Heritage Project

INDIANAPOLIS, Nov. 8,  2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The University of  Indianapolis is teaming up with Ancestry.com, the world’s largest online  family history resource, in a first-of-its-kind initiative to encourage students  to explore and reflect on how their family history impacts their identity.

All UIndy students, faculty and staff have been granted access to  Ancestry.com content from computers and mobile devices anywhere on campus. That  content – 11 billion searchable documents and images – includes census records,  prison logs, ship manifests, historic newspapers and yearbook photos in addition  to 40 million online family trees.

The company is providing on-campus workshops and seminars to help the UIndy  community make the most of the online product. UIndy faculty members,  particularly in disciplines such as history, are enthusiastic about the  classroom potential of giving students easy access to the vast database of  historical documents.

Although Ancestry.com has worked previously with libraries and other  institutions, this is its first such relationship in the field of higher  education.

At UIndy, the Ancestry.com access is a key component in the annual University  Series of programs and events. This year’s series features guest speakers,  discussions and workshops built around the theme “Who Do You Think You Are?”

As a starting point for the students’ exploration of heritage, the university  adopted a common reader for the campus community, the 2009 book The Ties That  Bind: A Memoir of Race, Memory, and Redemption by Bertice Berry. Berry, an African-American sociologist  and writer, explored her family history and found a story far more complex than  the black-and-white tale of slavery and tragedy that she expected. Three-fourths  of the university’s incoming freshmen voluntarily bought the book, and hundreds  attended a campus lecture by Berry in September.

Read more: UIndy Teams with Ancestry.com

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