=== A Letter from Bob Velke ========================
Today marks the beginning of an exciting new development for Wholly Genes customers and researchers around the world. The press release below describes the formation of Archive CD Books USA, a new company that focuses on making old and rare research books available to you in digital format. Archive CD Books is a longstanding and well-respected international digitizing project with affiliates in Great Britain, Ireland, Canada, and Australia. As President of the new U.S. partner company, I am happy to be involved in such an important project; preserving old books and putting that material into the hands of the entire research community. I'm writing to you now, however, to describe how I believe this new company will affect you through new benefits and special opportunities for Wholly Genes customers.
Longtime users of The Master Genealogist will remember our previous relationship with Ancestry.com through which we offered a variety of digital resources to Wholly Genes customers, including an extra CD with a variety of free titles that were bundled with TMG. That relationship came to an end when Ancestry.com merged with another company and became the publisher of its own family history project manager (Family Tree Maker). Since that time, we've looked for new ways to fullfill TMG users' requests for original genealogical research materials in digital format.
Starting with v6, we began bundling TMG (CD-ROM version) with a free copy of "The Universal British Directory of Great Britain 1791" from the Archive CD Books project. The success of that relationship laid the foundation for the U.S. partner company. Through my involvement in both companies, you can expect to have access to even more great digital research tools in the coming months, including special discounts and exclusive offers for TMG users. You will also see new integrated features in future releases of TMG that will capitalize on the relationship with Archive CD Books USA.
Although Wholly Genes Software and Archive CD Books USA are independent companies, they are housed together in our new expanded office in Columbia, Maryland. This proximity gives both companies increased cost-effectiveness through shared access to some very expensive commercial equipment (CD duplicators, color printers, scanners, etc.). It will also serve to improve the efficiency of shared administrative services, including its sales, technical support, bookkeeping, and shipping departments.
To accommodate our growth, we've also made a number of personnel additions and changes. As reflected in the press release, I am thrilled to welcome Robert Charles Anderson, FASG, to the Archive CD Books USA team as Genealogical Consultant. Barbara Grempler from Wholly Genes Technical Support has been promoted to Project Manager for Archive CD Books USA and she is joined by a new staff of six who are responsible for scanning and digitizing the rare books. Barbara's spot in Tech Support was recently filled by Phil DeSilva, a very capable and experienced TMG user. Dorothy Turner still heads the Tech Support Department, ensuring that you continue to receive the excellent support to which you are accustomed. Lynda Waters is now the bookkeeper for both companies and we are in search of a new Shipping Manager to round out the expansion.
Whew! And, oh yeah, we just hosted a genealogy conference for 450 people on a cruise ship... <g>
With all of the buzzing of activity around them, our software developers and hard-working beta testers have managed to release _six_ free TMG updates in the last four months and we've got a number of new and exciting development projects in the works. So stay tuned for many great new things from Wholly Genes Software and Archive CD Books USA!
Right now, I invite you to support us by shopping for Christmas presents (or use our new "Wish List" feature and nudge your spouse in that direction <g>!) at the new company's web site at http://www.ArchiveCDBooksUSA.com, where you'll find thousands of existing data CDs from our partner companies, plus the first few releases from Archive CD Books USA. If you want to be kept informed about new digitized products as they are released on CD from Archive CD Books USA, then please be sure to subscribe to its separate newsletter from that site.
Wholly Genes Software
and Archive CD Books USA
=== Press Release: Archive CD Books USA =============
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Archive CD Books USA
9110 Red Branch Road, Suite “O”
Columbia, Maryland 21045
(410) 715-2260 x150
Family History Archiving Project Expands to the United States
Columbia, Maryland – 24 November 2005 - The international Archive CD Books Project today announced its expansion and renewed focus on family history resources within the United States with the debut of a new partner company, Archive CD Books USA (www.ArchiveCDBooksUSA.com).
The project makes digital reproductions of old family history resources available to the public, donates original publications to libraries and other institutions, and cooperates with those repositories to preserve their existing collections for future generations. Its uncommon focus on book preservation has led to cooperative relationships with some of the most important repositories of family history records in the world, including Trinity College in Ireland and The National Archives of England and Wales.
Many organized efforts to digitize old books result in the destruction of the original so that its loose pages can be fed through high-speed scanners. But the idea of cutting off an old leather binding is unthinkable to historians and book lovers. "The Archive CD Books project focuses on giving the public access to these fragile resources, some of which are more than 400 years old, while protecting the original so that it is still available to scholars in another 400 years," said Rod Neep, who founded the project in the UK in 2000.
In recent years, the popularity of the project has led to the opening of branch offices in Ireland, Australia, and Canada. “The new U.S. affiliate is key to our goal of making these family history resources accessible to researchers around the world,” said Neep. “After a false start under different management in 2003, the new U.S. partner company brings respected leadership and renewed focus on the priorities of American researchers,” he said.
The principal of the new Archive CD Books USA is Bob Velke, who also founded Wholly Genes Software in 1991. That company’s cornerstone software product, The Master Genealogist, has earned a reputation as the most powerful family history project manager on the market and is preferred by experienced researchers in more than 40 countries around the world.
Archive CD Books USA also benefits from the experience and reputation of Robert Charles Anderson, one of the pre-eminent genealogists in the United States. Anderson is a Fellow of the American Society of Genealogists and is the Director of the Great Migration Study Project for the New England Historic Genealogical Society, editor of the Great Migration Newsletter, and co-editor of The American Genealogist. He serves as Genealogical Consultant to the new company.
“Like others in the genealogical community,” said Velke, “we are passionate about old books. But some of the most valuable resources are held in protective custody and out of reach of researchers. By cooperating with libraries, societies, and other book lovers and by applying professional digitizing and preservation techniques, we are very pleased to help put that material back in circulation and into the hands of family history researchers who need them.”
In addition to the thousands of digitized rare books which it makes available from its partner companies, Archive CD Books USA has already accumulated nearly a thousand rare books of its own through purchases, gifts, and promised loans to the project. One of the company’s debut products is a digital version of “A Genealogical Dictionary of The First Settlers of New England” by James Savage, which was originally published in 1860 and is now offered for just $9.95 on CD-ROM. “Even a hundred and forty years after publication,” said Anderson, “Savage's four-volume set remains the starting point for most research problems in seventeenth-century New England. No other single source covers the first century of New England settlement so broadly.” Even experienced researchers would benefit from the full-text search that is supported by the digitized version of this important work. It reveals thousands of embedded references to people and places that are lost to those who rely on the book’s simple alphabetical list of surname headings.
The company web site (www.ArchiveCDBooksUSA.com) offers a free newsletter for those who want to be notified of special offers and the release of new titles. Dealer inquiries are also encouraged.
For information: http://www.archivecdbooksusa.com
Phone: 410-715-2260 x150
Archive CD Books USA
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