Midweek Links (Gadzooks!), 7.20.11

Seriously, I have always wanted to say “Gadzooks!” on the blog. There, that’s out of my system. You can come out of hiding now.

Midweek links? Has it taken this long to find links? I could say: “Oh, wow, it’s summer; gosh, isn’t news slow,” but the news isn’t the only slowdown here, dear readers. Perhaps I got dozy digesting calories from my stupendous birthday cake, of which more later. Also, with schoolkids home and schoolkid amusements to plan (or not plan, and get nagged about for not planning), genealogy suffers. I have so far failed to tempt them into an enchanting field trip to the New York City Municipal Archives microfilm room. They would rather go to the beach! Can you imagine!??!

Enlightening: Out of Asheville, N.C. comes an interesting article about the Melungeons, whose deep roots in Appalachia have been shrouded in mystery and misunderstanding — a situation that is finally beginning to change with exciting new research.

Loggerheads: I did enjoy the Washington Post’s engaging (and balanced) account of the tug-of-war between the DAR and a tenacious family researcher determined to prevail in a debate over his ancestor’s Revolutionary War status.

Floppy what?!: Oh, my, here’s a question for the ages: What to Do With Floppy Disks? My kids would first need an answer to the question: “What’s a floppy disk?”

YouTubing: Dick Eastman also reports on The Family History Show on YouTube, featuring videos by British experts Nick Barratt and Laura Berry of Your Family History magazine.

Archival: The Irish Echo takes a look at the researchers who field inquiries at the National Archives of Ireland in Dublin — and note, unfortunately, that funding cutbacks mean service has been reduced as well. “People have to wait, or come back if it’s busy,” a genealogist says.

Data retrieval: This blog loves it when New York City databases come to light, like Queens County Probate Records, 1899-1921 at FamilySearch.org. (h/t Leland Meitzler’s Genealogy Newsline.)

Class act: Boston University is now registering for a four-week online course in Genealogical Essentials, aimed at “hobbyists and enthusiasts” who seek a solid grounding in genealogical research practices. (h/t Kimberly Powell.)

Goodbye: Not exactly genealogy news, but I feel obliged to note the passing of Borders, which finally appears to have reached the end of the road. I have fond memories of Borders, even though I could not tell you why I was fonder of it than I was of its megastore rival, Barnes & Noble. Which could be the problem, in a nutshell. That, and the electronic-books thingy. Here is Forbes weighing in with Does a Failed Borders Presage a Doomed Bookstore Business? I noted with interest the observation that Borders’ big mistake “was hiring people to work in the stores who had little or no interest in books, authors or literature.” Which, again,  doesn’t sound much different from my typical experiences at still-surviving Barnes & Noble. But what are you going to do.



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