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Genealogy Blog

22 April 2014

National Archives of Australia Battle To Preserve Nation's 'Birth Certificates'

Australians have the chance for a relatively rare glimpse of some of the most important documents in the country's history, with the nation's "birth certificates" on show at the National Archives.

Three of the seven precious documents that changed Australia's relationship with Britain are so fragile that their dark covers are taken off only for occasional viewing by the public, including the Easter and Anzac Day long weekends.

Source & Full Story

14 April 2014

Rosa Parks Archives Remain Unsold in Warehouse

At a time when interest in civil rights memorabilia is rekindled, a lifetime’s worth of Rosa Parks’ belongings — among them her Presidential Medal of Freedom — sits in a New York warehouse, unseen and unsold.

Parks’ archives could be worth millions, especially now that 50th anniversaries of the civil rights era are being celebrated and the hunt is on for artifacts to fill a new Smithsonian museum of African-American history. But a years-long legal fight between Parks’ heirs and her friends led to the memorabilia being taken away from her home city of Detroit and offered up to the highest bidder.

Source & Full Story

11 April 2014

Toyota Helps Preserve Historic Documents Through $100,000 Gift to National Archives

Millions of people who visit Washington each year go to see its famous monuments or view the historic records, which chronicle significant events in the nation’s history. Toyota is helping preserve a portion of that history through a $100,000 gift to the Foundation for the National Archives.

More than 10 historic documents, from Congressional passage of the Bill of Rights in 1789 to President Nixon’s letter of resignation in 1973, will be part of the notable records that Toyota will help protect.

Source & Full Story

4 April 2014

Priceless Tapestry Which Depicts Victory Over French by Winston Churchill’s Ancestor the First Duke of Marlborough Is Restored for First Time in 300 Years

A priceless 300-year-old tapestry depicting the ‘finest hour’ of Winston Churchill’s most illustrious ancestor has undergone a major restoration for the first time. The work of art hangs at Blenheim Palace and tells the story of the 1st Duke of Marlborough’s victories over the French in the War of the Spanish Succession.

The Duke, John Churchill, was a brilliant military strategist and much like Winston Churchill two centuries later, led an Allied force to victory in Europe.

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2 April 2014

Skolt Sámi Archives Candidate for UNESCO List

The National Archives Service of Finland and the Sámi Archives have proposed including the Skolt Sámi archives in the UNESCO Memory of the World Register. Only 301 items have been listed in the register so far.

The archives from Suonjel, Pechenga, are the most significant body of documentation in the cultural heritage of the Skolt Sámi. The oldest document in the archives dates to 1601 and the most recent document to 1775.

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1 April 2014

Rare and Important Declaration of Independence on Offer at Bonhams New York

Bonhams sale Treasures from The Caren Archive on April 7 will feature a rare and exceedingly important early newspaper printing of the Declaration of Independence as published in The New England Chronicle (Powars and Willis) on July 18, 1776 (est. $50,000-70,000).

The 4-page newspaper tied with Gill’s Continental Journal as the first Boston appearance of the Declaration of Independence. One can easily imagine the excitement among the city’s residents as they absorbed the enormity of the news contained therein.

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Meet the Photo Detective: Maureen Taylor

Maureen Taylor owes her path in life to something many people have trouble pronouncing. It’s called a daguerreotype, a kind of shiny metal image that hallmarked the beginnings of modern-day photography.

Taylor, who will serve as keynote speaker at the Saturday, April 26, segment of the Lancaster Family History Conference, sponsored by the Lancaster Mennonite Historical Society, literally fell in love with something that conveyed an impression of people stepping out of the past.

Source & Full Story

The Man Who Owns A Magna Carta

David Rubenstein, the private equity billionaire and philanthropist, slips easily into the role of learned scholar as he strolls down Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C., on his way to the National Archives.

