Genealogy Blog

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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17 November 2014

South Dakota Digitizing Historic Newspapers

The South Dakota Historical Society is digitizing archival newspapers to preserve state history and give researchers online access.

The Daily Republic reports the historical society is using a nearly $300,000, two-year federal grant to work with the Minnesota Historical Society to modernize the South Dakota records. The historical society will digitize 100 rolls of microfilm from newspapers that stopped publication in 1922 or earlier.

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10 November 2014

India: Bihar State Archives To Compile Banned Documents

In a first, the Bihar State Archives (BSA) has decided to compile the banned documents on Bihar during freedom movement. A special team is engaged in searching the rare classified political documents preserved in the state archives.

"It would be a collector's item for researchers as well as history students to understand and analyse the British policy on press, peasants, terrorists and freedom movement. Some of the documents like the speeches made by the leaders during freedom struggle will also be documented," said BSA director Vijay Kumar.

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Medieval English Law Manuscript Digitised

A manuscript predating the Magna Carta is to be seen, in full, online, by the public for the first time thanks to a project involving digital experts at The University of Manchester working in partnership with Rochester Cathedral.

The Textus Roffensis, a 12th century legal encyclopaedia compiled by a single scribe at Rochester Cathedral, in Kent, in the 1120s has been digitised by the University’s Centre for Heritage Imaging and Collection Care.

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5 November 2014

800,000 Pages of British Patient Art and Mental Health Archives Are Going Online

A few weeks ago, the Wellcome Library announced a new initiative to digitize more than 800,000 pages of material from British psychiatric hospitals. Dating between the 18th and 20th centuries, the trove includes examples of patient artwork and writing, as well as patient-produced publications.

The digitizing starts this fall as part of a two-year project, and you can already explore materials from the York Retreat, St Luke’s Hospital Woodside, Crichton Royal Hospital, Gartnavel Royal Hospital, and Camberwell House Asylum.

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4 November 2014

UK Museums Want Copyright Changes So They Can Display WWI Documents

Thanks to overly severe copyright laws, museums, libraries and other UK institutions have been unable to show important historical documents to the public.

The Copyright, Designs and Patents Act (CDPA) 1988 is currently stopping an estimated 1.74 million 'orphan works' from the Great War, such as diaries and letters, from being displayed until 2039.

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29 October 2014

Portraits of Wounded Soldiers from the Civil War

With a death toll estimated somewhere between 600k and 750k, the American Civil War was without a doubt the bloodiest conflict in U.S. history. But even the soldiers who made it out alive didn’t always do so without sustaining serious injuries.

On its Flickr page, the US National Library of Medicine has shared a handful of portraits that depict the war-torn bodies of soldiers who fought through the war.

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