When the Aberdeen (Washington) Museum of History burned down in June 2018, a team from the Washington State Archives and the Washington State Library played a crucial role in rushing to rescue and restore thousands of historic artifacts, historical documents and photographs from the basement archives before water and soot damage destroyed them. For several weeks, staff from the Archives and State Library, as well as volunteers, cleaned and dried each and every photo and artifact from the basement, and State Archivist Steve Excell estimated 98 or 99 percent of all the items they recovered were saved.
From an article by Paris Martineau in the Wired web site:
“In a culture obsessed with tweeting and Instagramming every moment of life, it’s little surprise that streaming extends to death. Funeral livestreaming services have been around for more than a decade, but the practice [of live streaming videos of funerals] has recently exploded in popularity, says Bryant Hightower, president-elect of the National Funeral Directors Association. He estimates that nearly 20 percent of US funeral homes now offer the service—a big number in an industry resistant to change—in response to demand from clients. Tech-savvy entrepreneurs offer livestreaming as a service to hesitant funeral directors.”
A new tool for researchers is now available on the Tennessee State Library & Archives website. The all-in-one Genealogy Index Search brings together over 1 million names appearing in Tennessee’s most important historical records. Inspired by the way Ancestry.com and other online services search multiple record groups from a single screen, staff at the Library & Archives worked with the Secretary of State’s Information Technology Division over a two-year period to create this new resource for genealogists and historians.
The Genealogy Index Search includes sections on Death Records, Military Records and general Tennessee research. A listing of the individual databases and the number of entries in each is found below. The individual indexes were compiled by staff at the Library and Archives over many years. According to Ron Lee, the Assistant Director of Public Services, the work began in the late 1990s. “We had one of the first web sites in Tennessee government, and for several years the Library and Archives web site was among the top three most visited of all state government websites.”
You can read a lot more in an article by Chuck Sherrill, State Librarian and Archivist, in the Tennessee State Library & Archives Blog at: https://tslablog.blogspot.com/2019/06/new-resource-for-genealogists-at.html.
Here is an opportunity to study your Irish ancestry: move to Ireland.
Actually, you would have to move to Arranmore, a tiny island 5 kilometers off the coast of County Donegal, Ireland. The island is twinned with Beaver Island in Lake Michigan. In the 1800s, families evicted from Arranmore relocated to Beaver Island and most of the residents who live on Beaver Island today can trace their roots back to Arranmore.
While Arranmore is a tiny place, it boasts very high-speed Internet access, enough musicians and good Irish whiskey to keep a party going well into the night, the best diving in Ireland on your doorstep, seafood to rival the tastiest New England chowder, and a daily commute that will never exceed five minutes. It sounds dreamy.
NOTE: This article contains personal opinions and beliefs.
I have been reading the comments in my earlier “Libraries without Librarians” article at https://blog.eogn.com/2019/06/10/libraries-without-librarians/ and I believe that many of those newsletter readers have ignored a couple of basic facts when posting comments. I am moved to remind everyone of the facts that I believe are relevant.
Several people have expressed reservations about homeless people, vagrants, and other unwanted individuals having access to the unmanned library and by possible criminal activities by these individuals. Indeed, on first reading, that also was my concern. However, let’s look at the facts.
As stated in the earlier article:
“Self-service libraries are common in Europe”
“In North America, it’s still a novelty. Just five library systems — eight libraries total — have implemented it since 2016.”
“Officials at Bibliotheca, the leading company in North America that sells the required software, counts more than 750 libraries globally as users.”
The fact is that more than 750 self-service libraries are already using this business model today and are doing so successfully.
U.S. National Archives and Records Administration Considers Blockchain to Verify Records Amid Rise in Deepfake Videos
From an article by Jory Heckman published in the Federal News Network:
“The National Archives and Records Administration is exploring whether blockchain technology can help records management officials keep track of their vast stores of information, following the successful rollout of the emerging technology elsewhere in government.
