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Genealogy Blog

4 December 2013

Norway Decided to Digitize All the Norwegian Books

The National Library of Norway is planning to digitize all the books by the mid 2020s. Yes. All. The. Books. In Norwegian, at least. Hundreds of thousands of them. Every book in the library's holdings.

By law, "all published content, in all media, [must] be deposited with the National Library of Norway," so when the library is finished scanning, the entire record of a people's language and literature will be machine-readable and sitting in whatever we call the cloud in 15 years.

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3 December 2013

National Archives of the U.S. Awards $2.3 Million in Grants for Historical Records Projects

Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero has awarded 44 grants totaling $2,283,079 in Federal funds for archives and publishing projects in 32 states, territories, and the District of Columbia. The National Archives grants program is carried out through the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC).

Publishing Grants totaling $1.1 million went to nine publishing projects from the U.S. Colonial and Early National Period, including the papers of Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Dolley Madison, and John Jay.

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Somalia: Radio Mogadishu Archives To Get Digitalized

After more than 60 years of analogue storage in an inadequate environment, the Radio Mogadishu audio archive is being digitized in order to save it from deterioration and introduce the unique Somali historical recordings to new audience.

Colonel Abshir Hashi Ali has a long day ahead, he moves as fast as his old legs can carry him, as he carries the weight of Somalia’s history on his shoulders. Tucked in a little corner behind the Somali Ministry of information, lies Somalia’s hidden treasure, the archives of Radio Mogadishu and what’s left of the country’s oral history.

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2 December 2013

The Lives of British Scientists Recorded In Full For The First Time In A New British Library Oral History Archive

A major oral history project to gather the life stories of British scientists has culminated today in the launch of a new online archive by the British Library.

Voices of Science is drawn from a National Life Stories programme ‘An Oral History of British Science’, and features interviews with 100 leading UK scientists and engineers, telling the stories of some of the most remarkable scientific and engineering discoveries of the past century as well as the personal stories of each individual.

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29 November 2013

New Archival Records Available For Research at The Nova Scotia, Canada, Archives

New archival records available for research at The Nova Scotia, Canada, Archives:

- St John's Lutheran Church, Mahone Bay, Church registers: baptisms (1876-1912, one register 1854-1957); marriages (1877-1912; 1917-1955); burials (1885-1956). NSA microfilms 23931 and 23932.
- Orman E Flewelling, Farmer, Wheaton Settlement, NB, Roxbury, Mass. and Halifax; 6 diaries, 1863-1899.
- And more...

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28 November 2013

World War One in Wales Digital Archive Launches

A £1m digital archive of material published in Wales during World War One is being launched. The Welsh Experience of the First World War highlights newspapers, photographs, film and other items from sources including universities and BBC Wales.

The National Library of Wales project has digitised 220,000 documents, including telegrams informing people that their loved one had been killed. Wales is hosting a series of projects to mark the centenary of World War One.

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27 November 2013

National Library Increases Its Exposure By Sharing Pictures on Google Platform

An online collaboration between the National Library of Ireland and Google could be the first step in the creation of a virtual Irish museum, it was claimed yesterday. The National Library has digitised items from three of its past photography exhibitions and made them available free online on the Google Cultural Institute.

The cultural institute provides a platform for museums, galleries and other institutions to showcase digital copies of their items. It has already worked with hundreds of institutions internationally.

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22 November 2013

Shanghai Library Digitizes Defunct English Newspaper

Shanghai Library has finished digitizing more than 100 years of print editions from the city's first English-language newspaper, local media reported Thursday.

The library spent four years scanning more than 500,000 pages of The North-China Daily News and its predecessor, The North-China Herald, to make it more accessible to the public, according to a report in the Oriental Morning Post.

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15 November 2013

Google’s Book-Scanning Is Fair Use, Judge Rules in Landmark Copyright Case

Google’s massive book-scanning project that makes complete copies of books without an author’s permission is perfectly legal under U.S. copyright law, a federal judge ruled today, deciding an 8-year-old legal battle.

In a 30-page decision (.pdf) Judge Denny Chin of New York ruled that Google’s move to digitize millions of university and commercially available books is on its face a violation of the owners’ copyrights. But Google’s limited use of the work makes the scanning “fair use” under copyright law, Chin ruled.

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14 November 2013

The National Archives of the UK: Eighth Tranche of Colonial Administration Records Released

The National Archives is working with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) to transfer and release colonial administration records, referred to as the 'migrated archives', between April 2012 and November 2013, in accordance with FCO's published timeline on GOV.UK.

The eighth and final tranche will be made available in the reading rooms at The National Archives from Friday 29 November 2013. This release will contain records from Malta, Singapore, Tanganyika, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos, Uganda, West Indies, Western Pacific and Zanzibar, as well as Kenya Land Files and Related Files.

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13 November 2013

17th Century St. Paul’s Cathedral in London Recreated In Virtual Space

Researchers at North Carolina State University have combined scholarship and new technologies to re-create the courtyard of St. Paul’s Cathedral in London as it stood in 1622, as well as a historic sermon made by poet John Donne in the courtyard.

The project, which is a significant research tool for history, literature and religion scholars, is available online and can also be viewed in a state-of-the-art theater that offers a 270-degree view of the courtyard with high-fidelity acoustics.

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12 November 2013

The National Archives of the UK Launches New First World War Portal

The National Archives of the UK are launching a new First World War portal and announcing their plans to mark the centenary of the First World War with an extensive programme, spanning a five-year period from 2014 - 2019.

With primary sources at its heart, the programme - First World War 100 - aims to attract a new audience for archives during the centenary, as well as offering historians and regular archive users fresh insights into this landmark conflict.

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Australian, New Zealand Share Archive of WWI

Australians and New Zealanders will be able to access a shared archive of World War I records online to commemorate the Anzac centenary, Australia's Attorney- General George Brandis and New Zealand Minister for Internal Chris Tremain said in a press release Monday.

The news was announced on Remembrance Day, a day to mark the anniversary of the armistice which ended the First World War.

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Rare Color Photographs from the Trenches of World War I

Black and white photographs often feel more genuine than color images — more truthful, somehow — especially those depicting historical events. Much of that perceived authenticity derives from the fact that black and white pictures seem to be, in the most positive way, far simpler than their color counterparts.

The world itself (we like to tell ourselves) was simpler in the latter part of 19th century, and in the earliest decades of the 20th.

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7 November 2013

Archive of Spoken Irish From 1920s And 1930s Now Online

A record of the sounds of Irish as it was spoken throughout Ireland in the 1920s and 1930s is now online, thanks to a project between The Royal Irish Academy and academics from NUI Maynooth.

The bilingual Doegen Records Web Project website contains audio recordings made by Dr Wilhelm Doegen. Doegen came to Ireland 85 years ago at the request of the Ministry of Education, to create a permanent record of the spoken Irish language in all districts in which it was still spoken.

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