July 24, 2015

Navigating Dominican Republic's Archive Website ~ Archivo General de la Nacion

Dominican Republic is well known for being very much into its history and attempting to document as much as possible. There are some amazing libraries (known as bibliotecas in Spanish) in this country. One of the great things I've heard about Dominican Republic's Archivo General de la Nacion (Archives of the Nation) is that they are extremely friendly and helpful to all visitors.  I must say their website is also getting there with the collections they have added over time. Unfortunately if you don't speak the language, it makes it harder to navigate but not impossible.

So the first thing is where can you find the website. The website is www.agn.gov.do

Before I begin, I must advise that I'm going to do a few blogs to explain the piece parts of this website. You will appreciate it versus scroll through one blog. Now I recommend that you have two tabs opened on your browser to make life easy. One should have the website and another should have Google Translator or any other translator website you like using.  When you arrive on this website, the first thing you'll notice is their top menu bar.  It's just like any other website with their general pages such as "About", "News", "Publications", etc.  You can investigate these pages at your leisure.

If you scroll down on the page, the website provides additional databases for you to do your research. However let's start with the available publications. One of the most important things about researching your genealogy is truly understanding the history of a region, knowing the layout of the map (they do change over time!), and knowing weather patterns.  All three of these are truly important when researching in the Caribbean where tropical storms will determine what happens on an island. So below you should see something similar on the website.

Now what this image is doing is allowing you to navigate through the books.  If you want to read a particular book then it needs to sit at the center like the above gray book in the image. If you click on it, it will open the book for you to read. So yes they provide you access to out of print books without needing to visit a library. I wish all archives did something this! I've been able to research information very easily from my computer.  Now if you want to see what else is in their collection, then you click on the sides. Below is an image showing what I mean by this by circling the area of where you should be clicking.

Just remember that once you decide what book you want to read, just make sure it's in the center position and simply click on it. I'm shockingly surprised to discover information on ancestors in some of the books and you never know what you may find on your family. Another surprise is that there are more books to be found on this website. To the side of the images of these books you should see a menu; I've provided an image of the menu below.  If you click on the first link, "Biblioteca Digital Dominicana", it will lead to a search engine where you can find additional books or you can click on the menu that appears to the left on the new page.

My next blog post will be discussing the extensive information you can find on the menu and how to navigate around it. I was able to clear up verbal family history using this website and hope that it will be just as useful to all who want to research their family.