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Genealogy Blog

16 January 2015

British Library Endangered Archives: 4 Million Images Now Online!

The Endangered Archives Programme is celebrating reaching over 4 million images available in their online collections.

The three new projects online this month have moved them over this milestone. These are EAP532, EAP584 and EAP676. They come from Nigeria, India and Nepal.

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14 January 2015

The Most Requested Photo in the U.S. National Archives is of Nixon and Elvis

What do you suppose the most requested photo from the U.S. National Archives might be? Troops raising the American flag on Iwo Jima? That sailor kissing a random woman at the end of WWII? Nope. It's Richard Nixon shaking Elvis Presley's hand.

The meeting took place in the Oval Office on December 21, 1970 and the photo itself is pretty surreal. But the official meeting notes are somehow even more bizarre.

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29 December 2014

British Government Made 41 Million Wills Available To Search Online for the First Time

The government’s archive of 41 million wills dates back to 1858 and will enable people to find out more about their family histories, as well as researching the last wishes of some of the most influential people of the 19th and 20th century.

The wills of Charles Dickens, Winston Churchill, Alan Turing and Beatrix Potter are among millions which have been made accessible to the public through a searchable online database.

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WW I Soldiers' Files Being Digitized by Library and Archives Canada

Library and Archives Canada is in the process of digitizing all soldiers' records from the First World War, the most requested items in its collection.

Sylvain Bélanger, director-general in the stewardship branch of Library and Archives Canada, said there are about 640,000, and within each of those folders there are numerous documents. He estimates that, in the end, about four million images will be scanned and digitized.

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Russia to Launch National Digital Library in 2015

Work on developing electronic libraries across Russian is soon to begin, Minister of Culture Vladimir Medinsky said last week.

At a joint meeting of the State Council and the Presidential Council on Culture and the Arts, Medinsky said that the new initiative will transform local libraries into modern information and cultural hubs, adding that citizens’ access to the service will be via the internet with a single electronic library ticket.

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US-Swedish Newspaper Archive Nears Completion

The Swedish-language press flourished in the US in the late 19th century as Swedes moved in, and a new project to archive and digitize the wealth of historical material is set to go live in 2015.

Some 1.3 million Swedes left Europe for the promise of North America and many of them settled in the mid-west. The immigrants established communities, churches and societies and more than 600 Swedish-language newspapers were published in the United States in the 19th and early 20th centuries.

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19 December 2014

National Archive Restores Old Georgian Maps

Unique maps preserved in storage of Georgia’s National Archive in Tbilisi will be renovated and converted into digital format.

Renovation works have already started at the Laboratory of Restoration of National Archive. The restoration work is a part of the Electronic Cartography project. This year almost 50 old and unique maps showing Georgia’s boundaries and territories in the 18-20th Centuries were renovated and published on the Internet.

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11 December 2014

Lute Manuscripts Uploaded to Cambridge Digital Library

A "remarkable" collection of lute manuscripts dating back to the 16th Century has been put online by the University of Cambridge.

The 650 pieces include handwritten scores by John Dowland, Francis Cutting and other early modern composers. John Robinson of the Lute Society said the collection was "invaluable", with many works being lost over centuries.

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9 December 2014

British Library Endangered Archives: New Online Collections

These collections come from Bolivia, Ukraine, Mali and Nicaragua.

'EAP160' digitised records relating to the indigenous population of Bolivia during the 19th century; 'EAP220' was a pilot project that searched for and catalogued all archival material from the archaeological studies carried out at the ancient Russ hillfort Rajki in Ukraine; 'EAP449' digitised the archives of two professional photographers from Mali, Abdourahmane Sakaly and Mamadou Cissé; 'EAP571' digitised newspapers from Nicaragua dating from the first half of the 20th century.

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4 December 2014

Historic Films from Russian State Archives To Be Released Worldwide

The home movies of the last of the Romanov emperors, shot before revolution changed Russia forever, are housed alongside footage recording the Gulag prison camps of the 1930s, the wartime siege of Leningrad, scenes from Gagarin's epic space flight, Bolshoi Ballet performances and rarely seen images of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, and thousands of other priceless film footage cared for by the Russian State Archive.

Housed in a guarded nondescript industrial building on the outskirts of Moscow, the Archive is an immense treasure trove of film and video documenting the history and culture of the country from the time of the tsars to the break-up of the Soviet Union.

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2 December 2014

The Secrets of Irish Parishes Will Be Online Soon

If you want to know more about your parish, then a new project from the National Library will help you out.

It has set about working on its most ambitious digitisation project to date – putting its entire collection of Catholic parish register microfilms online for free by summer 2015.

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26 November 2014

National Archive Show Launched in New Taipei City, Taiwan

An exhibition of national archives kicked off Nov. 25 in New Taipei City as part of government efforts raising public awareness of the Republic of China’s storied past.

“Archives serve as key indicators of a country’s history,” National Development Council Minister Kuan Chung-ming said at the launch ceremony. “Such an event aims to enhance understanding of government operations and landmark developments.”

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Library and Archives Canada Struggling With Backlog of Material

Auditor general says Library and Archives Canada has a backlog of approximately 98,000 boxes of unsorted files, including 24,000 boxes of military records.

Library and Archives Canada say they scrapped a $15.4 million digital archive system because it would have been “too costly” to run. The archival department spent five years and over $15 million to develop its own “trusted digital repository” — a system for storing and preserving digital records — before shuttering the system in 2012.

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21 November 2014

Texas Land Office Preserves History with Digital Maps

The General Land Office of Texas has made a collection of rare Texas maps available to the general public through a unique digitization process.

High-quality digital reprints of the collection donated by Houston map collectors Frank and Carol Holcomb are now available for as little as $20 each. All proceeds from the sales will go to Save Texas History, a public-private effort to preserve and digitize historic maps and documents.

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18 November 2014

Digitizing 1,000 Years of Gulf history

A window to ten centuries of Gulf region history has been flung open to the public via the Qatar Digital Library. The new $13.9 million digital project gives free online access to 500,000 historical documents from the region, with some manuscripts dating back to the 9th century.

Many rare and precious documents were previously only available to researchers who physically visited the British Library to browse archives in need of re-organization.

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