July 27, 2015

Navigating Dominican Republic's Archive Website ~ Archivo General de la Nacion - Part 4 - Boletins AGN

People tend to ignore the Boletins in Archives and I can tell you first hand, HUGE mistake!  One of the great things about the Boletins is the history it contains.  These little magazines speak to things that have occurred on the island as well as the collections the archives contain. This can help you immensely in your research. What people tend not to realize is that many archives are much bigger than what the website displays. Perfect example of this is Spain's archives called PARES.  While PARES has a large collection of digitized documents, it only represents 5% of their collection. Yes only 5%!  PARES archives are very huge in side with some being larger than football fields.

To get to the Boletins,  click on the link on the menu that says Boletin AGN.

Now Dominican Republic's may not be as large, however they still have a vast library of information and this isn't including what their universities may have in their libraries or even the libraries throughout the country.  So now back to the Boletins.

When you arrive on the new page, you'll notice many years at the top.  Let's start with 1938. Click on the year.  I'm providing the view so you can follow this without needing to click back and forth to the website.

Boletin Main Page

Now notice that there are 4 folders called No 1, No 2, No 3, and No 4.  Also notice that there are 4 PDF folders.  Now don't click on anything just yet.  Each folder cooresponds to each PDF below it.
So now click on folder No 1 (on the words).  Every single PDF in this folder is a piece part to the corresponding PDF below it.  They've made it that easy!

Now I downloaded BAGN 1938 No 1 file which is the entire volume.  I pulled the below images from this document; they are images that can be found on page 11 and 12.  You can also find these images in the PDF file named Rafael Leonidas Trujillo Leyes Reglamentos del agn.  The first image makes you cringe at the sight as a family genealogist and historian. You ask yourself, "How could they allow this?".  This is what the archivo looked like before President Trujillo took over the country in put into place the laws to fix this. Notice the height and the long ladder in the first image and the mess as well.

Image of Archive before President Trujillo

Once he took over per what the Boletin states, this is what he had put into place. At least he was good for this (setting politics aside).  I must say it was a huge improvement and hope he didn't have any records destroyed.

Archives after President Trujillo

The Boletins are available for download and are pretty big with the first one in 1938 having 94 pages. You can also download the piece parts if you need to keep only certain articles.  I think that this was great for the AGN to preserve this book by digitizing it and offering it to everyone in two different formats.  If you scroll down to pages 23 and 30 of the big volume, you get to see the concepts of the National library.

Now I truly expect people to go through these. On page 47, it provides a list of towns throughout Dominican Republic and when they were established. For example, Villa de Bonoa was founded by Cristobal Colon or Christopher Columbus in 1494.  These dates become extremely important because once you get into the 1700's, you can then research information on Spain's PARES website to see what they have thereby increases your chances in finding what you seek; YOUR ANCESTORS.

Notice that there are many years missing after 1960 so you have plenty to research in those years. However don't ignore the current ones as they can also provide clues in your research.