Monday, May 28, 2012

WEBINAR: Second Life for Genealogists TONIGHT


Second Life is all the buzz among family historians, what with the recent Golden Chapter Award from the Association of Professional Genealogists, and all sorts of meetings going on. Find out more in tonight's webinar.  We'll create a new freebie account from scratch, choose an avatar, get to the Just Genealogy Fire Pit, make friends, learn about teleporting and more.

SECOND LIFE FOR GENEALOGISTS
Virtual genealogy meetings with virtually no commute.

REGISTER HERE:

https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/272471913

9pm Eastern US
8pm Central US
7pm Mountain US
6pm Pacific US

If you need a time zone converter, there is a great one located here:
http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/converter.html


Title:     Second Life for Genealogists with DearMYRTLE
Date:     Monday, May 28, 2012
Time:     9:00 PM - 10:00 PM EDT

After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the Webinar.

System Requirements
PC-based attendees
Required: Windows® 7, Vista, XP or 2003 Server

Macintosh®-based attendees
Required: Mac OS® X 10.5 or newer

iPad users may download the GoToMeeting App in the App Store. Use this option if you wish to view and listen to the webinar. This doesn't yet work well if you expect to have your mic turned on to speak throughout the webinar. Also, there is no option to type in your questions to the presenters when isuing an iPad.

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt     :)
DearMYRTLE,
Your friend in genealogy.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/DearMYRTLE
Twitter: @DearMYRTLE
Second Life: Clarise Beaumont 

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Across My Desk: 26 May 2012

DearREADERS,
These are just a few of the items that have tickled my fancy of late. If you follow Ol' Myrt on Twitter (@dearmyrtle) or are one of my friends on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/DearMYRTLE) then you already know about these kewl new ideas.

CAPTURING DATA & SOURCING FROM ANY WEBSITE
"In about a month, we will introduce an easy way to capture data from any website, create a source, and add it to your Source Box without using copy and paste." REALLY? FamilySearch's Family Tree is expected to go live for all users by the end of the year. This sourcing ability might herald a big change if other genealogy software and websites adopt this technology... whatever it is. Source:  https://familysearch.org/blog/family-tree-update

WORDPRESS CHANGES COMING 
Great, just as we prepare to have a three-part series on creating a blog from scratch, there is new that New 'radically simplified' Wordpress is on the wayTo sign up for the workshop webinar, see: Webinars: WordPress for Genealogists with Taneya Koonze.

WIKIPEDIA AND ANCESTORS
This researcher created a page for an ancestor on Wikipedia. :)  Source: TheAncestorFiles: Elizabeth Pugsley Hayward on Wikipedia

TWITTER FOR EDUCATION 
This is why I prefer Twitter for genealogy my DearMYRTLE workshop webinar questions and comments. Twitter can extend the conversation beyond the confines of the 60-90 minute webinar itself. Source: Twitter for Education
INTERACTIVE LECTURE TOOLS
Myrt: If this works, it will be a great asset to genealogy institutes and conferences. I am developing this now for a RootTech 2013 presentation proposal. Students can participate in real time via iPad or computer. This is perhaps the coolest thing. Source: LectureTools is an iPad app that hopes to make lectures a more engaging and intimate experience

FAMILY HISTORY CENTRE
Wiltshire as an example.
This Family History Centre worker in Wiltshire walks the stacks giving a peek into a collection for genealogists. Sometimes it isn't about names, sometimes it's historical context. Source: Family historians are missing out!

IN A BLOGGING RUT?
I'm partial to number 5 and number 13 on this list... :)
Source: 14 Proven Ways to Simplify Your Blogging and Get More Done : @ProBlogger
IMPROVED FAMILY PHOTOS
Useful for taking pics at family reunions this summer. Some of those posed or candid shots will end up being passed down for many generations to come. Source:
Posing Guide: 21 Sample Poses to Get You Started with Photographing Groups of People
BEFORE ANSEL...

POLIO
My dad had a cousin in Salt Lake City who lived in an iron lung in the 1950s. I remember lining up with the family at school to get our Salk vaccine on sugar cubes in the 1960s.
More info: Analysis: Defeating polio
GLOWING REPORTS OF CIVIL WAR SOLDIERS
Have you ever heard of this angel's glow phenomenon before? Source:
Why Some Civil War Soldiers Glowed in the Dark - Mental Floss

GOOGLE+
... is it just me? I don't think it's growing. More info:
Exclusive: New Google+ Study Reveals Minimal Social Activity, Weak User Engagement
GOOGLE SEARCH
With my typos, I need all the help I can get. More info
Google Search Just Got 1,000 Times Smarter
Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt     :)
DearMYRTLE,
Your friend in genealogy.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/DearMYRTLE
Twitter: @DearMYRTLE
Second Life: Clarise Beaumont 


 


Friday, May 25, 2012

Nephew just starting out?

DearMYRTLE,
I have a nephew who is interested in family history and I'd like to tell him how to find the information you have documented on our grandmother's family, including the bios, the journal entries, obituaries, etc. I am having a hard time finding them. What is the best route? Thanks so much, Cousin Jane (Jacobs)

DearJANE,
The majority of my personal genealogy work is not online. The best book on the Weiser surname comes from the Weiser Family Organization -- Weiser Families in America.

