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Genealogy Blog

26 March 2014

Project To Digitize Library Archives of India

National Library is tying up with British Library for a unique digitization project. The two heritage institutions will digitize, archive and exchange surrogate copies of early Bengali printed material dating from 1778 till 1914. Roly Keating, chief executive of British Library, is currently in the city "shaping the ambitious project and defining its first phase".

Talking to TOI, 18 months after taking charge of the world's second largest library and helping it reinvent itself, Keating said, "A digitization programme between the two libraries has been on the cards since 2011.

Source & Full Story

24 March 2014

Book Scanner Preserves Volumes of History in Pittston, Pennsylvania

Pittston's history being preserved for digital access. With the push of a foot pedal and the click of two digital cameras, Mike Lizonitz can preserve Pittston City Council minutes from the early 20th century. "So many people are going to be excited by this," he said.

He takes books of handwritten meeting minutes, tax assessments and all of the written records of the city to his Hughestown home and places them on the steel and aluminum book scanner in his basement.

Source & Full Story

21 March 2014

Vatican To Digitize Ancient Archives and Put Them Online

The Vatican library began a project on Thursday to digitize thousands of historical manuscripts, dating from the origins of the Church to the 20th century, and make them available online.

Working with the Japanese technology group NTT Data, the library intends to scan and digitally archive about 1.5 million pages from the library's collection of manuscripts, which comprises some 82,000 items and 41 million pages. The initial project will take four years and may be extended.

Source & Full Story

20 March 2014

Stanford Libraries Online Archive Expands Access to French Revolution Treasures

Participants, spectators and critics produced scores of historical documents during the French Revolution. These items are now available in the French Revolution Digital Archive, a digital collection recently released by Stanford Libraries.

FRDA brings together two foundational sources for French Revolution research: the Archives parlementaires, a day-to-day record of parliamentary debates and discussions held between 1789 and 1794, and Images de la Révolution française, a vast visual corpus from the collections of the Bibliothèque nationale de France.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Source & Full Story

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