As the largest online collection of original Civil War documents, this new addition to Footnote.com provides a snapshot of America before the bloodiest war in its history. The 1860 US Census reveals many details about individuals at that time. What was their occupation? Where were they born? What was their marital status? Did they attend school? Could they read or write? Was your ancestor insane, idiotic, or a convict? The 1860 US Census will let you know.
"Is the 1860 US Census already on the internet? Yes," says Russ Wilding, CEO of Footnote.com. "But what makes the census different on Footnote is that these documents become interactive."
Footnote.com has developed tools that enable visitors not only to find someone in the census, but also to enrich the records by adding photos, linking related documents, and contributing insights to any name on the record. "Now they're not merely names on a document," explains Russ Wilding. "They become people as the contributions start to tell a story about that person."
This past March, Footnote.com released a similar project using the same technology with an interactive version of the Vietnam War Memorial. For each name on the Wall, a visitor can view military service information, attached photos and comments. The success of the project is overwhelming as priceless contributions are added to the Wall. Footnote expects similar results with the launch of the 1860 US Census.
At Footnote.com, it's more than just looking at a historical document. History becomes a living subject on Footnote.com as documents from archives come together for the first time on the Internet. Visitors to Footnote.com can add their own contributions and upload their own shoeboxes of information. Letters, documents, and photos from the past create a view of history that few have seen before.
Every month, two million new documents are added to the site and over a million people visit the site. Footnote promises to continue to deliver new discoveries for those whose interests range from the serious historian to the casual visitor looking for something entertaining.