But for a nephew just starting out, I recommend:

VIDEOS
These are just a few from a series of online genealogy training videos designed to help you quickly discover your family history.
SOFTWARE
I'd also recommend using a freebie genealogy program to keep track of what he discovers in his research. One might chose something RootsMagic, which like others has an upgrade if he wants to activate more options. It is a Windows-based program that works fine in a Windows emulator on a Mac. There are other software choices which may be more to his liking. See Cyndi's List: Software.

HOW TO
Since your nephew will be tracing many lines on his family tree, he'll have to study the specific area where the ancestor once lived. There are free online places that may prove useful. For this I recommend http://wiki.FamilySearch.org where experts from throughout the world have placed info about peculiarities of doing research in specific localities. See also:

  • FamilySearch (over 1 million new images of birth, marriage records, parish records, etc. each week, most not yet indexed, so browse by locality.)
  • USGenWeb (volunteers here sponsor state and county web pages with ideas about where to look next.
MEMBERSHIP SITES
Most useful genealogy websites require a membership fee. I consider those fees small potatoes when compared to traveling to each distant ancestral home. The best paid sites include: Ancestry.com, Fold3.com, FindMyPast.com (England & Wales), ScotlandsPeople.gov.uk. I've chosen just a few because so much depends on the ethnicity of the ancestor in question.

COLLABORATION SITES
I don't recommend he initially use an online tree, but as his experience level increases, he may wish to join MyHeritage.com or WikiTree or WeRelate.org and invite other family members to collaborate.

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt      :)
DearMYRTLE,
Your friend in genealogy.
Myrt@DearMYRTLE.com
http://blog.DearMYRTLE.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/DearMYRTLE
Twitter: @DearMYRTLE
Second Life: Clarise Beaumont 

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Applecart: Thoughts on volunteerism

DearREADERS,
Unfortunately, in discussions with high profile genealogy bloggers at RootsTech 2012, via telephone, email and most recently at NGS2012, there has emerged a realization that some of our readers quite simply have become very demanding of our volunteer time. We are fielding requests from folks who assume we do this as a full-time paid job. People have come to expect immediate, personalized attention that's not within the scope of our work. And they expect us to do things for them for free.

AT ISSUE
Lately Ol' Myrt has noticed people posting unkind things like "Where the heck is the .pdf handout for that freebie webinar?" Without regard to my time or web server space, they've been demanding that I put a webinar in my archive on their time schedule.
I say demand, because the emails are sent and resent. These same comments are pasted to my blog and on my Facebook email or Facebook page. I've had to learn to ignore this peculiar form of harassment, since the majority of my DearREADERS are very kind and appreciative of the work that I do manage to accomplish from time to time.

I've thought long and hard about how to address this subject Ol' Myrt considers worthy of your attention.

Most genealogy bloggers are not employees of big corporations like the well-respected Kimberly Powell of the most popular Genealogy.About.com blog provided by the New York Times. Some genealogy bloggers like Barbara Mathews, CG are employed by others to do research. She also writes in blog format to express additional thoughts about family history. Lisa Alzo recently gave up regular full-time employment to take on her speaking and writing about genealogy full time. 

Some writers like Dick Eastman are retired and devote countless hours sharing genealogy info online. I'm in this category, in that I no longer teach at the local technical institute, but do speak publicly from time to time in person and regularly in Second Life and in my DearMYRTLE workshop webinars.

Arguably, most genealogy bloggers are self-employed, usually out of the industry, and yet elect to spend their precious volunteer hours putting pen to paper. OK, make that fingertips to keyboard.

AN OLD ADAGE
"If you want something to get done, ask a busy person." I hear ya, but I think we can all agree there are limits. In my case, I actually took classes to learn to say "No". Yet, out of the goodness of their hearts, I've seen genealogy volunteers over-extend to the point of exhaustion. Yes, volunteers must learn to draw the line at X number of volunteer hours per week, and not feel guilty when expressing that fact if asked to do more. But shouldn't we also adjust our level of expectations and not demand so much of our volunteer genealogy bloggers?

SOCIAL NETWORKING
There is much buzz about social networking of late -- and it's impact on an individual. Psychologists are advising people to turn off their electronic devices and be present to family and friends instead of, say,  texting at the dinner table. Personally, I live a pretty open life. Most folks who know me and Mr. Myrt follow our travels and research experiences on Facebook and in my blog. Other genealogy bloggers choose a more private life, and that is sometimes perhaps a little bit wiser.


Let's step back, and realize  since 99% of the genealogy bloggers out there are volunteers, we cannot press them to post on a routine basis, tackle our personal technology challenges or bust through our ancestral brick walls. 

YES, we should have healthy dialog to improve our research methodology and encourage each other when reporting our successes and, yes, our failures. But let's not confuse a blogger's openness with the 24/7 tech support provided by some major freebie genealogy websites like FamilySearch.org. That organization has over 10,000 volunteers on standby to handle family history questions in about twenty different languages.

