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Genealogy Blog

6 March 2014

Brill Publishers (Leiden, Netherlands) and the Bibliotheca Alexandrina to Conduct an Arabic Texts Digitization Workshop

Next week, in the framework of celebrating the 400th anniversary of the Leiden chair of Arabic, Brill Publishers and the Bibliotheca Alexandrina (BA) will conduct a training workshop on digitization of Arabic texts.

In the year 1613, Leiden University established one of Europe's very first chairs of Arabic Language and Culture. Its first occupant, Thomas Erpenius (1584-1624), laid out the rationale in his inaugural lecture 'Arab culture has a world of wisdom to teach'. This has defined the guiding principles of the study of Arabic at Leiden University ever since.

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Boy Scouts' 'Founding Papers' Digitized by Brigham Young University Library

Among all of the artifacts found in the archives at British Scouting headquarters, one handwritten document caught a historian’s curiosity and ultimately brought together the British Scouting Association and Brigham Young University.

The rough draft of “Scouting for Boys,” written by scouting founder Robert Baden-Powell, contains literary excerpts from authors Alexander Dumas, James Fenimore Cooper and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Although these excerpts didn’t make it into the version that was published as the first scouting handbook, BYU history professor Paul Kerry says stories of adventure were one of many ways Baden-Powell sought to create a community of common ground and mutual respect.

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4 March 2014

More Than a Century of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Archives Now Available to the Public Online

The staff of the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Archives has digitized more than a century of The Polytechnic student newspaper. The Poly archive is available online through the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Digital Collections, and can be searched by date or keyword.

The archive offers a window into the way Rensselaer students saw themselves and their Institute through history. The earliest editions of The Poly include challenging math problems, news from other universities in the Northeast including Harvard, Yale, and Cornell, short fiction, poems, alumni news, athletic scores, and social news.

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3 March 2014

Scottish Soldiers’ Wills To Go Online

The wills of 26,000 Scottish soldiers who died in the Great War are to be made available by the National Records of Scotland via ScotlandsPeople.

In May 2014 these poignant historical records will go online for the first time as part of commemorations of the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War. The release has been announced on 24 February by the First Minister, Alex Salmond, at Portlethen near Aberdeen.

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26 February 2014

Wills of Scottish Soldiers Killed in WWI To Be Made Available Online

The wills of 26,000 Scottish soldiers who died in the Great War are to be made available online for the first time as part of centenary commemorations marking the outbreak of WWI, the First Minister Alex Salmond announced.

Among the 26,000 individual wills are 2,584 from the Gordon Highlanders, including those of Privates Alexander Craig and John Wood from Portlethen, just two of about 9,500 men who died during the conflict.

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20 February 2014

National Archives of Singapore Pioneer Lily Tan Dies at Age 70

Colleagues and relatives paid tribute to Mrs Lily Tan yesterday, recalling how the former director of the National Archives of Singapore (NAS) had a "great passion" for documenting the Republic's history.

Mrs Tan died at her Bukit Timah home after suffering a heart attack on Sunday. She was 70. She is known for being one of the archives' major driving forces after spending 33 years with the organisation - including 22 as its director from 1979.

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Illinois State University History Behind Archive Doors

The Dr. Jo Ann Rayfield Archives help preserve many items that make up ISU’s history. In honor of Founders Day, it’s important for students to see what goes on behind the archive doors.

Located off-campus on 2016 Warehouse Road, this repository holds any and all objects, documents, and information pertaining to the history of ISU. According to University Archivist April Karlene Anderson, who has worked with the department since 2011, items in the archives include “things like the first course catalogs, yearbooks, faculty papers, and administrative records from colleges and departments.”

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12 February 2014

Archives Reveal One of Britain's First Female Police Officers - But She Wasn't Allowed To Arrest Anyone

Police have opened up the archives to reveal the fascinating story of one of the first ever female police officers - who was not allowed to arrest anyone. West Midlands Police has released pictures of Evelyn Miles, who was the first woman constable to join Birmingham City Police in 1917 at the age of 50.

Before 1916, there were no women police officers in the region at all, but the outbreak of the First World War saw more than 50 per cent of the city's male population leave for the forces.

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5 February 2014

National Archives of the UK: Newly Released Files from 1984 Include Miners' Strike

The National Archives has released almost 500 files from 1984, including papers from the Prime Minister's Office and the Cabinet Office.

The government's handling of the miners' strike is revealed in greater detail than ever before in papers released today. The strike by Arthur Scargill's National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) presented Mrs Thatcher's government with one of its most serious challenges and divided opinion in the country.

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Real 'Monuments Men' Records Go on Display in Washington, D.C.

When art historians saw Paris fall to the Nazis in World War II, they immediately realized Europe's vast monuments, art, cathedrals and architecture were at risk and began mobilizing to protect such treasures.

In Washington, the newly opened National Gallery of Art became the U.S. museum world's epicenter for lobbying President Franklin D. Roosevelt and the Allied forces in 1941 to prevent the destruction of Europe's monuments. Their efforts would create a corps of U.S. and British soldiers who worked to protect cultural sites and recover looted art after the war.

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4 February 2014

Trove of Images From the French Revolution Now Available Online

The Images are composed of high-resolution digital images of approximately 14 000 individual visual items, primarily prints, but also illustrations, medals, coins, and other objects, which display aspects of the Revolution.

These materials were selected, mainly from the collections of the Département des Estampes et de la photographie, but also from other BnF departments, and include thousands of images for the important collections entitled Hennin and De Vinck. Detailed metadata exists for the images, so that researchers can search by artist, subject, genre, and place.

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National Virtual Library of India Planned

The Indian government has taken up an ambitious project of digitizing public libraries to ensure ease of access of books to the people.

The National Mission on Libraries – as the scheme has been termed – also entails the creation of the National Virtual Library of India which will act as a comprehensive collection of information generated within the country. The rich repository of information, it is believed will act to spur reading habit among the masses besides of course facilitating research and information sharing.

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3 February 2014

'Unique' WW1 Ledger From Folkestone, England, Published Online

Relatives of more than 40,000 people who passed through Folkestone on their way to war in France between 1915 and 1919 can now search for their names. Eight visitors books were kept at the Harbour Canteen and signed by some of the soldiers, nurses and others who passed through.

The pages have all been scanned and the details transcribed by volunteers. The 42,000 names in the books include Winston Churchill, David Lloyd George and Arthur Conan Doyle.

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30 January 2014

Europeana 1914-1918 Website Relaunched!

Europeana 1914-1918 now brings together resources from three major European projects each dealing with different types of First World War material. That means that national collections from libraries now sit alongside personal stories and treasures as well as important film archives.

Together, this creates a unique perspective of the First World War, showing it from every side of the battle lines and with insights from every point of view. Over time, even more material will be added to this archive so please keep coming back!

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24 January 2014

British National Archives Reveals Conscription Appeals of World War I Middlesex Men

Charles Rubens Busby, a butcher from Cricklewood who asked to avoid conscription so that he could continue to run his shop during the First World War, had an unwelcome note of caution added to his appeal letter: writing anonymously, a local resident called Busby "a proper rotter of a man" and a "rotten shirker".

The Middlesex Appeal Tribunal was swayed by the critic, who questioned why Busby should stay while "married men have had to shut up their shop and go".

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