The Archives d'Etat de Genève now has some very interesting documents available as digital images on their web site, as well as a number of other helpful features.
Here's the link:http://etat.geneve.ch/aegconsult/
First, notice the database "Adhémar", which allows "key word" searches of the descriptions of that part of the archives' holdings that have been catalogued electronically. The purpose of the Adhémar catalogue is not to give you the documents, but simply to alert you to their existence. This is a huge step forward, but the accompanying text reminds us that there are an enormous number of indexes and other finding aids that exist only as manuscripts and other "hard copies" at the archives reading room. We can hardly wait for the day when all of these finding aids have been digitized and indexed!
Second, note the "documents en ligne" tab! While this is still only a very small part of the holdings of the archives, there are some indexes to vital records and actual copies of the earliest "livres des morts" (beginning in the mid-16th Century). The pictures are of excellent quality and are fairly easy to use. Readers are reminded by a detailed notice how to cite the information that may be gleaned from these documents. Among other reasons to study these documents, you can learn a lot about the handwriting and language of past centuries!
Each time one of the cantonal archives unveils new features on its web site, the other archives are encouraged to come up with something even better. This is a most interesting time for Swiss historical and genealogical research!
With special thanks to Catherine Minck for alerting me to this new resource,