Recently a patron e-mailed me and asked about free sources for census information. She had searched all the census info by accessing HeritageQuest with her RCPL library card number. However, she wanted to look at the 1850 census which isn't in HeritageQuest. With complete confidence I told her that the only other free site is Ancestry Library Edition which she could access in the library with her library card. Well, well, well....sometimes the Dead Librarian is a dope.
The dedicated folks at Family Search have started a pilot project to make census records available...free. Right now the census images for 1850, 1860, 1870 and 1900 are available for SC. Indexing only is available for 1880 and 1920. Equally remarkable is that they have made available digitized images of the SC Death Certificates (SCDC) from 1915-1943 and SCDC indexing for 1944-1955. These were only available through Ancestry and now they are available to anyone with an internet connection.
Of course, there are images available for other states. Click Browse Our Record Collectionon the main search page for title lists.
This makes me wonder if the library needs to support HeritageQuest anymore. I have been trying to push for Footnote as another genealogy resource but the library is anticipating a possible cut in the budget so I don't expect budgeting approval for that database. However, with this new Family Search resource maybe I could offer a trade. HeritageQuest for Footnote. Many of the resources available on HeritageQuest are now freely available online. Any thoughts?