WHY WE BLOG
Genealogy bloggers come to the blogging table for a variety of reasons. It may be to honor an ancestor by chronicling recent research, or it may be to share how-to information gleaned in the process. In my case, Ol' Myrt here loves spotlighting the wonderful things other people are doing on and off the net to make it easier for folks to find info about their ancestors.


BALANCE
Let us remember genealogy bloggers are people too. They've got real life concerns and pursuits. Family, health, travel, education, friends, and quilting (in my case!) come immediately to mind. 

Carl_Larsson_Brita_as_Iduna.jpg
This is a file from the Wikimedia Commons. Information from itsdescription page there is shown below. Commons is a freely licensed media file repository.
If our goal is to achieve a happy life then it behooves us to place these various pursuits in perspective. Sometimes our priorities may shift, but to the genealogy bloggers out there, let's not let those pushy readers upset the applecart.

I pray I don't even inadvertently upset someone else's applecart.

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt     :)
DearMYRTLE,
Your friend in genealogy.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/DearMYRTLE
Twitter: @DearMYRTLE
Second Life: Clarise Beaumont 


NARA: $2.9 million in grants for archival projects

NOTE from DearMYRTLE: An additional notice from NARA received today... Please address all inquiries to Public.Affairs@nara.gov.
Washington, DC . . . Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero today awarded 31 grants totaling $2.9 million for historical records projects in 18 states and the District of Columbia.   The National Archives grants program is carried out through the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC).

Grants totaling $1.2 million went to 16 documentary editing projects to edit and publish the papers of key American figures, including Frederick Douglass, Walt Whitman, Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant, Martin Luther King, Jr., Eleanor Roosevelt, Andrew Jackson, Thomas Edison, Jane Addams, and the Presidential Recordings from the Kennedy and Nixon administrations.

Grants totaling $1.4 million went to 14 archival projects, including the W.L. Eury Appalachian Collection at Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina; the backlog of unprocessed records at the South Dakota State Archives; the papers of California governor Edmund G. “Pat” Brown; Vietnam War-era poster collections; the records of the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission; and the Pan American World Airways records at the University of Miami.

Luther College in Decorah, Iowa received a grant for a three-year project to design and host the Archives Leadership Institute, a program that brings together 25 archivists for a week-long intensive program to develop their skills in serving their institutions and the public.

The National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) supports projects to facilitate the use of historical records held by archives and other repositories and to assure their long-term preservation. The Archivist of the United States, David S. Ferriero, is the Chairman of the Commission. Kathleen Williams is its Executive Director.  The NHPRC is the sole federal funding agency whose only focus is the documentary heritage of the United States.  Established in 1934, it has awarded grants for preserving, publishing, and providing access to vital historical documents.

The National Archives and Records Administration is an independent Federal agency that preserves and shares with the public records that trace the story of our nation, government, and the American people. From the Declaration of Independence to accounts of ordinary Americans, the holdings of the National Archives directly touch the lives of millions of people. The National Archives is a public trust upon which our democracy depends, ensuring access to essential evidence that protects the rights of American citizens, documents the actions of the government, and reveals the evolving national experience. The National Archives carries out its mission through a nationwide network of archives, records centers, and Presidential Libraries, and on the Internet at http://www.archives.gov.


Grants – May 2012

PUBLISHING HISTORICAL RECORDS –New Republic through the Modern Era


Projects that document major historical figures, and important eras and social movements in the history of the nation.



University of Tennessee
Knoxville, TN                                    $52,710
To support editorial work on the Correspondence of James K. Polk, a selected edition of the letters to and from the 11th President of the United States.



William Marshall Rice University
Houston, TX                                      $56,452
To support editorial work on the Papers of Jefferson Davis, the President of the Confederate States of America.



George C. Marshall Foundation
Lexington, VA                                   $33,000
To support editorial work on the Papers of George Catlett Marshall, a documentary edition of the historical records of the 20th-century military leader, Secretary of State,  Secretary of Defense, and creator of the Marshall Plan after World War II.



SUNY College at Old Westbury
Old Westbury, NY                            $57,806
To support a project to edit the Clarence Mitchell Jr. Papers.   As director of the Washington Bureau of the NAACP, Mitchell worked to promote civil rights through legislation and executive action.



Regents of the University of California
Los Angeles, CA                               $59,670
To support a project to prepare a selective book edition of The Marcus Garvey and Universal Negro Improvement Association Papers.  Garvey was a staunch proponent of early 20th-century black nationalism and Pan-Africanism movement.



Indiana University-Purdue University
Indianapolis, IN                                 $57,844
To support a project to edit the Frederick Douglass Papers, a documentary edition of the historical records of this 19th-century African American social reformer, orator, and statesman.



New York University
New York, NY                                  $84,585
To support a project to edit the Selected Papers of Margaret Sanger, a documentary edition of historical records of this 20th-century social activist.



University of Nebraska
Lincoln, NE                                       $64,607
To support a project to prepare “Walt Whitman and Post-Reconstruction America” as part of the online Walt Whitman Archive, a collection of historical documents by and about the 19th century American poet.