“Eric “Kyle” Douglas, a records management policy and program support specialist for NARA’s chief records officer, said the future for blockchain looks promising, and could play a role in authenticating digital copies of its images and videos.
Several Twin Cities (Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota) library systems are considering an “open libraries” model that would give patrons access to books, computers and other resources by themselves at times when the library isn’t open and staffed. Two west metro libraries already use the idea on a small scale.
The setup relies on technology — via a central management system — to let people enter the library, check out items and log onto computers — all while video monitors record their actions. There’s a phone connected to a central library or an on-call librarian so patrons can ask questions. Automated systems announce when the library is closing, flick the lights off and on and can even operate amenities like a gas fireplace on a schedule.
A previously unidentified person started a fire outside the National Archives Building in Washington, D.C., on April 25. Some damage to the exterior wall was reported. (See my earlier article at http://bit.ly/2Vtcaan for the details.) Now a man who said voices told him to “burn buildings down” has been arrested in connection with the arson fire.
He was identified as Jacob Leroy Wallace, 32, who had no fixed address, D.C. police said.
The following is an announcement from the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration (NARA):
An unidentified person started a fire outside the National Archives Building in Washington, DC, at about 8 p.m. yesterday, April 25. No one was injured, and the building sustained some damage to the exterior wall.
The arsonist placed a gas container on the left side of the building on Pennsylvania Avenue and lit it on fire. Security officers discovered the blaze and unsuccessfully attempted to put it out, but a fire department responded and was able to extinguish the flames. Facilities staff are cleaning the area today.
The following announcement was written by Jan Meisels Allen, Chairperson of the IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee and posted to the IAJGS mailing list:
The State Library of Pennsylvania has announced their historic Forum Building and the Office of Commonwealth Libraries will close for renovations and be temporarily relocated to buildings within Harrisburg’s Capitol Complex. Relocations –see below—will begin in May 2019. The renovations will begin in September 2019 and the expectation is that the renovation will be complete by the fall of 2021.
The Office of Commonwealth Libraries, which includes the Deputy Secretary/Commissioner of Libraries and staff, will relocate to the Pennsylvania Department of Education (333 Market Street, Harrisburg, PA 17126). The Bureau of Library Development will also relocate to the Pennsylvania Department of Education.
American Ancestors and New England Historic Genealogical Society Open Boston’s Mayflower 400th Anniversary Commemorations with Tributes to Pilgrims and the Wampanoag Nation
The following announcement was written by the New England Historic Genealogical Society:
April 17, 2019—Boston, Massachusetts—American Ancestors and New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS)—the oldest and largest genealogical society in America—today held the first of a series of events in the U.S. commemorating the 400th anniversary of the landing of the Mayflower with a festive ceremony at their headquarters on Newbury Street in Boston, Massachusetts.
An imposing replica of the Mayflower, the ship that carried the Pilgrims to the new world in 1620, was christened the Boston Mayflower and placed in the organization’s front courtyard to commemorate the significance of the event in the nation’s history. Unveiled adjacent to it was an artistic tribute to the people and culture of the Wampanoag Nation, the Native Americans who met the Pilgrims after their arrival in Plymouth harbor.
Saskatchewan archivists are preparing to move millions of documents into a new home, after the province took ownership of CBC’s Regina broadcasting centre to allow the Provincial Archives of Saskatchewan to consolidate its massive holdings.
The founder and CEO of MyHeritage, Gilad Japhet, obviously has a number of interests. Besides being a lifelong genealogist, he also has an interest in returning stolen goods. His company, MyHeritage, has a history of returning looted assets confiscated during WWII to their rightful owners.
Japhet points out that one of his company’s driving forces is to do good, and to place particular emphasis on conducting pro bono projects worldwide.
