Humanities › History & Culture Footnote.com Share Flipboard Email Print History & Culture Genealogy Vital Records Around the World Basics Surnames Genealogy Fun American History African American History African History Ancient History and Culture Asian History European History Inventions Latin American History Medieval & Renaissance History Military History The 20th Century Women's History View More By Kimberly Powell Genealogy Expert Certificate in Genealogical Research, Boston University B.A., Carnegie Mellon University Kimberly Powell is a professional genealogist and the author of The Everything Guide to Online Genealogy. She teaches at the Genealogical Institute of Pittsburgh and the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy. our editorial process Kimberly Powell Updated May 30, 2019 The Bottom Line Important historic documents from the U.S. National Archives are now making their way online due to an agreement with Footnote.com. Digitized copies of documents such as Revolutionary War pension records and Civil War service records can be viewed and even annotated through what is possibly the best image viewer I've seen on the Web. You can also create free personal story pages to track your research or share your documents and photos. Search results are also free, although you'll have to subscribe to view, print and save most of the actual document images. In my opinion, Footnote.com is a bargain for the money. Pros One of the best image viewers I've seen for accessing images onlineOffers access to millions of historic documents previously unavailable onlineThe ability to annotate and/or add comments to any individual document page7-day free trial available Cons Requires the lastest version of Flash. In some cases, the site won't even load without it.No soundex search. Some advanced search features are available, but not obvious.No FAQ or easy answers to support questions such as the Flash issue.Many document series are still "in progress" Description Over 5 million images of historical American documents and photos from the 17th, 18th, 19th and 20th centuries.Records include: Revolutionary & Civil War pension & service records, state naturalization records and case files of the FBI.Annotate, comment, print and save digital document images.Story pages allow you to create a simple Web page with point and click editing.Upload and post your own historical documents for free.Under the nonexclusive agreement, Footnote's images will be available on the National Archives' Web site after five years. Guide Review - Footnote.com Footnote.com allows you to search and view over 5 million digitized documents and photos from American history. Members can view, save and print the documents they find. A nifty feature allows you to highlight a name, place or date and add an annotation. Comments can also be added to post corrections or add additional information for anyone else who views the same image. The image viewer works as quickly and seamlessly as any I've seen, and the jpeg images are of very high quality. Since many of the titles are "in progress," I recommend that you use the "Browse by Title" feature to view the full description of the each document series, as it includes a nice completion status feature. Titles and documents are being added quickly and regularly, however. If you have a problem with the site loading slowly, be sure you have downloaded the latest version of Flash player for your browser. This usually fixes many such problems. Simple search is just that - simple. You enter search terms and then choose whether to search across all documents, or within a specific document set, such as PA Western Naturalizations. There is presently no soundex search, but you can narrow the search by document type, such as across all naturalization records, or within a particular title (first browse to the document subset you wish to search, and then enter your search terms). Advanced search hints can be accessed by clicking on the ? next to search. Footnote.com has the framework in place to be one of the most flexible and user-friendly sites on the Web for American genealogists. Once they add more records (and there are many in the works), upgrade the search feature, and do some tweaking, it has the potential to be a 5 star site. Despite being a newcomer to the world of digitized historic documents, Footnote has definitely risen the bar.