University of Virginia
Charlottesville, VA                            $97,500
To support the editing of the Presidential Recordings project, a documentary edition of the audio recordings made by six U.S. Presidents from 1940-1973.  This grant will assist the preparation of online editions of John Kennedy’s recorded conversations relating Civil Rights and Richard Nixon’s telephone tapes from 1971.



Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation
Springfield, IL                                 $107,585
To support a project to edit and publish an electronic edition of the Papers of Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States.  This project is preparing a comprehensive edition that will include both images and annotated transcriptions of Lincoln’s papers.



Ulysses S. Grant Association
Starkville, MS                                    $48,320
To support a project to prepare a comprehensive book edition of the Papers of Ulysses S. Grant, a documentary edition of historical records of the 18th President of the United States.



Stanford University
Stanford, CA                                     $89,807
To support a project to edit the Martin Luther King, Jr. Papers, a documentary edition of historical records of this 20th-century Civil Rights leader.



George Washington University
Washington, DC                              $187,500
To support a project to edit the Eleanor Roosevelt Papers, a documentary edition of the historical records of the 20th-century First Lady and human rights advocate.





University of Tennessee
Knoxville, TN                                    $90,106
To support a project to edit the Papers of Andrew Jackson, the seventh President of the United States.



Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey
Brunswick, NJ                                 $100,356
To support a project to edit the Papers of Thomas A. Edison, a documentary edition of the historical records of the late 19th/early 20th century American inventor and entrepreneur.



Duke University
Durham, NC                                      $56,483
To support a project to edit the Selected Papers of Jane Addams, a documentary edition of historical records of this American recipient of the Nobel Prize, settlement worker, and leader in women’s suffrage.


ARCHIVES LEADERSHIP INSTITUTE

Luther College
Decorah, IA                                     $234,823
To fund a three year project to design and hold an Archives Leadership Institute, to bring 25 archivists for a week-long intensive training on campus that will include presentations by experts in advocacy, project management, digital challenges, and human resources.


DOCUMENTING DEMOCRACY: ACCESS TO HISTORICAL RECORDS

Projects that promote the preservation and use of the nation's most valuable archival resources.


Appalachian State University
Boone, NC                                       $112,693
To support a two-year project to process and provide online access to primary research materials within the W.L. Eury Appalachian Collection.  The project will describe 450 unprocessed accessions totaling over 750 linear feet of material related to the Southern uplands, with strengths in the social sciences, regional history, folklore, music, religion, genealogy, fiction, and African and Native Appalachia.


University of Southern California
Los Angeles, CA                             $133,577
To support a two-year project to process 216 collections that concern the LGBT civil rights and social equity movement documenting the experiences of artists, activists, and organizations between the 1940s and 1990s.  The project will process 1,445 linear feet and eliminate the ONE Archives backlog.



Pennsylvania Heritage Society
Harrisburg, PA                                   $59,843
To support, on behalf of the Pennsylvania State Archives, an 18-month project to provide detailed processing for five groups of large-format documents and special media that make up a portion of the records of the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission, 1937-1990.  Records include engineering drawings, photographic negatives, slides, motion picture film, and microfilm.



University of Wisconsin
Madison, WI                                      $68,553
To support, on behalf of the Wisconsin Center for Film and Theater Research, a 15-month project to process the manuscripts and audio and video recordings of art agent and documentary filmmaker Emile de Antonio.  His first documentary film on the McCarthy hearings appeared in 1964.  He later produced films about the John F. Kennedy assassination, the Vietnam War, the Nixon presidency, J. Edgar Hoover, and others.



Virginia Historical Society
Richmond, VA                                  $96,602
To support a two-year project to process 1,191 linear feet of records from 14 Virginia-based businesses that have operated during the 19th and 20th centuries in coal mining, law, pharmaceuticals, hosiery and shoe sales, real estate, metals production, energy and natural gas production, paper, and the lumber trade.  These records document aspects of the national economy and the American marketplace, and present researchers with resources for the study of the establishment, development, growth, and decline of specific industries in the mid-Atlantic region.



South Dakota Department of Tourism
Pierre, SD                                           $57,120
To support, on behalf of the South Dakota State Historical Society, a two-year project to process 1,765 cubic feet of state and local government records held by the State Archives. Among the collections to be processed are the records of the Secretary of State; records documenting the Dakota Territory; and the records of the departments of Social Services, Transportation, and Environmental and Natural Resources.



Georgia Historical Society
Savannah, GA                                    $68,488
To support a two-year project to create 1,594 Encoded Archival Description finding aids for an online database available through the Digital Library of Georgia.  The project will also create links between the finding aids and existing online educational resources and tools for students of Georgia history.



Mint Museum of Art, Inc.
Charlotte, NC                                    $45,369
To support a project to establish an archives for the museum.  Founded in 1936 as the first art museum in North Carolina, the Mint Museum plans to identify and establish a space for archival processing, consolidate its approximately 200 cubic feet of records into one physical location, process and provide basic online descriptions for those records, and establish a records retention and collection development policy.



Berklee College of Music
Boston, MA                                     $125,182
To support a project to establish an archives for the college.  Founded in 1945, Berklee employs a demanding and pragmatic educational approach that includes jazz, R&B, pop, rock, gospel, and other forms of music. Alumni include producer and composer Quincy Jones, jazz saxophonist Branford Marsalis, songwriter Melissa Etheridge, and film composer Alan Silvestri.