You can read about one of the recent successful returns of looted artwork stolen by the Nazis to their rightful owners in the MyHeritage Blog at: https://blog.myheritage.com/2019/02/genealogical-detective-work-solves-looted-art-mystery/.
The following announcement was written by the RootsTech organizers:
If you are unable to attend RootsTech 2019 in Salt Lake City, you have two remote viewing options. Some of the show’s sessions will be streamed live for free at RootsTech.org (see the broadcast schedule below)! If you want more, you can purchase a Virtual Pass to view additional sessions from the conference. RootsTech 2019 in Salt Lake City runs February 27 to March 3, 2019. Go to RootsTech.org to view the entire schedule of events.
The RootsTech daily general sessions will be broadcast live and for free. They include keynote addresses by Steve Rockwood, CEO of FamilySearch International, Patricia Heaton, popular actress from Everybody Loves Raymond and The Middle, Saroo Brierley, whose incredible family reunification story which inspired the movie, Lion, and Jake Shimabukuro, world renowned ukulele master.
In addition to the select free classes broadcasted, RootsTech is offering a Virtual Pass, which provides access to 18 online recorded sessions from the conference. You can watch playbacks from your laptop, tablet, or smartphone device whenever and however you’d like—for just $129. Go to Virtual Pass for more information.
A 27-year-old Indian man plans to sue his parents for giving birth to him without his consent. Mumbai businessman Raphael Samuel told the BBC that it’s wrong to bring children into the world because they then have to put up with lifelong suffering.
Obviously, his parents should have asked his permission first.
If you want to read more about this bit of stupidity, look at the article by Geeta Pandey in the BBC News web site at: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-47154287.
The following announcement was written by the folks at the University of Portsmouth (in Hampshire, England), the Modern Records Centre, and the National Railway Museum:
Researchers from the University of Portsmouth, the Modern Records Centre and the National Railway Museum (NRM) are looking for volunteers to help transcribe a book of railway worker accidents spanning 1901–1907 in just 24 hours. The project is one of three that have been chosen as part of Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine’s annual Transcription Tuesday event, which this year takes place on 5 February 2019.
Transcription Tuesday was launched in 2017 by Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine, to encourage family and local historians to get involved in transcription projects. “The internet has transformed family history,” said editor Sarah Williams, “but the documents that are going online need to be transcribed or indexed to make them searchable, and for many projects the only way that is going to happen is with the help of volunteers.”
Mrs. Heather Yvonne McLean has been awarded the Queen’s Service Medal for services to genealogy and historical research. According to the announcement:
Heather Yvonne McLean has been involved with the New Zealand Society of Genealogists since 1972 and has been an active member of the Society’s local groups in the Bay of Plenty, namely Tauranga, Te Puke and Katikati.
Mrs McLean’s key contribution has been the transcribing of headstones in the cemeteries of the Bay of Plenty over the course of 30 years for the benefit of family historians and researchers. She has volunteered two days a week with the Tauranga Family History Library since its inception in 1993 and volunteers every Wednesday at Tauranga City’s Cemetery Records office collating death and cremation notices.
What do you do when the National Archives runs out of room to store documents? That’s the question being asked now in Iceland.
The National Archives of Iceland (ÞSK) have temporarily stopped receiving government documents due to a lack of shelf space, RÚV reports. Representatives say the government has known about the situation since at least January, but has yet to solve the problem.
Mountain top removal (MTR) mining has transformed the landscape of Appalachia, making gorges where mountains once were. MTR is a form of surface mining that extracts coal from mountain summits and ridges. The non-coal part of the mountain, referred to as “overburden,” is bulldozed into neighboring valleys. Sociologists James N. Maples and Elizabeth A. East describe MTR as “total ecosystem destruction.” Certainly the practice has tremendous environmental costs, particularly in terms of poisoning local water sources, flooding, and as the coal is burned, global warming. But as Maples and East reveal, MTR also has a cultural cost: this kind of mining erases the history of the region by destroying historic mountain cemeteries.