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Genealogy Blog

18 March 2014

Good News for Fans of Medieval Maps at the British Library

A new British Library collaboration called the Virtual Mappa project is well under way, using digital images of a selection of medieval world maps - mappaemundi - and some excellent new annotation software (more on that at a later date).

High-resolution images of these maps will be available online for public use, with transcribed and translated text, notes, links to outside resources and other tools for understanding these marvellous mappaemundi. I'm the BL intern charged with annotating the maps and organising all this extra data.

Source & Full Story

13 March 2014

World Digital Library Collection Grows To 10,000 Items with Manuscripts from Baltimore Museum

The World Digital Library led by the Library of Congress is reaching a milestone of 10,000 items with the addition of ancient manuscripts from the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore.

Officials say Thursday that the World Digital Library now holds more than 10,000 digitized manuscripts, maps, books, prints, photographs, films, sound recordings and other cultural items. The growing collection is a collaborative project that includes contributions from 102 institutions in 46 different countries.

Source & Full Story

U.S. National Archives Plans Closure of Alaska Facility

The National Archives and Records Administration plans to close its facility in Anchorage this year, and aims to move the millions of pages of documents housed there to Seattle.

The closure, expected to be announced Tuesday, comes as part of a cost-cutting effort that the agency says will save more than $1 million annually, and includes consolidating other facilities in Philadelphia and Fort Worth, Tex.

Source & Full Story

12 March 2014

British National Archives Puts First World War Diaries Online with MongoDB

MongoDB's open source document database has helped various archives and data systems to digitize Britian's history including The National Archives First World War diaries. The documents have now been made available digitally to the public through The National Archives' Discovery Platform allowing more people to explore the diaries.

The archive scales to many terabytes of data and will continue to grow as more is digitized and made available to the public. MongoDB's built-in horizontal scalability enables the Platform to scale to meet these demands and uses the rich querying capability of the database for search and filtering.

Source & Full Story

11 March 2014

Tennessee Archivists To Record Civil War Artifacts in Cleveland

State archivists will be on hand this week at the Museum Center at Five Points to digitally record Civil War memorabilia presented by local residents.

"The Civil War was a major event in our state's history, so we need to take appropriate steps to make sure these treasures are properly preserved for future generations," Secretary of State Tre Hargett said in a recent announcement.

Source & Full Story

6 March 2014

Forever Accessible Archives? Michigan Moves Its Records To The Cloud

Since 1974, archivists in Michigan have been looking for ways to preserve the state’s electronic records in such a way that they could both last for hundreds of years and always be easily searchable by government officials and the public at large. But until very recently, there simply wasn't an available system that would allow that vision to be realized.

Archivist Mark Harvey said that over the years the state figured out piecemeal ways to preserve data, such as storing files on network drives, CDs, DVDs and other portable media.

Source & Full Story

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.

Source & Full Story

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.

Source & Full Story

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.

Source & Full Story

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.”

Source & Full Story

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.

Source & Full Story

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.

Source & Full Story

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