28 July 2016

Local Project Digitizes Invaluable Documents



Local Project Digitizes Invaluable Documents

We frequently talk about digitization as a way to preserve documents while often making them more accessible to researchers.  Digitization also serves as a backup in case disaster strikes.

Read how one local genealogy society learned about the value of material which can be quickly destroyed by a hurricane, such as Hurricane Katrina, and put efforts into securing money for the equipment needed to digitize, organize, and index one-of-a-kind records -- Sampling History: Local library digital project sets trend for other public libraries.

… six years ago, members of the Jackson County Historical and Genealogical Society became keenly aware of the vulnerability of one-of-a-kind records, books, maps and photographs housed at the Pascagoula Public Library's Local Genealogy and History Department.

The department is the chief depository of local history and genealogy for the entire regional library system that serves the entire population of Jackson and George Counties.

Great to learn about a locally-sponsored initiative that will preserve these materials for future generations.



What locally funded and implemented digitization project are you aware of?








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copyright © National Genealogical Society, 3108 Columbia Pike, Suite 300, Arlington, Virginia 22204-4370. http://www.ngsgenealogy.org.
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27 July 2016

New digital platform (Umbra) makes black history archives MORE accessible



New digital platform (Umbra) makes black history archives MORE accessible

Some news from the University of Minnesota … U's new digital platform makes black history archives accessible.

For the first time, the U is starting to make collections like the Givens accessible online. It has launched an ambitious project, called Umbra Search, to make it easy to search not only its own collection, but hundreds of African-American archives across the country. All at once.

Read the article for more details about this project.

The direct link to Umbra is found here.

What can you find? More than 400,000 digital images of African-American history and culture from 500 museums and libraries, including the Smithsonian Institution, the Library of Congress and the University of Minnesota libraries.

The results will be the “found” items based on what you searched on. 



Each find will have a link to the item in the collection where it is found.  The sources are truly a smorgasbord from around the country as you can see from this example of a search on “North Carolina.” Mentioned are many archives that I wouldn’t necessarily think to look to for information on North Carolina such as the Catholic Diocese of Charleston (SC) and which I don’t think are included in Archivegrid.



You will definitely want to check it out!  Any tool that makes any kind of archives accessible is a great tool for genealogists.  Also remember that all materials, even African-American-focused records, have relevance to ALL the parties mentioned in the documents.



What neat find did you make?

What other aggregator gateways that benefit genealogists and family historians are you aware of?



Editor's Note: Other Upfront with NGS blog posts regarding African-American research can be found here.




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copyright © National Genealogical Society, 3108 Columbia Pike, Suite 300, Arlington, Virginia 22204-4370. http://www.ngsgenealogy.org.
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NGS does not imply endorsement of any outside advertiser or other vendors appearing in this blog. Any opinions expressed by guest authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the view of NGS.
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Republication of UpFront articles is permitted and encouraged for non-commercial purposes without express permission from NGS. Please drop us a note telling us where and when you are using the article. Express written permission is required if you wish to republish UpFront articles for commercial purposes. You may send a request for express written permission to UpFront@ngsgenealogy.org. All republished articles may not be edited or reworded and must contain the copyright statement found at the bottom of each UpFront article.
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26 July 2016

You Can Now Easily Convert B&W Photos to Color Ones for FREE!



You Can Now Easily Convert B&W Photos to Color Ones for FREE!

I don’t know about you and I don’t have a lot of time to play around with image modification software.  I have a couple of basic programs on my computer that I use to crop images with. I sometimes play with contrast or erasing bits from an image and that is about the extent of my dabbling in photo modifications. 

Photoshop and other more sophisticated software is above my pay grade as they say!

Recently, I learned about a FREE & easy-to-use website based option for converting B&W images to color ones via Colourize your photos instantly with this free tool. You can access the tool directly via Colorize Photos (Algorithmia).

You can either put in the URL for an image or upload an image.