Fund for Innovative TV
Chicago, IL                                        $87,270
To support, on behalf of the Media Burn Independent Video Archive, an 18-month project to digitize 450 videotapes from its Chicago Collection and upload them to mediaburn.org. FITV’s mission is to increase public access to independently produced documentary media that educates people about history and culture.



Regents of the University of California
Berkeley, CA                                   $164,281
To support a two-year project to process the Governor Edmund G. “Pat” Brown papers, documenting his tenure as the state’s governor from 1959 to 1967. The collection offers insight into California history, postwar American affluence, westward migration, the rise of the modern conservatism, 1960s social turbulence, civil rights, environmental history, and the development of modern American higher education.



Regents of the University of California
Berkeley, CA                                   $100,630
To support, on behalf of the Environmental Design Archives, a project to process and make available the 211 linear feet of records of architects Ernest Kump and Warren Callister, documenting both mid-20th-century design and the architecture of educational institutions and public and private housing.



University of Miami
Coral Gables, FL                              $153,809
To support a two-year project to process 1,600 linear feet of the records of the Pan American World Airways collection, 1927-1991.  An international leader in aviation transportation, Pan Am set the standards for innovation and technology during its history, and the collection will be valuable to researchers interested in the rise of the airline industry in the 20th century.


Center for the Study of Political Graphics
Los Angeles, CA                             $132,918
To support a two-year project to process its entire holdings of 80,000 social movement posters, perform item-level processing of a collection of Vietnam War-era posters, create a folder-level EAD finding aid, and provide online access to approximately 5,500 detailed catalog records with images.

Long-suppressed WWII Documentary Debuts Memorial Day Weekend

NOTE from DearMYRTLE: The following was received this morning from our friends at the National Archives (US). Please address all inquiries to Public.Affairs@nara.gov.

National Archives  Leads  Restoration of John Huston’s Let There Be Light

Washington, DC… The National Archives and Records Administration’s restoration of Let There Be Light (1946), John Huston’s controversial World War II documentary about the rehabilitation of psychologically scarred combat veterans, will screen on the National Film Preservation Foundation’s website (www.filmpreservation.org) starting May 24.  The free presentation will run from Memorial Day weekend through the end of August.

The third in the World War II trilogy commissioned from Academy Award-winning director John Huston by the US Army Signal Corps, Let There Be Light follows the treatment of emotionally traumatized GIs from their admission at a racially integrated psychiatric hospital to their reentry into civilian life.  Made decades before post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) entered the vocabulary, the documentary was created to help Americans understand the challenges faced by returning veterans and to demonstrate that the psychological wounds of war are very real and could heal through therapy. 

The War Department pulled the film shortly before its premiere at the Museum of Modern Art and commissioned a replacement in which white actors took all the speaking roles and the GIs upbringing was blamed for their psychological condition instead of war trauma.  Let There Be Light was first shown publicly in December 1980, after a chorus of Hollywood leaders, joined by Vice President Walter Mondale, persuaded the Secretary of the Army, Clifford Alexander, Jr., to authorize its release. 

Let There Be Light holds a special place in documentary film history for its almost unprecedented use of unscripted interviews.   Only now, with the new National Archives soundtrack restoration, can these interviews—many with battle-weary soldiers who can only mumble or whisper personal stories—be heard with their full emotional force. 

The documentary will be available for free streaming and downloading and presented with extras providing historical context, including:
·         The Battle of San Pietro (1945), the second film in Huston’s WWII trilogy
·         The Reawakening (1919), about the treatment of returning WW1 veterans
·         A documentary about the National Archives Motion Picture Archival Unit
·         Program notes about the film and its restoration 

The restored soundtrack for Let There Be Light was donated by Chace Audio by Deluxe through the NFPF grant program.  Sponsoring the premiere is Fandor.com, a web showcase for independent films and documentaries from around the world.

About the National Archives’ restoration of Let There Be Light
For the audio restoration of Let There Be Light, the National Archives provided a 35mm black-and-white print with a variable area optical sound track.  The print had numerous crackles and pops from previous screenings, in addition to bumpy edits, audio level fluctuations in the original recordings and sibilance in the sound track.  The sound preservation work was done at Chace Audio by Deluxe, using the sound track from the 1957 black-and-white print.  The sound track was converted to digital audio files at 24 bits and 96 kHz.  For preservation and long term archival reliability, the National Archives had both a new mono 35mm optical sound track negative made to produce new prints and a 35mm fullcoat 35mm polyester magnetic recording of the original and restored tracks.

For the image restoration of Let There Be Light, the National Archives created a new picture negative from the 35mm black-and-white print.  To create the new negative, the Motion Picture Preservation Lab staff used a wet-gate printer to alleviate the scratches on the original film.  Wet-gate printing utilizes a fluid with the same refractive index as the base of the film and diffuses the light to minimize the appearance of scratches in the resulting copy.  The Preservation Lab then created HD scans.

