Genealogy Blog

19 February 2015

Edinburgh Team To Create Visual Archive of UK Tower Blocks

Social and architectural historians from Edinburgh College of Art are behind the project, described as a "Domesday Book" of the UK's post-war reconstruction.

Entitled 'Tower Blocks - Our Blocks!', it will also include images of tower blocks demolished over 30 years ago. The project is to receive a £52,900 grant of Heritage Lottery funding.

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British Library Digitises 4M Photos from Endangered Archives

A pioneering initiative from the British Library has seen over four million images from endangered archives all over the world digitised and put online.

The Endangered Archives Programme has been running since 2004 and has funded 246 projects in 78 countries. Some projects have seen the digitisation of medieval manuscripts that date back as far as the 12th century.

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5 February 2015

National Archives Open in New Taipei City, Taiwan

Taiwan’s first permanent national archives were inaugurated Feb. 3 in New Taipei City, bringing under the same roof historical records from the last three centuries.

Operated by the National Archives Administration under the National Development Council, the Xinzhuang District facility spans 4,773 square meters. If stacked one atop the other, stored files at maximum capacity would reach 60 times the height of Taipei 101.

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3 February 2015

New Tools Getting Boston Public Library’s Old Treasures Online to Millions

"The True Copie of the Court Booke of the Governor and Society of the Massachusetts Bay in New England" begins in London in 1628, as the founders of the Massachusetts Bay Colony prepare to set off for the New World.

This delicate document, bound in calf hair, handwritten in iron gall ink, documents in real time the doings of the magistrate until 1645, from ship landings to the colony’s first laws.

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30 January 2015

Library and Archives Canada: Canadian Directories Online

Library and Archives Canada announces the release of a new version of the online database Canadian Directories. An addition to the page includes full versions of the directories in PDF format, as well as newly digitized directories which are not available through the database.

These 152 new directories are for the Ontario cities of Hamilton, Kingston and London and for the counties of Southwestern Ontario.

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27 January 2015

Santa Monica College Student Newspaper Archives Now Available Digitally

Thousands of historic pages of the Santa Monica College newspaper, the Corsair, crumbling and fading with age, have now been safely preserved and converted into a more research-friendly digital format.

The Corsair digital collection – representing 14,000 pages of Corsair editions from 1929 through 2011 – is now a searchable database hosted by the California Digital Newspaper Collection (CDNC), a virtual newsstand of historic and current California newspapers.

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23 January 2015

In an Old Church, the Internet Archive Stores our Digital History

In San Francisco’s Richmond District, where Geary Boulevard meets Park Presidio, there stands a bright, white, defunct Christian Science church. There are big white columns out front, with pink steps leading up to iron double doors.

But, what goes on inside this church is not quite what you’d expect.

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20 January 2015

Inmates Volunteer for Family History Work, Indexing in Utah, Arizona and Idaho

Inside county jails across Utah, Arizona and Idaho, nearly 2,300 inmates voluntarily meet as family history indexing teams to help organize genealogical records around the world.

Using, the inmates view digital images of the genealogical records and enter the data into a document, which is then compiled into a searchable index and made available for public use, according to a news release.

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19 January 2015

Pennsylvania has a new archivist to go with a new archives building

The windowless concrete slab of a building looms more than 20 stories over downtown Harrisburg near the state Capitol complex.

The Pennsylvania State Archives building, used by scholars and the public, have more than 235 million pages of documents and manuscripts, 30,000 reels of microfilm containing images of county deeds, wills, mortgages and estate papers and more than 1 million special collection items such as photographs, negatives, maps, audio recordings and films.

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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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