Of course, I had to play around with it.  I learned quickly that you don’t want to try it on muddied B&W images.  I have some old images that were photocopied (back in the day) and then scanned and those just won’t work.

I next tried some B&W postcards from the NC, starting with one for Andrew Johnson’s Birthplace.  See the result at the top of this post.  The changes weren’t dramatic and given a wood house and a tree, probably be close to what it did look like in 1905 (the date on this postcard). I next tried it on The Magnolia (another postcard from the same year) with a little more dramatic outcome.



I never got quite the result I was hoping for.  Though, I really couldn’t spend all day playing around with it.  Maybe you’ll have better success.

Be careful though, it is addicting!



What did you think?

If you had great success, please share!

What other easy-to-use means of converting B&W photos to color do you know of?








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copyright © National Genealogical Society, 3108 Columbia Pike, Suite 300, Arlington, Virginia 22204-4370. http://www.ngsgenealogy.org.
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NGS does not imply endorsement of any outside advertiser or other vendors appearing in this blog. Any opinions expressed by guest authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the view of NGS.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 
Republication of UpFront articles is permitted and encouraged for non-commercial purposes without express permission from NGS. Please drop us a note telling us where and when you are using the article. Express written permission is required if you wish to republish UpFront articles for commercial purposes. You may send a request for express written permission to UpFront@ngsgenealogy.org. All republished articles may not be edited or reworded and must contain the copyright statement found at the bottom of each UpFront article.
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Unless indicated otherwise or clearly an NGS Public Relations piece, Upfront with NGS posts are written by Diane L Richard, editor, Upfront with NGS.
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22 July 2016

Do you use Reddit for Genealogy?


Do you use Reddit for Genealogy?

There is much I don’t know about and Reddit falls into that category.

I do know that it has a genealogy subreddit and it appears to be popular with 10,528 subscribers.

I understand that it has some very lighthearted material (jokes, puns, off-topic, or otherwise non-contributory content) and also some “serious” questions posed. Here is an example of a [SERIOUS] genealogy thread.  People will also post about their brick walls.

Clearly an open dialogue type platform where public discourse takes place.

If you use Reddit for genealogy, tell us how.

If you have used Reddit for genealogy, how has it helped your research?









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copyright © National Genealogical Society, 3108 Columbia Pike, Suite 300, Arlington, Virginia 22204-4370. http://www.ngsgenealogy.org.
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NGS does not imply endorsement of any outside advertiser or other vendors appearing in this blog. Any opinions expressed by guest authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the view of NGS.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 
Republication of UpFront articles is permitted and encouraged for non-commercial purposes without express permission from NGS. Please drop us a note telling us where and when you are using the article. Express written permission is required if you wish to republish UpFront articles for commercial purposes. You may send a request for express written permission to UpFront@ngsgenealogy.org. All republished articles may not be edited or reworded and must contain the copyright statement found at the bottom of each UpFront article.
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Think your friends, colleagues, or fellow genealogy researchers would find this blog post interesting? If so, please let them know that anyone can read past UpFront with NGS posts or subscribe!
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21 July 2016

DPLA and FamilySearch Partner to Expand Access to Digitized Historical Books Online


DPLA and FamilySearch Partner to Expand Access to Digitized Historical Books Online

Last month DPLA and FamilySearch announced the following …

BOSTON/SALT LAKE CITY— In concert with the American Library Association national conference in Orlando, Florida, this week, the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) and FamilySearch International, the largest genealogy organization in the world, have signed an agreement that will expand access to FamilySearch.org’s growing free digital historical book collection to DPLA’s broad audience of users including genealogists, researchers, family historians, students, and more.

Family history/genealogy continues to be a popular and growing hobby. And FamilySearch is a leader in the use of technology to digitally preserve the world’s historic records and books of genealogical relevance for easy search and access online. With this new partnership, DPLA will incorporate metadata from FamilySearch.org’s online digital book collection that will make more than 200,000 family history books discoverable through DPLA’s search portal later this year. From DPLA, users will be able to access the free, fully viewable digital books on FamilySearch.org.  