The Lab currently is scanning in the film at a 2K resolution (2048 x 1556) and will use digital restoration tools to correct density shifts introduced in previous generations of printing and to remove dirt, dust, and scratches that were printed in or caused by mishandling.  Once the film is digitized, the Lab will capture the audio from the restored magnetic track made at Chace Audio by Deluxe and create WAV files to sync with the image.  The files will then be transcoded to HD, DVD, and web quality.

The National Archives and Records Administration is an independent Federal agency that preserves and shares with the public records that trace the story of our nation, government, and the American people. From the Declaration of Independence to accounts of ordinary Americans, the holdings of the National Archives directly touch the lives of millions of people. The National Archives is a public trust upon which our democracy depends, ensuring access to essential evidence that protects the rights of American citizens, documents the actions of the government, and reveals the evolving national experience. The National Archives, as the nation’s record keeper, holds one of the world's largest moving image repositories, with more than 360,000 reels of motion picture film titles.  The National Archives carries out its mission through a nationwide network of archives, records centers, and Presidential Libraries, and on the Internet at http://www.archives.gov.

The National Film Preservation Foundation is the nonprofit organization created by the U.S. Congress to help save America's film heritage. Since opening its doors in 1997, the NFPF has supported film preservation in 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico and has helped save more than 1,900 films. The NFPF is the charitable affiliate of the National Film Preservation Board of the Library of Congress.

Webinar: Ancestry Members Trees now in archive

DearREADERS,
Monday night we gathered to discuss how creating a GEDCOM file can be done to upload to an Ancestry Member Tree. Why? to take advantage of Ancestry hints (shaking leaf) and the deeper searches initiated by clicking the "magnifying glass" option. I am pleased to announce that webinar is now in the archive at my blog. This is the direct link to DearMYRTLE's Ancestry Trees can Jumpstart Your Genealogy Research Webinar.

Alternately, right click the link below and select 'Save As...' or just click to save the file to your computer.



This webinar is in .mp4 format and can be viewed by Windows Media Player, iTunes and most other media players. Tech support has advised me of this free program that will also play the downloaded webinars.

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt     :)
DearMYRTLE,
Your friend in genealogy.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/DearMYRTLE
Twitter: @DearMYRTLE
Second Life: Clarise Beaumont 

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Family Tree Maker 2012: Myrt learns MORE from her cousin Russ

DearREADERS,
Russ wasn't about to leave Ol' Myrt here waiting long for my next lesson. Earlier we had a second one-to-one training webinar, where he teaches me more about using Family Tree Maker 2012. If you'd like to view this webinar via the web, it is located at:DearMYRTLE learns MORE Family Tree Maker 2012 in HTML 

Alternately, right click the link below and select 'Save As...' or just click to save the file to your computer.

This webinar is in .mp4 format and can be viewed by Windows Media Player, iTunes and most other media players. Tech support has advised me of this free program that will also play the downloaded webinars.

OUR TOPICS
We tour each of the workspaces: Plan, People, Places, Media, Sources, Publish and Web Search, and each of their sub menus.

To Do List - with prioritizing ability, and why Ol 'Myrt may elect to keep things on a task list even though the primary goal was achieved. 

AGAIN, A GREAT BIG THANKS to Russ Worthington for sharing his expertise with me. Russ is the author of A Worthington Blog, the FamilyTree Maker User Blog and is co-founder of the BetterGEDCOM Project
 
My cousin and I always have fun when working on a project together, and he makes learning so much fun. I think you'll get a kick out of our session, hopefully the first of several more as Ol' Myrt here learns how to use Family Tree Maker 2012.


Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt     :)
DearMYRTLE,
Your friend in genealogy.

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NGS2013: Las Vegas

NOTE from DearMYRTLE: The following was just received from our friends at the National Genealogical Society. Please address all inquiries to conferences@ngsgenealogy.org


NGS Announces 2013 Family History Conference in Las Vegas
Building New Bridges

Arlington, VA, 23 May 2012.  The National Genealogical Society (NGS) announced at their Family History Conference in Cincinnati last week that the 2013 NGS Family History Conference, Building New Bridges, will be held in Las Vegas, Nevada, from 8–11 May 2013. The conference hotel and venue will be the LVH−Las Vegas Hotel & Casino (formerly known as the Las Vegas Hilton). The hotel and conference center are under one roof offering excellent convenience for attendees. To ensure a reservation, attendees may reserve their accommodations now and must request the NGS conference rate when making a reservation. The LVH will accept reservations beginning 14 May 2012 via telephone 1-800-635-7711 or online at http://www.ngsgenealogy.org/cs/accommodations.

The LVH−Las Vegas Hotel & Casino is a cultural icon. In 1969 Barbra Streisand was the opening performer. The property was known as the International, and it was the world’s largest hotel. Elvis Presley quickly became the star performer. After the Hilton chain purchased the International in 1970, the building became the Las Vegas Hilton and starred as the Whyte House in the 1971 James Bond film, “Diamonds Are Forever.” Elvis lived in the hotel’s penthouse while headlining until his last concert in December 1976. In January 2012 the property became the LVH−Las Vegas Hotel & Casino. The LVH is ten minutes from McCarran International Airport and convenient to I-15 and I-515. The Las Vegas Monorail begins at the LVH and carries passengers to six major Strip resorts.