The 64-year-old co-CEO of the Carlyle Group is carefully attired in a pin-striped suit and blue and white-polka-dot tie. He mentions the hidden river that runs under the pavement and lectures on the area’s transformation from a virtual ghetto to an awe-inspiring site of federal offices and monuments.

Source & Full Story

25 March 2014

Photos of Slave Descendants Donated To Smithsonian

A "time capsule" of photographs documenting the descendants of slaves on a long-isolated island off the South Carolina-Georgia coast will have a new home at the Smithsonian's African-American history museum.

Bank of America, which has a vast art collection it lends to museums, donated a collection of 61 photographs by Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe, the wife of the late tennis player Arthur Ashe, to the museum on Monday. Officials tell The Associated Press the bank will also give $1 million to help build the $500 million museum. This is the bank's second $1 million donation.

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Dustman Saves 5,000 Rare First World War Photos From Rubbish Dumps

A former dustman has amassed one of the Britain's best collections of First World War photographs after spending decades rescuing them from rubbish tips and bins. Bob Smethurst spent 36 years working as a refuse collector and began saving the remarkable pictures during the 1970s.

He believes as soldiers from the conflict grew old and passed away a lot of their remarkable pictures and memorabilia was often thrown out especially in the 1970s and 1980s.

Source & Full Story

21 March 2014

Historic Taiwan Feminist Archive Moves To TKU

New Taipei City-based Tamkang University’s Chueh-sheng Memorial Library signed an agreement March 17 to take over the archive of the Awakening Foundation, a pioneering Taiwan women’s rights nonprofit organization.

The foundation’s digital archive and the hard copies of the books, journals, magazines and other materials collected over more than 30 years, which systematically document the progress of the women’s rights movement in Taiwan, will be transferred to the university and made available for public viewing.

Source & Full Story

Island in the Pacific Is Home to Countless WWII Relics

The small island of Mili in the southeast corner of the Marshall Islands is now populated by only 300 people, and was once under Japanese Imperial Army control during World War II. Time has passed but the artifacts of war remain and make the island a virtual military museum with remains of the past still to be discovered.

The locals have made use of some of the artifacts in their everyday lives. Anet Maun, pounds dried panadanus leaves with an old projectile. Maun uses the leaves for weaving and said, “This works really well and gets the work done much faster. The leaves flatten very nicely.”

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17 March 2014

Auschwitz Acquires Stamps Used To Tattoo Prisoners

Rare metal stamps used by the Nazis to tattoo prisoners at the infamous Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp have surfaced in Poland. A donor insisting on anonymity handed over the stamps to the memorial museum at the site of the World War II-era camp in Oswiecim, southern Poland.

"We obtained the stamps a couple of weeks ago and have confirmed their authenticity," Bartosz Bartyzel, a spokesman for the museum, told AFP on Thursday. "There are five stamps including one zero, two threes and two sixes or nines," he said, adding that Auschwitz was the only Nazi German camp to use tattoos to identify prisoners.

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German Soldier's Kindness Denied Tommy War Grave

A dying soldier's last wish for a photo he was found holding to be returned to his family was fulfilled by the German who killed him, as personal stories marking the centenary of World War One emerge.

Sergeant Percy Buck clutched the black and white photo of his wife Bertha and young son Cyril as he lay fatally wounded in a shell hole on the Western Front in 1917. On the back, he had written his address and asked for whoever found the photo to post it to his loved ones in the event of his death.

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14 March 2014

Australia's First Banknote Uncovered in Scotland Goes Under Hammer

The only known specimen of the first official banknote issued in Australia, uncovered in Scotland, is expected to fetch at least Aus$250,000 (US$224,000) at an auction in Sydney this month, officials said Wednesday.

The ten shilling note, issued on the order of New South Wales governor Lachlan Macquarie in 1817 by the Bank of New South Wales (now called Westpac) on the day it opened, is expected to attract bids from collectors around the world.

Source & Full Story

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