Links, 10.25.10

Quirky but useful; that’s the links for this week. We’ll lead off with something really, really useful.

Digital preservation demystified: Funny how much I love discussions about digitizing records at archives, but freeze up when it’s time to digitize my own stuff. Fortunately, via Dick Eastman comes a link to a lucid and detailed paper on personal archiving by Gary T. Wright. It takes the discussion to a manageable but still very specific level.

Not forgotten: Chicago reporter Donna Vickroy has a rather haunting article about the folks at Oak Forest Hospital who oversee the records for Cook County’s oldest recognized potter’s field. With more than 100,000 burials, it’s not surprising that this paupers’ cemetery is attracting a growing number of genealogy inquiries, some from as far away as the Netherlands. While the hospital archives do contain names and dates of burials, “”We always warn them to be aware that there are no tombstones or markers,” says public-affairs director Annette Carney.

Seeing the light: A good friend of mine has a recurring joke about difficult coworkers: “Should have been a lighthouse keeper.” Well, if your relatives really did work in lonely towers on rocky shores, Tampa Bay (Fla.) columnist Sharon Tate Moody considers the records you might search to learn more about them.

At sea: In another nautical note, Martin Rigby discusses the recent release by the British National Archives of the Royal Navy Medical Officers’ Journals. They provide vivid glimpses of life and death aboard royal ships between 1793 and 1880, including convict ships headed to Australia.

Nooooo! Not already!! Nothing against this reporter in Oklahoma, I’m sure she’s a very nice person, but is it really time to think about holiday gifts for the genealogist in your life? We couldn’t wait until October was finished? Apparently not. Anyway, there are some good basic suggestions here.

Verse for thought: Harold at Midwestern Microhistory wonders whether this Wallace Stevens poem isn’t about genealogy. Could be, in a melancholy way. He also had an informative post recently on what you can learn from census agricultural schedules.

I wish you all a lovely week. Even if you’re the sort who already finished the holiday shopping.


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