The conference theme for 2013 is Building New Bridges. The Mike O’Callaghan−Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge, dedicated in 2010, spans the Colorado River on Native American land, connects the Las Vegas Valley to Route 66, and embodies the West as a timeless “bridge” where cultures, nations, and technologies connect. The bridge visually frames nearby Hoover Dam, which in 1935 opened the Southwest to urban and agricultural growth by harnessing the water and power of the Colorado River. In celebration of the 2013 theme, the four-day conference will offer more than 150 lectures on researching peoples and places of the West, migration to and from the West, law, military records, immigration, methodology, academic history, family history writing, BCG Skillbuilding, African American and other ethnic research, technological innovation in genealogy (GenTech), and more. In addition, Las Vegas and Clark County are home to several museums and repositories that highlight the history and culture of the area. Manuscript collections reflect the histories of immigrant, Eastern, and Midwestern families that migrated to and through the city in the twentieth century. 

Founded in 1903, the National Genealogical Society is dedicated to genealogy education, high research standards, and the preservation of genealogical records.  The Arlington, Virginia-based nonprofit is the premier national society for everyone, from the beginner to the most advanced family historian, seeking excellence in publications, educational offerings, research guidance, and opportunities to interact with other genealogists.

Genealogy makes front page news at Washington Post

DearREADERS,
Yesterday's news is big news, if you ask me. Why? Bernice Bennett and her group meeting regularly on Mondays at the Washington DC Family History Center in Kensington, Maryland caught the attention of a Washington Post reporter and the story went live yesterday. Way to go Bernice!

The result is a marvelous spotlight on genealogy researchers who go the extra mile to discover their ancestors. In this case, they worked through the unindexed 1940 US federal census to find their ancestors.

A central figure in the Washington Post article is Bernice Bennett, whose work I've come to know during the past year. She serves as a volunteer at the Family History Center on Mondays, working with an African American special interest group. To find out more, see:

 
 
Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt     :)
DearMYRTLE,
Your friend in genealogy.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/DearMYRTLE
Twitter: @DearMYRTLE
G+: +Pat Richley-Erickson
Second Life: Clarise Beaumont  

That GenealogyBank meeting: my report

DearREADERS,
Thanks for your feedback to Ol' Myrt's GenealogyBank: What are your thoughts... 
Those comments were referred to several times during yesterday's interview with the GenealogyBank team via GoToMeeting. They tell me they will continue to monitor Myrt's blog for your additional comments. We like it when a website listens to it's users. Even if our ideas aren't practical or cannot be implemented immediately, at least there is dialog.

I took notes on who was attending the meeting, and made it a point to explain the importance of having a genealogist like Tom Kemp (not at the meeting) on staff to inform design decisions from a genealogist's point of view. I also described the importance of Tom's work presenting at regional and national conferences. It's all about getting the word out on the benefits of newspaper research. Branding almost becomes a secondary point there. "Developing and emerging genealogists" must learn to evaluate the reliability of newspaper records, and place them in the context of history and other surviving record groups from the places where their ancestors once lived.

In the interests of full disclosure, I did inform the GenealogyBank folks that I have known Tom professionally for many years before he joined the GenealogyBank team.

MY REPORT
Random comments in no particular order. Some are my thoughts, some are generic reactions to items I tested. However, I cannot speak more specifically, since what I looked at was only a design mock up, and it is far too soon to tell my DearREADERS what will make the final cut.
  • Had old site on my other screen to compare during the interview.
  • Sandy's professionalism in moderating the discussion...
  • Genealogybank team curious to allow me to explore options under development for site revision.
  • Careful to avoid prejudicing my reaction through the use of non-leading questions...
  • Glad they're putting emphasis on this web property, as it hasn't had a site revision in many years.
  • Some dead pages -- including lists of titles that aren't searchable, or clickable to permit searching and browsing only that collection.
  • Color makes a website more inviting.
  • A map assisted my recollection of a migration pattern for a family. (I'd forgotten Nebraska, yet I was pretty good in my high school geography classes.)
  • Trust - they never asked me to sign a non-disclosure agreement.
Thanks to the GenealogyBank team for what I consider time well spent yesterday.
  • Sandy - user support, 19 years with NewsBank
  • Ross - Director of Operations, business development
  • Ean - Interface web development
  • Amanda - web development
  • Dan - consumer division
  • Kate - from the Chester, Vermont Office

WEB DEVELOPMENT IN GENERAL
Not thinking specifically of GenealogyBank here...
After sleeping on it, it occurs to me that developing a sense of community happens when a website thinks of itself as a member of the community, rather than a reference desk. Developing a community attitude isn't just a matter of placing a Facebook "Like" button on a page. It is developing such resources as:

