New York: JDC Archival genealogy resources, May 16

The global archives director of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee will speak at the next meeting of the Jewish Genealogical Society of New York, on May 16.

The event opens with networking from 12.30-1.45pm, followed by the main program, at the Center for Jewish History, 15 West 16th Street.

JDC’s director of global archives Linda Levi is responsible for archival centers in New York and Jerusalem. She is also assistance executive vice president for global archives. An NYU graduate, she holds an MA in contemporary Jewish studies (Brandeis University).
Since its inception in 1914, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC, known popularly as “the Joint”) has borne witness to the greatest events of twentieth-century Jewish history. The JDC Archives documents the organization’s operations, overseas activities and serves as a record of life in Jewish communities around the world.
Its extensive holdings include eye-witness accounts, correspondence, reports, logs, passenger lists, emigration cards, photographs, and much more. Participants will learn how the Archives are organized, see examples of rich genealogical records in the JDC archival collections, and find out how to conduct research at its repositories. New efforts to digitize the JDC collections will also be included in the discussion.

For more information, visit the JGSNY website.

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UK: 160 years of Illustrated London News now online

Researching your ancestors in the UK just became easier, with 160 years of the Illustrated London News now online.

Hosted by Gale, there are some 250,000 pages and about 750,000 photographs and illustrations, from its first issue on May 14, 1842 to the last in 2003. At a time when copper printing was expensive and took time, the ILN developed a fast, cheap woodcut print method for illustrations. Photographs first began to appear in print during the late 19th century.

“It was the multimedia of its day,” said Seth Cayley, publisher of media history at Cengage Learning, which has digitised the ILN archive. “In one sense, people didn’t know before then what the rest of the world really looked like. ILN was the strongest paper of its sort and helped shape the middle class.”

According to the Guardian, highlights include articles by such writers as Charles Dickens, Thomas Hardy, Wilkie Collins and Agatha Chrstie. The first illustrated news publication included all the news of the day, such as wars, disasters, exhibitions and work by famed artists of the day.

While access is currently available only to subscribing institutions, there seems to be hope, as noted in the original Guardian story:

The online archive, which goes up to 2003, will initially be available only to libraries and educational institutions.

The archive presents articles both on an individual page, or to view in the original layout next to adverts and other editorial of the day. Pages are full-colour with both text and tagged images indexed for search, though the archive is not publicly accessible and has not been indexed by Google.

Cayley said the firm had improved the archive experience with each previous project, including its work on Times Online, the Economist, the British Library and the FT.

“The Times archive has been so successful it has almost distorted the way people research, because they assume that is the only newspaper archive. But more archives coming online will mean better representation of different reporting and a clearer perspective on the past,” Cayley added.

He said it would be ideal for all newspaper archives to be cross searchable in the future, and that Cengage is exploring that option.

From a page at Gale, here’s more on access:

Please note: The ILN Historical Archive is only available for institutions to trial and purchase.The archive is not available at this stage for individual subscriptions, although a pay per view site may be considered at some future time. Users of the archive can share images and articles for non commercial purposes only.

If you have access, here’s what you’ll find.

The Illustrated London News Historical Archive gives students and researchers unprecedented online access to the entire run of the ILN from its first publication on 14 May 1842 to its last in 2003. Each page has been digitally reproduced in full colour and every article and caption is full-text searchable with hit-term highlighting and links to corresponding illustrations. Facsimilies of articles and illustrations can be viewed, printed and saved either individually or in the context of the page in which they appear. Wherever possible Special Numbers covering special events such as coronations or royal funerals have been included.

For more from Gale, click here, which notes that the new archive will be of interest to researchers in many fields:

Use this remarkable resource to support scholarly and enthusiast research in social history, fashion, theatre, media, literature, advertising, graphic design and politics, as well as those interested in genealogy.

The Guardian noted:

The archive includes an 1850s illustration of a “sea serpent” seen by sailors from HMS Daedalus on a passage from the West Indies – which they promptly tried to shoot – and a column by feminist Florence Fenwick Miller. She describes using cocaine drops to combat sea sickness. “All chemists keep it, and my readers undertaking a sea-voyage should have no difficulty in procuring a supply.”

Tracing the Tribe hopes for future access for all.

Footnote.com: A new page for beginners

Are you a new user of Footnote.com? There’s now a special page for beginners.

View it here, and see these sections:

— Discover who you are: Find and organize your family history

— Discover through history: See Footnote’s documents online.

— Start by searching for your name among the 63 million-plus documents.

— Are you related? Start a Footnote ancestor page for your family.

— What do others know? Share the page you’ve created at Footnote on Facebook.

There’s new Footnote content to search:

— Naturalization Records: Ohio, New York, Pennsylvania
— City Directories: Des Moines, Indianapolis
— Civil War Union Soldier Service Records: Nebraska, Arkansas, Colored Troops
— Homestead Records: Nebraska
— Texas Death Certificates: more than 3 million images
— Final Payment Vouchers Index for Military Pensions, 1818-1864

And do check out the new enhanced image viewer.

JGSLA 2010: Blondes, Poles, Pix, Razzle Dazzle

No matter your personal research interests, JGSLA 2010 holds something for somebody regardless of your ancestry, ethnicity, research skill or genealogical knowledge.

Here are just a few of the topics in store for you at JGSLA 2010, July 11-16, in Los Angeles.

