Records of African and African American genealogy and history will soon have a free home on the Internet. The AfriQuest Database, which will premier in January of 2008, will make it easy for anyone to search for, and share, documents and photos.
So many family historians, in the course of their research, have gathered records which name slaves and freedpersons. Once the AfriQuest database is live, researchers will be able to share and preserve those records by navigating to AfriQuest and uploading the records right from their computers, in a matter of minutes. Access to all of the content on AfriQuest will always be free.
As more records are added to the database, AfriQuest will become an important free resource for family historians of all backgrounds, not just those who are researching African ancestry. Researchers who share records may also find it convenient to have their important documents stored in one central place, where they can be quickly retrieved in the event of a computer crash.
The collaborators bring a variety of expertise to the project. WeRelate.org is a free public-service wiki for genealogy sponsored by the Foundation for On-Line Genealogy, Inc. in partnership with the Allen County Public Library. It is the world's largest genealogy wiki with pages for over 1,000,000 people and families and growing. WeRelate will build and host the AfriQuest database.
The USF Africana Heritage Project is an all-volunteer research project sponsored by the Africana Studies department at the University of South Florida. Their goal is to rediscover records that document the names and lives of slaves, freedpersons and their descendants, and share those records on the Internet for free. They will be bringing their entire database of more than 4,000 documents to AfriQuest.
Ideas4 is a branding, marketing and Internet consulting firm that has been involved in a number of African American historical websites over the past 10 years. They include AfricanaHeritage.com, DiscoverBlackFlorida.com, and LookingForAngola.com
IDEAS4 will contribute their design skills to make AfriQuest easy to use and navigate.
If you would like to volunteer or learn more about AfriQuest, you can visit their website at AfriQuest.
Start gathering those records, too, AfriQuest will soon be live!