"We're so excited that through our partnership with World Vital Records, we can bring greater access to this valuable data that we have been accumulating for years," said Richard Black, Director, Godfrey Memorial Library. "The funeral collection is just one data launch of many more to come."
The Godfrey Funeral Sermon Collection is World Vital Records' first collection from Godfrey Memorial Library. In addition to funeral sermons and memorials, the collection also contains funeral programs and funeral cards. Many of the memorials were written by family members or friends and published privately only for interested parties.
"Last year we visited the Godfrey Memorial Library to discuss a possible partnership. One of the first collections we were shown was these funeral sermons," said Yvette Arts, Director, Content Acquisition, WorldVitalRecords.com. "We immediately realized the great value of this unique collection and are happy to offer access to these sermons as the first records we have digitized through our partnership with Godfrey."
The memorials in this collection usually contain brief biographical information on the deceased, and often list witnesses, pall bearers, and ministers who participated in the funeral. There are also memorial books about senators and representatives of the house that were printed by the Government Printing Office.
Godfrey Memorial Library has been acquiring this large collection from donations, gifts, ebay, and other purchases for many years. For this digital collection, only books published before 1923 were selected, due to copyright laws. This collection will be free to access for 10 days (until November 22, 2007).
"What wonderful efforts have been made to preserve these sermons and to put them online," said Dr. Susan E. Black, LDS historian, writer, and professor. "This funeral collection makes it much easier to learn about our ancestors beyond statistics. From these sermons we can learn what our ancestors were like and what brought happiness to their lives."