Research techniques for family scandals

Unearthing scandals will be demonstrated by Robin Seidenberg, who will show how historical newspapers and old-fashioned detective work will find family history in Hollywood and the Jewish Roaring 20s crowd in Chicago. She’ll talk on “My Uncle, the Hollywood Producer: A Spicy Tale” and “The Kissing Blonde.”

Warsaw’s Jewish Genealogical Learning Center

It will be great to again see Yale Reisner and Anna Przybyszewska-Droz, from Warsaw’s Jewish Genealogical Learning Center.

Their topics include “How to Do Genealogy Research in Poland And How Not to: Potential and Pitfalls,” “Grandma’s Name Was Rosenberg: Am I Jewish?,” “Uniquely Jewish Surnames – What They Prove and What They Don’t,” “The Lost Tribes of Poland: Apostasy, Intermarriage and Jewish Genealogy in Poland” and “A Different Memory: Poles, Jews & What We Think We Know About Them.”

Thinking out of the box, photographically.

“Photo Detective” Maureen Taylor will analyze photographic questions posed on JewishGen’s Viewmate over the years and also provide private consultations while Ava (aka Sherlock) Cohn (with ancestors from Belarus, Romania, Ukraine and the Austrian Empire), will demonstrate how to find clues our immigrant ancestors left for us in their photo portraits.

Technology and journalism to razzle dazzle

TV news producer and reporter Leron Kornreich will show how to use multi-media and reporting skills to document family history in “Razzle Dazzle ‘em: Using Technology to Present Your Family History Research with Pizzazz” and “Breaking News: A Reporter’s Guide to Genealogical Research and Using Video to Capture Roots & Shtetl Travel.”

For all conference details, check out JGSLA 2010.

Cleveland: Preserving photos, April 7

Professional photographer Rich Santich will cover copying and preserving old photographs at the next meeting of the Jewish Genealogy Society of Cleveland, on Wednesday, April 7.

The program begins at 7.30pm in the Miller Board Room at Menorah Park, 27100 Cedar Road, Beachwood.

Santich runs MotoPhoto in Shaker Heights and will demonstrate what individuals can do themselves and what can be done professionally.

MotoPhoto is a photo processing firm and provides other professional photographic services.

He will demonstrate how to copy and/or preserve old family photographs that researchers find among our family possessions.

Those individuals who are so inclined, or willing to learn, a few basic computer skills can often do much of the work themselves when it comes to copying old photos.

Others may be more inclined to have the duplicating done professionally.

Santich will cover the various options as well as offering basic tips on the preservation of historic family photo heirlooms.

Click here for more information on the JGS of Cleveland. Check out their online resources, such as grave photographs and obituaries.

Tracing the Tribe is back!!!

Hello, loyal readers.

Tracing the Tribe arrived back in the early hours of Friday morning and has spent two days recovering from jet lag.

Tons of things piled up to work on, so expect a busy week – despite the holiday!

Enjoy your Passover holiday with your family and friends.

— Make your favorite ethnic Passover dishes.

— Remember to talk about your own family’s unique journey geographically to where you live today. Recall your ancestors, talk about their experiences.

— Involve the younger generations.

— When you gather for your seders, also make time to go over family photographs.

— Ask your seder guests to each bring an old family photo (a copy, please, as wine stains don’t really improve old photos) for “show and tell.”

— Try various means to transmit your family’s journey: Maps, photos, names, dates, countries, photos of ships that your family traveled on to wherever they went, funny stories and more.

— Tell Tracing the Tribe about your seder experiences in the comment section. Share your nostalgia, the good times and the sad.

— Remember to take pictures of your seders and everyone who attends them, video as well as still photos. It’s a good holiday habit to get into!

With best wishes to all my readers
at this very special time of year,

Schelly

Mellbourne Conference: Day Two

Although it rained heavily all night, the morning was bright and sunny. Conference sessions began at 8.30am.

I’ve known Bubbles Segall (right) for many years. She lived in a remote area of Australia for some three decades and recently moved to Melbourne. Her excellent program on “Writing Family Newsletters” inspired several attendees to begin such a venture. (See a separate Tracing the Tribe post on her presentation)

Other concurrent sessions were Czech research and beginning genealogy.

The second plenary session featured three archivists from local and national archives: Kim Burrell (National Australian Archives), Anne Burrows (State Library of Victoria) and James McKinnon (Public Records Office of Victoria). Each provided information on what the institutions hold and what researchers might find. Tomorrow (Tuesday), we will tour both the NAA and the SLV.

The most moving session was with Israeli Ambassador Yuval Rotem (Frenkel), who described his family history search (see separate Tracing the Tribe post), which all began with his son working on a family tree project, and Australian author Arnold Zable who spoke on “Writing Our Ancestral Stories.”

Following lunch, there were concurrent sessions of the Israel SIG (with Sallyann Amdur Sack-Pikus, Ziva Fain and myself), “Caring for Your Family Records” (Shauna Hicks) and “Jewish Naming Traditions” (Lionel Sharpe).

At a combined session, Sallyann presented “Resources for Holocaust Research,” covering resources at Yad Vashem, USHMM and ITC-Bad Arolsen.

An “Ask the Experts” closed the second day with some good audience questions on dating photographs, Austrian military uniforms and more.

On Tuesday, we’re off to visit archives and libraries.