The digitized historical book collection at FamilySearch.org includes genealogy and family history publications from the archives of some of the most important family history libraries in the world. The collection includes family histories, county and local histories, genealogy magazines and how-to books, gazetteers, and medieval histories and pedigrees.  Tens of thousands of new publications are added yearly.

“We’re excited to see information about FamilySearch’s vast holdings more broadly circulated to those trained to collect, catalog, and distribute useful information. Joint initiatives like this with DPLA help us to further expand access to the rich historic records hidden in libraries and archives worldwide to more curious online patrons,” said David Rencher, FamilySearch’s Chief Genealogy Officer.

Dan Cohen, Executive Director of DPLA, sees the addition of FamilySearch’s digital book collection as part of DPLA’s ongoing mission to be an essential site for family history researchers: “At DPLA, we aspire to collect and share cultural heritage materials that represent individuals, families, and communities from all walks of life across the country, past and present. The FamilySearch collection and our continued engagement with genealogists and family researchers is critical to help bring the stories represented in these treasured resources to life in powerful and exciting ways.”

FamilySearch is a global nonprofit organization dedicated to the discovery and preservation of personal and family histories and stories, introducing individuals to their ancestors through the widespread access to records, and collaborating with others who share this vision. Within DPLA, FamilySearch’s book collection will be discoverable alongside over 13 million cultural heritage materials contributed by DPLA’s growing network of over 2,000 libraries, archives, and museums across the country, opening up all new possibilities for discovery for users and researchers worldwide.  

Find more about FamilySearch or search its resources online at FamilySearch.org. Learn more about Digital Public Library of America at https://dp.la.  

You can access the Family History Books collection of FamilySearch here. Some of my favorite places for digitized books are Internet Archive and HathiTrust.

What is your favorite portal for accessing digitized genealogy-related books?




Editor’s Note: Previous Upfront with NGS posts regarding Digital Books …


Editor’s Note: Previous Upfront with NGS posts on DPLA can be found here and on FamilySearch can be found here.









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copyright © National Genealogical Society, 3108 Columbia Pike, Suite 300, Arlington, Virginia 22204-4370. http://www.ngsgenealogy.org.
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NGS does not imply endorsement of any outside advertiser or other vendors appearing in this blog. Any opinions expressed by guest authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the view of NGS.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 
Republication of UpFront articles is permitted and encouraged for non-commercial purposes without express permission from NGS. Please drop us a note telling us where and when you are using the article. Express written permission is required if you wish to republish UpFront articles for commercial purposes. You may send a request for express written permission to UpFront@ngsgenealogy.org. All republished articles may not be edited or reworded and must contain the copyright statement found at the bottom of each UpFront article.
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20 July 2016

So many lineage societies, not enough ancestors! Or, maybe you are not considering all the lineage societies that might be applicable ...

source: http://lineagesocietyofamerica.com/list-of-lineage-societies.html 

So many lineage societies, not enough ancestors! Or, maybe you are not considering all the lineage societies that might be applicable ...

Many are familiar with certain lineage societies such as the Daughters of the American Revolution, the Sons of the American Revolution, Colonial Dames, The Society of Cincinnati, Sons of Confederate Veterans, United Daughters of the Confederacy, Daughters of Union Veterans, and others.  Many which are linked to military service.

Did you know that there are hundreds of lineage societies?  When you have an ancestor who qualifies for Sons of the American Revolution though cannot find an ancestor who qualifies for The Society of Cincinnati, have you considered looking into the Sons of the Revolution

The Sons of the Revolution was founded in 1876 by members of the Society of the Cincinnati wishing to broaden participation in preserving the American Heritage on the eve of this country's centennial.

