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Review: Archive CD Books

Archive CD Books

Archive CD Books was a web site that coordinated the on-going and important project of reproducing old books, maps and other documents of historical significance by scanning them and then transferring these scanned images onto CD. These CDs are then made available for sale at a nominal price, or they are given free of charge to the organization which supplied the original archival document. The goal of these efforts is to preserve these documents of important historical significance in a manner which will ensure that they will be able to be used by future generations. The original documents are loaned by individuals, family history societies, governmental agencies, libraries or whenever necessary, they are purchased.

The Archive CD Books program also works with other organizations to provide funding for the restoration of old books from different collections and also donates books to these collections whenever possible. It is unfortunate but true that many of these old documents are quite worn and have been severely damaged. What began as a localized project several years ago has transformed into a worldwide undertaking with Archive CD book web sites covering the US, Australia, Canada, Great Britain, the Netherlands and more sites on the way.


The most significant highlight is the very fact that such an extensive effort is being undertaken. Much of this web site is devoted to describing the Archive CD Books program itself. The web site content author and project coordinator, Rod Neep, discusses the acquisition, scanning and restoration processes in great detail on this web site. Making archival information available on CD benefits family historians and genealogists in several ways. First of all, instead of having to travel around the country to view these documents, a CD version of the document can be purchased and sent directly to a person's home address. Second, when archival information is transferred onto CD, it is much easier and quicker to search for pertinent information. Finally, by making historical information available on this type of media, the actual books are protected from further damage which results from continuous handling.

Besides the overall description of the Archive CD Books project, the web site provides links to the other established Archive CD Books web sites: US, Australia, Canada, Great Britain, and the Netherlands. By clicking on the appropriate link, the web site visitor is taken to the sister web site. Once on the sister web site, the visitor has access to an on-line catalog of documents that can be purchased. Special offers and current promotions can also be located on these web sites. From there, the web sites operate as any shopping cart module would. The visitor selects the CDs of interest and adds them to the shopping cart. Throughout the shopping process, the visitor can view the shopping cart contents and add/edit contents as needed. When shopping is complete, the shopper is taken to the check out area where payment and shipping details are captured. There is a section devoted to the terms and conditions associated with the on-line purchases.

The Archive CD Books web site is a great source for archival documents which can be of invaluable assistance for those conducting family history searches.