New Jersey & Pennsylvania Archives Offer Searchable Databases Online

The voucher at the New Jersey State Archives was a simple record of expenses by state officials.

But the story behind it _ in late April 1865 _ made it anything but routine.

Neat cursive writing logged costs incurred by the governor and his entourage as they accompanied the remains of President Abraham Lincoln from Washington to New Jersey and New York.

There were expenses for hotels, carriages, even the black crepe they wore _ a total of $316.30.

About five years ago, people who wanted to see that document and other historical and genealogical records would have had to travel to the archives in Trenton.

Ten thousand made the trip every year to look up marriage, death, court, and census documents, as well Revolutionary War, Civil War, and World War I records.

But in recent years, as the state created searchable databases of more than one million documents and photographs, many more people are working from home.

A quarter-million visit the State Archives on their computers each year, sometimes getting what they want immediately and other times ordering copies of documents for a fee.

The same is true in Pennsylvania, where hundreds of thousands use the Internet to explore the state archives in Harrisburg.

Read the full and extensive AP article by Edward Colimore at the January 30, 2011 edition of the Beaver County Times.

Check out the Searchable Databases at the New Jersey State Archives website.

Check out the digital archival records at the Pennsylvania State Archives website.

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