19 May 2010

ACC Omnibus Edition: 19 May 2010

In this issue:

Resource Discovery at LAC
Massive New Newspaper Digitization in the UK
Irish 1901 Census
LAC Wrong on Copyright
First World War British Seamen Medal Cards
FreeBMD Database Update
New Online Education Opportunity
Reflections on the OGS Conference
Marriage Kills Women

Resource Discovery at LAC

As I was entering the building at 395 Wellington on Monday a group of students were being led to Exhibition Room A for the Lest We Forget experience. I was told an average one group each week come to the building throughout the year. Evidently Lest we Forget is not dead; it may have had a near death experience.

I was in the building to meet with Alison Bullock, Director General of Services, to explored the name change from Services to Resource Discovery Sector at LAC. She mentioned that LAC recently did a one-hour videoconference with three schools in Saskatchewan, an example of the type of initiative they are taking to make LAC more visible and bring its services to a more national audience, not just those like the students I saw who can travel to Ottawa.

Here are some of the changes happening at LAC.

A search engine optimization initiative is being pursued to try and make LAC resources more visible to Google and other search engines. Further efforts are being made to improve navigation on the site.

Building on the success of the Canadian Genealogy Centre, management is establishing teams, not as ambitious as the CGC, on specialist topics such as Military and Aboriginal, drawing on expertise from across the organization.

Evidently newspapers is not one of these priorities; its an area where LAC seems almost entirely asleep - see the item below. The only good news on newspaper digitization was on the Canada Gazette where, with the exception of a few issues which have not been found, digitization is expected to be complete and online by around the end of July.

As previously announced by LAC a newsletter is being established, the first issue to appear in June. Also in June expect to see a wiki established. Podcasts are being seriously considered.

Approximately 1,000,000 images have been digitized that are not online owing to a bottleneck in linking them to the site, a problem which is being worked on.

I probed on digitization partnerships. An announcement of opportunity about two years ago identifying a range of resources for which LAC would be interested in pursuing partnerships led to only expanding the existing arrangement with Ancestry.com. LAC has tasked a director general to further explore digitization partnerships, especially with other government departments. I hope they don't overlook the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council.

A focus of stakeholder consultation has been with the library, and archives/historical communities. Expect to hear more on consultation with a broader spectrum of users in coming months.

Massive New Newspaper Digitization in the UK

The following is from a press release from the British Library and brightsolid at http://blogit.realwire.com/?ReleaseID=18717

The British Library’s Chief Executive, Dame Lynne Brindley, will today announce a major new partnership between the Library and online publisher brightsolid, owner of online brands including findmypast.co.uk and Friends Reunited. The ten-year agreement will deliver the most significant mass digitisation of newspapers the UK has ever seen: up to 40 million historic pages from the national newspaper collection will be digitised, making large parts of this unparalleled resource available online for the first time.

Spanning three centuries and including 52,000 local, regional, national and international titles, the British Library holds one of the world’s finest collections of newspapers. Each year the Newspaper Library at Colindale is used by 30,000 researchers in subjects ranging from family history and genealogy to sports statistics, politics and industrial history. This vast resource is held mainly in hard copy and microfilm, necessitating a trip to the north London site for people wishing to use the collection.

Irish 1901 Census
The 1901 Census of Ireland, digitized in a project in cooperation with Library and Archives Canada, will be freely available for viewing from 3 June. See www.census.nationalarchives.ie/about/futureplans.html for more information.

LAC Wrong on Copyright
It seems as if the copyright debate in Canada is eternal. The government proposes new legislation, consultation goes forward, there is debate in Parliament, then Parliament is prorogued and the whole process starts again. Genealogists who followed the census debate, which seemed to go around the same circle, know that continual vigilance is required.

Michael Geist www.michaelgeist.ca/ from the University of Ottawa follows developments closely and is concerned that the government seems ready to reintroduce draconian legislation bowing to pressure from well-funded US interests.

Ottawa lawyer Howard Knopf on his Excess Copyright blog http://excesscopyright.blogspot.com/2010/05/library-and-archives-canada-lac-that.html points out that LAC has become a party to excessive requirements which fail to recognize long established fair dealing in academic publication. I rather suspect that the LAC is just following instructions of its Department of Justice lawyers. Could this be another example of those lawyers implanting a requirement without troubling Parliament to enact legislation?

