Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Good news for Chicago genealogists

The April issue of the Chicago Genealogical Society's newsletter includes two items of good news, and Facebook adds a third:

* From CGS president Julie Ann Benson, CGS contributions have aided the Newberry Library in acquiring seven reels of Chicago "delayed birth" applications from the Family History Library. And contributions will also facilitate the digitization of nearly 40 years of the Chicago Genealogist quarterly.

* From CGS member Wesley Johnston comes news that the on-line Hyde Park Herald newspaper for 24 August 1960 published the full assessment list for Hyde Park Township, alphabetical by street name and then by street number within each. Names of landowners and valuations for improvements and land are included. No index. It's not really a head-of-household census but it's as close as we'll see until 2032!

* Writing at the Chicago Genealogy group on Facebook, Jennifer Holik-Urban alerts us all to the Newberry Library's online version of the Foreign Language Press Survey -- thousands of translations from articles of non-English newspapers made by Works Progress Administration employees during the Great Depression. I have yet to figure out the search function, but the collection is browseable in several ways. For additional information check this post at ChicagoGenealogy and this explanatory note on the FLPS web site. And bear in mind the usual methodological cautions: these words are not the original source. They were translated and transcribed from the original publications; if any fine points of meaning or spelling are involved, don't rest content with your own guess as to what the on-line material actuall says.

Historical note: this resource would not exist if the federal government had not combated the 1930s depression by hiring unemployed people to do needed jobs.

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