Thursday, May 10, 2012

NGS Day One (Wednesday the 9th)

Some folks sleep through the opening plenary session; today they missed the amazing story of the 1848 Cincinnati panoramic daguerreotype and the details of everyday life it captured -- now that it can be digitally and microscopically examined. Check it out.

Later on . . .

. . . Jeanne Bloom explained proof arguments. “If you want to break through a brick wall, write down what you know and it will reveal the holes in your argument." In an interesting analogy she also compared the elements of a proof argument to the loom, warp, and woof that go together to make up a tapestry.

. . . Marie Melchiori gave an always-helpful introduction and review of ways of accessing military medial records in the National Archives, followed by a series of examples that left us wanting to camp in the National Archives for a year or two. "You don't ever use one set of records as an end result, you use them as a stepping-stone to others." Thus the file of a US medical officer who later served for the Confederacy included a postwar request for amnesty, opening up a new record set for investigation.

. . . The annual writing contest of the International Society of Family History Writers and Editors (ISFHWE, nevertheless frequently pronounced "Ifshwee") remains open until June 3. Visit ISFHWE for more information and to download the PDF informational package.

. . . I haven't heard and haven't asked about the conference attendance this year. But at the two booths where I'm volunteering, the Indiana Genealogical Society and the Association of Professional Genealogists both had successful days making new friends and acquiring new members too.

. . . in my continuing series of scheduling train wrecks, the Ancestry "VIP Reception" came at the same time as the Geneabloggers' meetup. I finally ended up at Ancestry, where I heard that they now have 10 billion records on line. Their $99 autosomal DNA program is coordinated with Ancestry trees, so the results may (for example) actually name your (alleged) fourth cousin. Their new semantic index for city directories is a major improvement over OCR in that the computers can now understand which words are names, which occupations, etc. Among newly added collections is a 1798 London land tax never microfilmed or digitized. They're emphasizing mobile devices more and more. Their 1940 census indexing reportedly continues to involve "select offshore vendors" who are indexing "almost every field."

Harold Henderson, "NGS Day One (Wednesday the 9th)," Midwestern Microhistory: A Genealogy Blog, posted 10 May 2012 ( : accessed [access date]). [Please feel free to link to the specific post if you prefer.]

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Thiru said...
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