  • Member forums for tech support. No need to personally respond to issues 1,000 times if you have this in a message board format. Members will help other members.
  • Spotlighting, like Fold3.com. This works in at least two powerful ways. First, I can get back to something I had previously uncovered, without dredging through page after page of hits. Secondly, a summary box on the main page can link to, say, the most recent 5 discoveries, demonstrating in real time that folks are using the site and meeting with success. Kinda like pulling in a Twitter feed. This also provides interesting peeks into the site's diverse collection, and places fresh content on the home page with little effort once this is set up.
  • Education using a variety of tools - blogs, YouTube videos, online tutorials. These should focus on two things: first, use of the site itself and secondly, the methodology for incorporating your discoveries into the larger genealogy research process.
  • Interacting with your members using methods like Twitter, FB, attending conferences together, etc. 
  • Share options including email, Twitter, Facebook, etc. (I happen to like how Ancestry.com permits the view of a specific image, but if you click to view the next page, it asks you to log in or start a free 14-day trial. This provides another door for people to enter a website they may never have known about before the share.)
  • Sticky notes, or some other method for "correcting" OCR errors and improving the chances the next person will find this ancestor at the site where the new index entry is nearly immediately available to all researchers.
  • Spotlighting site-related posts from elsewhere in the geneablogosphere.
  • Honoring the work researchers do by focusing on telling their success stories in a meaningful manner. This may involve gamification of sorts. But just being interviewed and spotlighted as the "researcher breakthrough of the month" can go a long way toward building a sense of community. The prize there is having my ancestor's picture and a few related finds on the site showing up in the official blog of the site.

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt     :)
DearMYRTLE,
Your friend in genealogy.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/DearMYRTLE
Twitter: @DearMYRTLE
G+: +Pat Richley-Erickson
Second Life: Clarise Beaumont 
 

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

NEHGS wins 2 awards for Lowell Genealogy

NOTE from DearMYRTLE: The following was just received from our friends at NEHGS. Please address all inquiries to amagno@nehgs.org.



 
Scott Steward and Christopher Child Share Top Prizes from NGS and CSG


Boston, MA – May 22, 2012 – The New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) announced today that one of its latest Newbury Street Press titles, The Descendants of Judge John Lowell of Newburyport, Massachusetts, by Scott C. Steward and Christopher C. Child, has won top honors from both the National Genealogical Society and the Connecticut Society of Genealogists. The awards were handed out at recent ceremonies hosted by each organization.

The National Genealogical Society (NGS) awarded Christopher C. Child the 2012 “Award for Excellence: Genealogy and Family History Book” on May 11, during the NGS annual conference held this year in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Connecticut Society of Genealogists (CSG) honored both authors with the 2012 “Literary Award, Grand Prize for Genealogy” at its annual luncheon on May 19 in Berlin, Connecticut.

NEHGS Director of Publications and book co-author Scott C. Steward said, “We had hoped to make the Lowell book a model, both as a genealogy and as an example of book production at Newbury Street Press, so having our work recognized by NGS and CSG is doubly rewarding.”

The book marks the first full treatment of the Lowell family since an 1899 genealogy written by Delmar R. Lowell. This new book traces descendants of Judge John Lowell (1743-1802) to the present day, and includes famous descendants Francis Cabot Lowell, for whom the city of Lowell, Massachusetts is named; John Lowell, Jr., founder of the Lowell Institute in Boston; James Russell Lowell, the poet and diplomat; astronomer Percival Lowell; Harvard president Abbott Lawrence Lowell; the poets Amy Lowell and Robert Traill Spence Lowell; architect Guy Lowell; and Isabella Stewart Gardner, art patron and museum founder. The book comprises more than one thousand entries for heads of families. Because of several early cousin marriages, many Lowell descendants have two or even three lines of descent from Judge John Lowell.

This marks the first time that NEHGS has won both a national and a regional award for one of its books. NEHGS publishes a number of titles each year, including genealogies, biographies, and instructional and resource books. NEHGS publishes its genealogies under the Newbury Street Press imprint. Learn more at www.AmericanAncestors.org

Monday, May 21, 2012

Webinar: Ancestry Trees can Jumpstart your research

DearREADERS,
It's time to get back into webinaring so tonight at 9pm Eastern US, Ol' Myrt here will focus on a live demonstration creating a GEDCOM file from RootsMagic, uploading it as a new tree at Ancestry.com, setting privacy controls, and how to deal with the shaking leaf hints.

You've heard me speak of this before, including my recent posts about my mysterious Lewis (Louis) L. Terry. 

You've probably also read lately about cautions when dealing with online trees.

Let's hunker down and see why Ol' Myrt here finally gave in and posted her tree online.



REGISTER NOW
 https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/794118592

Title:     Ancestry Trees Can Jumpstart Your Research - DearMYRTLE
Date:     Monday, May 21, 2012
Time:     9:00 PM - 10:00 PM EDT
9pm Eastern US
8pm Central US
7pm Mountain US
6pm Pacific US
 
If you need a time zone converter, there is a great one located here:
http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/converter.html

After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the Webinar.
System Requirements
PC-based attendees
Required: Windows® 7, Vista, XP or 2003 Server

Macintosh®-based attendees
Required: Mac OS® X 10.5 or newer

iPad
users may download the GoToMeeting App in the App Store.

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt     :)
DearMYRTLE,
Your friend in genealogy.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/DearMYRTLE
Twitter: @DearMYRTLE
G+: +Pat Richley-Erickson
Second Life: Clarise Beaumont