Blogs

Megan Smolenyak to speak!

You may know her as the lead researcher for the PBS Ancestors series where she delved into over 5,000 genealogical stories and developed much of the content for the companion website. She has subsequently consulted for other television programs, including They Came to America and African American Lives for PBS, and BBC’s Timewatch (regarding the identification of sailors’ remains recovered from the USS Monitor).

Alabama Survey Maps

The Alabama Secretary of State has posted for free access on the Internet survey maps by township and range of all of Alabama. The Eastern Division of the Bureau of Land Management has also posted similar records on its site but so far those records lack the surveyor's field notes found in the Alabama copy.

Harvard University Online Resources

The collection covers the years 1789-1930 with over 1800 books, pamphlets, 9000 photographs, 200 maps and 13000 pages from manuscript and archival collections. The primary focus is the documentation of voluntary immigrations from the signing of the Constitution up to the early stages of the beginning of the Great Depression. An added feature is an immigration timeline with embedded links to the complementing online resources. 'Search' and 'Browse' options are available. Read more »

1790 Census Online

The US Census Bureau website now contains in downloadable format the 1790 census returns for the then new country. They are available in PDF format as well as ZIP. Adobe Acrobat Reader is necessary to read the files in PDF format. The Reader is FREE for download.

Ancestor Searching Newsletter, Volume 3, # 4

State Census Records have many uses for family historians. First, they can fill in the gaps between federal censuses and they can replace information lost when a federal census, such as 1890, was destroyed. Secondly is that state censuses are not closed to public scrutiny for 72 years as are the federal censuses. And finally, is that state censuses often ask different questions than were asked on federal censuses. These local censuses may have been authorized to provide some specific regional data to the local officials. Read more »

Free Marriage Records Online

Here's an interactive website that has the potential to become a "one-stop shop" for marriage records from around the country. Read more »

Wirelessly...

April 2008's big library technology event is "going live" with our public wireless network. Free public wireless isn't a new concept, providing a free wireless network for the public has been in each of the Library's technology plans since 2001. But riding the teeter-totter of public sector implementation means continual adjustment of plans in the face of competing priorities. (No IT project ever dies, some are just delayed a while.)

Features HMCPL needed in a wireless network: Read more »

Linux on the Desktop?

Running Linux on the desktop can save money for an organization. Given time and staff, ITS could certainly implement thin client Linux desktops for the public, and move from Microsoft into the open source realm. Open Office, Scribus, TheGIMP, all good "no-cost" substitutes if you are interested in the finished product, not the process.

New Social Genealogy Website

Genealogy continues to evolve into new areas in the ever-broading scope of the field. Quoting from the website's homepage . . .

"Familybuilder is a leading software application development company focused on building genealogy and family-oriented applications within online social networks. The company’s flagship product, Family Tree, is a leading social genealogy application on Facebook, Bebo, and MySpace. As of April 1, 2008 over 10,000,000 profiles have been built with Familybuilder." Read more »

1911 Irish Census

Digitization is now underway that will, when completed, make available online the Irish census records for the years 1901 and 1911. Currently, the 1911 census for Dublin is searchable on the National Archives of Ireland website. Help links located on the site contain more information on specific details found in the census and a comprehensive guide to using the census.

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