I mention this because I was queried by someone about the Sons of the Revolution. Though I knew of their existence having done research in support of client applications, since I had not been the one to fill out the applications, I wasn’t familiar with the details of what qualified for membership.  I now am!  It also becomes an alternative that I can suggest to clients when other society membership requirements may not be a fit.

Of course, my journey didn’t stop there.  I was very curious to know what other lineage societies might exist that are often overlooked by many researchers. You can find a Quick List of Lineage Societies with Websites on the Lineage Society of America.com page.

I’m sure that this list is not comprehensive.

If you find you are not qualified for the societies that you are more familiar with, do check out other societies which might cover the same time period, location, etc


What new-to-you lineage society did you learn about that you might want to join?

What less-known lineage society do you belong to and think others should consider joining?

What lineage society is NOT listed on the referenced website that you belong to?


Editor’s Note: Previous Upfront with NGS posts on related topics:








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copyright © National Genealogical Society, 3108 Columbia Pike, Suite 300, Arlington, Virginia 22204-4370. http://www.ngsgenealogy.org.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
NGS does not imply endorsement of any outside advertiser or other vendors appearing in this blog. Any opinions expressed by guest authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the view of NGS.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 
Republication of UpFront articles is permitted and encouraged for non-commercial purposes without express permission from NGS. Please drop us a note telling us where and when you are using the article. Express written permission is required if you wish to republish UpFront articles for commercial purposes. You may send a request for express written permission to UpFront@ngsgenealogy.org. All republished articles may not be edited or reworded and must contain the copyright statement found at the bottom of each UpFront article.
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Think your friends, colleagues, or fellow genealogy researchers would find this blog post interesting? If so, please let them know that anyone can read past UpFront with NGS posts or subscribe!
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Suggestions for topics for future UpFront with NGS posts are always welcome. Please send any suggested topics to UpfrontNGS@mosaicrpm.com
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Unless indicated otherwise or clearly an NGS Public Relations piece, Upfront with NGS posts are written by Diane L Richard, editor, Upfront with NGS.
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19 July 2016

Marketing + Video + Students = a great PR piece for an archive!

Reminder -- this is only a screen capture.  A link to the video is provided below!


Marketing + Video + Students = a great PR piece for an archive!

Students in a marketing class at UNCA (University of North Carolina at Asheville) were tasked with creating commercials focused on regional historical and cultural sites.

The winning video promotes the Western Regional Archives, a branch of the State Archives of North Carolina.

Check the 30 second video out.

What a neat project.  It’s great to see the university partnering with the community to create a visually rich promo for this facility.


Have your local students (of any age) taken on a project to help promote a local genealogical or historical resource?


Editor’s Note: Check out past Upfront with NGS articles on NextGen, Next Generation here.



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copyright © National Genealogical Society, 3108 Columbia Pike, Suite 300, Arlington, Virginia 22204-4370. http://www.ngsgenealogy.org.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
NGS does not imply endorsement of any outside advertiser or other vendors appearing in this blog. Any opinions expressed by guest authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the view of NGS.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 
Republication of UpFront articles is permitted and encouraged for non-commercial purposes without express permission from NGS. Please drop us a note telling us where and when you are using the article. Express written permission is required if you wish to republish UpFront articles for commercial purposes. You may send a request for express written permission to UpFront@ngsgenealogy.org. All republished articles may not be edited or reworded and must contain the copyright statement found at the bottom of each UpFront article.
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Think your friends, colleagues, or fellow genealogy researchers would find this blog post interesting? If so, please let them know that anyone can read past UpFront with NGS posts or subscribe!
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Suggestions for topics for future UpFront with NGS posts are always welcome. Please send any suggested topics to UpfrontNGS@mosaicrpm.com
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Unless indicated otherwise or clearly an NGS Public Relations piece, Upfront with NGS posts are written by Diane L Richard, editor, Upfront with NGS.
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