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An increasing number of digital resources for German genealogy is becoming available on the Internet, on CD-Rom and other media. Many of these materials are currently only available in German. This page is intended to
- alert the reader to available digital resources
- provide step-by-step instructions for users who do not speak German
German Research on the Internet- compiled lists
Several lists of useful websites for German genealogy are available. These lists, used for classroom instruction, are updated regularly. Included are
- German Research on the Internet - an Overview
- Internet Resources for Locating 19th Century German Emigrants
- German Town Genealogies and Parish Register Indexes on the Internet
Genealogy.net - a fabulous resource!
Genealogy.net, the Web site of the German Society for Computer Genealogy, provides many different resources for the family historian. Available tools include a gazetteer of the German Empire, a genealogical Wiki, a digital library, lineage-linked town genealogies, a literature data base, various name data bases, links to mailing lists, and a monthly newsletter. Most projects are on-going and welcome volunteers and contributors. Free registration is required to participate.
German language helps
GERMAN LANGUAGE HELPS
This is a German-language Web site. Systematic presentation allows the use of electronic translators such as Google Translate, with reasonable success. The Web browser Google Chrome will recognize the German language and will offer to translate it. Google Translate can be accessed in other browsers by typing “translate.google.com” into a new tab. First choose the “from” and “to” languages. Then the Web address or text can be pasted into the translation box. Translations will be very literal, word for word, and are therefore not suitable for use in correspondence. To see the original text, hover over a word or phrase with the mouse.
A good German- English dictionary is available at http://www.leo.org/ .
Searches on genealogy.net are very specific and will vary depending on the use of diacritical marks, hyphens, or spaces. Numeric codes can be used to enter diacritics:
Letter Use Letter Use
Ä Alt + 142 ä Alt + 132
Ö Alt + 153 ö Alt + 148
Ü Alt + 154 ü Alt + 129
ß (= ss) Alt + 0223
An English-language homepage is found at http://www.genealogy.net/genealogy. However, most of the tabs lead to German-language pages. The English home page includes an additional tab: “emigration”, but not all of the new databases are represented in that view.
The meta-search feature enables the user to search several databases at once, including submitted genealogies, village lineage books, address books, society databases, and others. Both the search and results screens show the sources searched. Surname- and place searches can be done separately or combined.
Using the DigiBib (Digital Library) on Genealogy.net
The DigiBib, short for Digital Bibliothek (Digital Library) is one of several major on-going projects carried out by members of the German Verein fuer Computergenealogie (Society for Computer Genealogy). This society has over 3000 members worldwide and provides numerous digital resources for German family history research. Many volunteers digitize books of interest to genealogists and family historians. These materials are either free of copyright or included with the author’s express permission.
Sections found on the homepage
The DigiBib is divided into several categories:
- Genealogische Literatur- genealogical literature
- Tagebuecher und Handschriften – journals and manuscripts
- Heraldik -heraldry Raritaeten - rarities
- Adressbuecher, Staatskalender etc. – address books, state calendars etc.
- Militaerisches – military resources
- Pfarr-und Kirchenbuchverzeichnisse – parish- and parish register inventories
- Historische Karten – historical maps
- Ortslexika, Topografien, Statistiken etc. – gazetteers, topographical and statistical material, etc.
- Chroniken - histories
- Sonstige Nachschlagewerke, Vermischtes – other reference works, miscellaneous
- Andere digitale Bibliotheken- other digital libraries
Each section on the portal page mentions either representative or the most recently acquired titles. Click on "mehr..." to acces the complete list of books available in this category.
On the left: Administrative/information section
Neu dabei – recent additions Korrekturleser gesucht – proofreaders wanted In Vorbereitung – in preparation
The DigiBib uses so-called DjVu files for many of its digitized materials. For a Wiki setting, this format has certain advantages over conventional scans, but it requires installation of a special free reader. A plug-in by LizardTech for the operating systems Windows, Mac OS-X, and Linux can be downloaded here.
Note: Occasionally Firefox users have problems opening a DjVu file; this is known to LizardTech and will hopefully be remedied soon. This problem usually does not happen in Internet Explorer. [as of July 2009]
Each book found in the DigiBib is a separate project. The goal is to transcribe each book and make the contents fully searchable. A "project box" is found on the right side of each page.