps on the Native Indians of South Dakota. Comment: The state archives link up with other online databases like the Heritage West Collection. The South Dakota Archives do need to expand their own site with viewable photos, records and documents.

New Mexico – The New Mexico ‘Heritage’ is their online catalog about the state archives. The limited online material is mostly descriptions on some of the collections with a few digital copies of primary sources. Any researcher has to deal directly with the state archive department either by mail or in person. There is the Online Archive of New Mexico working through the Rocky Mountain Online Archive which has information on Native Indians, ranching, women, railroads and World War One & Two. Comment: The online collections need to be greatly increased.

Virginia – The available online documents for Virginia are done by other organizations. The Virginia Historical Society Library ( has photos and information relating to the American Civil War, an African-American collection, Maps, Paintings and Drawings, Photographs from the 19th century, Postcards, World War One & Two, and numerous posters and broadsides. The Library of Virginia has in its Digital Collections the following: Photographic Collections, Oral histories, Maps, Biographical sketches from 1890 to 1897, Confederate pensions, 19th century stereograph collection of Virginia, U. S. Army Signal Corps Photographs and Virginia’s 18th and 19th century buildings in photographs. Comment: The Virginia State Archives has many records and documents which need to be place in digital format and placed online for the public, besides what the Library and Historical Society offer.

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