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Genealogy Blog

9 May 2014

Melbourne, Australia: Victorian Archives Centre Open Doors to Hidden Records

Public Record Office Victoria's Jack Martin is pretty good at reading copperplate. Looking at the elaborate hand in which Edward 'Ned' Kelly's prison record is written, the need for such a skill becomes obvious.

"If you look at a page from a record, particularly 19th Century, reading can be slow," says Jack Martin. Although he's probably looked at Ned Kelly's record thousands of times, Jack is still excited by the detail, pointing out where someone has done a scrawled long subtraction in order to work out how old Kelly was when he died.

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5 May 2014

A Glimpse Under a Mountain at the World’s Largest Photo Archive

Think that your cloud backup, off-site hard copies, and RAID setup will keep your photo collection safe? Well, probably. But some folks go to more extreme measures to preserve their archives.

Underground, a 16-minute documentary by the Carnegie Museum of Art, takes a look at the Bettman Archive, owned by Corbis Images. It’s a collection of more than 11 million photos, housed in a climate-controlled environment under a mountain in Pennsylvania.

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2 May 2014

U.S. National Archives To Get Nazi Photo Album of Looted Art To Mark End of WWII in Europe

Another volume of Adolf Hitler’s notorious photo albums of looted Nazi art is set to be given to the National Archives on May 8 to mark the anniversary of the end of World War II in Europe, the Archives said Thursday.

The album, which contains photographs of looted paintings and other cultural items, is being donated to the Archives by the Monuments Men Foundation, an organization dedicated to the story of the lost art and the men who helped recover it.

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28 April 2014

Wales' National Library Launches Plan One Year After Fire

The National Library of Wales' chief executive has set out new plans for the institution a year after a fire destroyed archives there. Aled Gruffydd Jones launched a three-year strategy twelve months after the fire caused £5m of damage to the library's roof.

Proposals include leading a debate on establishing a National Archive for Wales. It also aims to develop projects with the public sector. Mr Jones told staff the plan gave them a chance "not only to look back", but also an opportunity "to look forward".

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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