Friday, March 5, 2010

Library of Michigan to Lose Genealogy and Federal Document Holdings

Sad to hear --  The Library of Michigan, transferred last year to the Michigan Department of Education and facing severe budget cuts is now forced to narrow its scope and lose its support for genealogy and federal documents, as reported on, "Library of Michigan, Facing Cuts, To Drop Genealogy and Federal Documents." The library is "committed" to finding good stewards, but some are worried the move will limit access, if nothing more than owing to space limitations.

"While most state libraries have genealogy collections, non-state collections are more rare, and Robertson described Michigan’s as one of the top ten in the country, with more than 44,000 volumes of book materials and close to 100,000 volumes of microform."

I have a personal affection for Michigan records. In doing one branch of our family line, I was delighted by the extent of Michigan records available on FamilySearch Labs. While it certainly cannot substitute for a library full of records, it's a good place to start.

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Friday, October 19, 2007

Expect the unexpected in church records

In her article, "Faith as Archivist," Judy Rosella Edwards discusses the value of church records for genealogical information, beyond the baptism and marriage records you might expect. In many cases, she points out, church records provide varied information about members of the congregation and not it's leaders only, and many of these resources are online. One such resource is the MennObits project, maintained by the Mennonite Church, which is a database of searchable obituaries for church members of any age, indexed, including by maiden name. This is a great resource for finding female ancestors. The article suggests resources for a number of faiths.

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Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Oregon State Library exhibits early pioneer historical timeline

An article on, "State Library Exhibits its Most Unusual Holding," gives an overview of a new exhibit and provides insight on the merits of an early pioneer scroll, the work of Oregon pioneer and resident of Salem, Sebastian C. Adams. Adams' twenty-one foot scroll, A Chronological Chart of Ancient, Modern, and Biblical History, a "best seller" of the 1870s, is today a treasure to antiquarians but little known to the public. An exact photo-replica of the first edition of the entire scroll will be on display at the Oregon State Library, beginning April 18, 2007. A second framed copy of a later edition of the original scroll will also be exhibited.

The Chronological Chart is in the tradition of historical timelines that were very popular in the 18th and 19th centuries. Sebastian Adams was born in 1825 and survived an arduous journey over the Oregon Trail in 1850 . . . Throughout his life, Adams was a scholar and lecturer on the subject of world history and religion. His knowledge is well illustrated in this outstanding example of 19th century chromolithography which taught colorful and dramatic lessons in history. The exhibit of Sebastian Adams' Chronological Chart will be on view on the second floor State Library through the end of the year. The State Library is located at 250 Winter Street, across from the State Capitol in Salem and is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.


Wednesday, February 14, 2007

A new deal to scan some 75 million historical records announced

According to an article in the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle article, "Kirtas Technologies gets contract to scan genealogy records" announced Victor's Kirtas Technologies Inc., a maker of high-speed document scanners, has signed a deal with The Generations Network to scan more than 75 million historical records. The Generations Network, based in Salt Lake City, Utah runs web sites, including, that have become destination spots for geneaologists. The documents include immigration records and city directories that date back to the 1920s.
The documents include immigration records and city directories that date back to the 1920s. The network will use two high-speed Kirtas scanners to scan nearly 5,000 pages per hour. The scanners use a robotic arm and twin 16.6 megapixel cameras to capture the images. The process reduces stress on the delicate books, Kirtas said. Character recognition software developed by Kirtas helps assure accurate scans.

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