First World War British Seamen Medal Cards
You can search and download over 155,000 cards recording the award of campaign medals to merchant seamen in the First World War. These cards record the award of the British War Medal and the Mercantile Marine Medal. The cards are from the catalogue references BT 351/1/1 and BT 351/1/2.

The records were used to record the issue of medals to individual seamen. All recipients of Mercantile Marine Medals were automatically entitled to the British War Medal and the index additionally records its issue.

via Scottish Genealogy News and Events http://scottishancestry.blogspot.com/2010/05/merchant-navy-ww1-medal-cards-online.html

FreeBMD Database Update
The FreeBMD Database was updated on Tuesday 18 May 2010. Major additions this update are from 1935-1948 for births, 1934-1949 for marriages, and 1936-1943 for deaths.

New Online Education Opportunity
The following is from a press release from The Society of Genealogists & Pharos Teaching & Tutoring

A new joint programme, the distance learning Certificate of Family History Skills and Strategies (Intermediate) is being offered by The Society of Genealogists, in conjunction with Pharos Teaching and Tutoring Ltd.

Following successful pilot courses last year, the Society and Pharos have teamed up to make available a full course of instruction, with assessment, to any interested genealogist anywhere in the world. First modules in the Skills and Strategies programme will be offered in September 2010. It will be possible to complete all 10 modules in an 18 month period.

The modules are listed here in alphabetical order:
Apprenticeships & Guilds
Employment Records
Lists & Sources from Georgian England
Migration in the British Isles
Military Ancestors
Nonconformity in England and Wales
The Poor, the Parish and the Workhouse
Victorian Crime & Punishment
Wills and Administrations
17th Century Sources

Tutors include the well-known authors and genealogists, Gill Blanchard, Liz Carter, Else Churchill, Simon Fowler, Sherry Irvine, Michael Isherwood and Stuart Raymond. All have made significant contributions to the world of family history and bring a wide array of records knowledge and teaching experience to the online classroom.

The Skills and Strategies course is suitable for genealogists who have had at least two years experience in family history research in England & Wales and have mastered the fundamentals of census, civil registrations and parish registers but who now wish to move on to new records and a greater understanding of research methods and skills. Students choosing to take all ten modules as a full programme with assessments leading to the Intermediate Certificate can sign up now at an introductory price of £450. This represents a saving of £42.90 on the full listed price. Each module is monitored by the Society to ensure excellent standards of content and teaching.

Students may, alternatively, choose not have work assessed and to take any arrangement of individual topics. Courses taken individually without assessment cost less. To find out more or sign up for this great learning opportunity, visit http://www.pharostutors.com/

Information abut the course and a link for bookings can also be found on the Society of Genealogists’ website at http://www.sog.org.uk/

Reflections on the OGS Conference
Comments about last weekend's OGS conference are appearing. Seems folks were too busy enjoying the event to post!

"I really enjoyed the Ontario Genealogical Society Conference. It was great to meet some of my Facebook Friends. I have quickly read all the posts of the last two days but FB doesn't show anything for the previous two days, since I left. It is strange to go four days without any Internet. Now must get back to work tomorrow."

"I agree, ..... , about the terrific conference we just had here in Ontario, and meeting some Facebook friends too. My netbook crapped out on me after Thursday so I was in FB (and emai)l withdrawal for the whole weekend. Not that there was any time to notice!

"It was a wonderful conference. The only one I remember when there wasn't a certain level of low-level whining/moaning about something in the background. (I mean this nicely, as I was often one of the people doing it). Nothing but positive remarks about everything."

Marriage Kills Women
Data from almost two million Danish couples shows that the greater the age difference from her husband, the lower a wife’s life expectancy. The best choice, to break-even, is for a woman to marry a man of exactly the same age; an older husband shortens her life, and a younger one even more so.

Marrying a younger woman increases a man's chances of surviving longer.

The results are detailed in a press release from the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research (MPIDR) in Rostock, Germany, at www.demogr.mpg.de/en/press/1813.htm

1 comment:

WJM said...

The Knopf posting was removed and replaced with this updated version of much the same thing.