EDITOR'S NOTE: This month I’m pleased to introduce an article ("ContentDM") written by the first guest writer for ‘Ancestor Searching’, Susanna Leberman. Susanna has been serving in the capacity this summer of library intern in the Huntsville Heritage Room. The following article is her offering for this issue of the newsletter.
In recent years, more and more genealogists have begun to embrace the Internet as a helpful tool in reconstructing details that illuminate and enrich knowledge about family and ancestral legacies. In utilizing the Internet and online databases for personal research and information gathering, one exciting new program to be aware of is CONTENTdm, which stands for Digital Collection Management Software (http://www.dimema.com/index.html).
Through this new program, a vast national and international network of historical collections have been made free and accessible to the public. This new CONTENTdm network consists of various institutions including: University Collections, historical societies, public libraries and archives. The Huntsville Madison County Public Library is one such institution aligning with other contributing partners (http://www.alabamamosaic.org/partners.php) to group information together and utilize CONTENTdm software in efforts to make an online digital repository for researches interested in Alabama’s cultural history.
Alabama Mosaic (http://www.alabamamosaic.org/) is an online repository where researchers may view photographs, diaries, and letters pertaining to Alabama. This statewide data base continues, week by week, to grow as the contributing partners scan and upload new information to the database. Alabama Mosaic, made possible by a grant from the Institute for Museum and Library Services, is administered by the Network of Alabama Libraries (http://www.alabamamosaic.org/about.php). It is designed to help people find information, pictures, and documents on the local level. For example, a person might learn that their grand father attended Joe Bradley School. A person could go to Alabama Mosaic home site (http://www.alabamamosaic.org/partners.php) and type “Joe Bradley School” in the “Search Collection For” box that is provided at the top of the page. This particular search will take you to: http://www.alabamamosaic.org/cdm4/js_results.php?CISOBOX1=Joe+Bradley+Sc..., and here the researcher may view school photographs, descriptions, a brief history, school location, and other informative links.
For broader searchers of national databases, content dm’s home page (http://www.dimema.com/index.html) offers featured e-collections, various ways of searching by region, media type, organization type, or name. The customer collections page http://www.dimema.com/customers/index.html, will also provide additional links to other specific collections who use the CONTENTdm software. Both CONTENTdm and Alabama Mosaic are examples of new and interesting approaches to information gathering. There are pictures to find, diaries to read, and letters to explore, all from the comfort of your home or local library.
Fact: An excellent article on caring for old photographs can be found on the Suite 101 website. (http://genealogy.suite101.com/article.cfm/oldphotos)
Tip: If you looking for photos of ancestors, you might also want to try searching on DeadFred Genealogy Photo Archive. Not only can you search for photos but also upload photos for others to find.
Mention was made in the May and June issues of ‘Ancestor Searching’ concerning the library’s genealogy seminar to be offered in the fall. The date is set for Saturday, October 27th in the Main library auditorium. The program is Cherokee/Native American research and will be presented by Lorna Morton. Ms. Morton has been Tribal Genealogist for the Cherokee Tribe of Northeast Alabama as well as an educator and lecturer. Her topics will include: Cherokee & Southeast Native American Research; The Five Civilized Tribes; Indian Censuses and Enrollment Records; Internet Sites; Published Records and Microfilm Sources. With more than 40 years of experience, Ms. Morton has conducted classes in Alabama colleges and at various genealogical meetings. She has been active in the preservation of Cherokee history, records of Etowah County, Alabama , working with the Alabama State Archives and the Genealogical Society of Utah. The program is set to run from 9: 30 AM – 2: 30 PM (probably longer with Q & A). The cost will be $30....box lunch included. Registration deadline is Wednesday, October 1st so as to allow enough time to prepare handout materials for each person (per request of Ms. Morton). You don’t want to miss this one! Tell your friends! Phone 532.5969 for reservations.