Links, 2.28.11

The timer is on — I’ve got some tea-soaked paper drying in the oven. No, I am not forging documents; there’s  a crafty school history project in the offing. Here’s a recipe in case any of you ever get roped into a similar middle-school adventure.

An era ends: America’s last surviving veteran of World War I, Frank Buckles, has died at the age of 110. He was only 16 when he signed up; he did some fast talking to convince an Army captain that he was actually 18. R.I.P. and thanks, Mr. Buckles.

Survivors: A two-post series about photos, printing and photo “survivability” was linked to in Dick Eastman’s newsletter, which means it probably already got a lot of glances, but it’s just too interesting not to mention — particularly the author’s distinction between what’s preserved and what actually survives, and why.

Archives: Speaking of Mr. Eastman, he has been in London attending “Who Do You Think You Are? Live” and sending back lots of interesting dispatches, including one from a visit to the National Archives in London. Well worth a read if you think you might ever have to browse there.

Archives, continued: Congratulations to the genealogy enthusiasts of Fort Worth, where the National Archives facility has just opened a new genealogy research room. “I think we are going to be very busy,” administrator Preston Huff tells the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Texas? Genealogy? Ya think?

Walking the line: At Slate, Daniel Scharfstein considers the story of Orindatus Simon Bolivar Wall, abolitionist, Civil War hero, pioneering educator — and a lost figure of history, partly because as an African American, his achievements were obscured as Reconstruction faded, and also because with the rise of Jim Crow, his descendants chose to pass as white. An absorbing look at the twists and turns of an important historical legacy.

One more hint about that tea-soaked paper: Don’t try putting it through your ink-jet printer, unless you want authentically chewed-up edges and (possibly) an authentic printer-repair bill. You’re welcome. And have a great week.



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