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  • 30 Mar 2023 8:36 AM | Anonymous

    If you travel about 51 miles north of Pittsburgh and go 220 feet underground, past armed guards, you’ll find the Bettmann Archive. If you’re somewhat familiar with the world of photojournalism, there’s a good chance you’ve heard of this renowned archive that's managed by Getty Images. Preserving around 11 million images, the archive is a visual record of many of the world’s most important historical events since the invention of the camera in the early 1800s.

    The Bettmann Archive was started by Otto Bettmann, a curator living in Nazi-occupied Germany, where he worked as the curator of rare books at the Prussian State Art Library in Berlin. Known to many as “The Picture Man,” Bettmann was dismissed from his position after Adolf Hitler took power and forced Jewish people out of civil service jobs. When he fled Germany for the United States in 1935, Bettmann “virtually invented the image resource business,” according to the archive’s former owner and now-defunct image licensing giant Corbis. When he arrived, he had just two trunks filled with old photo prints, which is what humbly began the now-vast archive that still bears his name. 

    Over the next few decades, with his encyclopedic knowledge of historical visuals, Bettmann figured out a cunning business, licensing images he amassed to editorial and advertising clients. Charles Clyde Ebbets’s “Lunch Atop a Skyscraper,” the Apollo 11 moon landing, Malcolm X meeting Martin Luther King Jr., the Hindenburg’s explosion, and a young Queen Elizabeth II (posing with one of her corgis) is only a small taste of the archive’s famous images.

    When he was 78, he spoke of his relationship with clients, telling the New York Times, “Instead of visual cliches, I provided them with a graphic shorthand that illuminates the present by revealing the past, preferably with humor.”

    You can read more (and view dozens of historic photographs) in the BuzzFeed News web site at:

  • 30 Mar 2023 8:25 AM | Anonymous

    The National Library will discontinue microfilming in early 2024. It will then no longer supply microfilms to clients.

    Newspapers received as legal deposits will be digitised upon receipt and made available via the Digital resources of the National Library,, service. Based on the Tutkain agreement, all newspapers and journals published by the end of 2021 will be available for research use at the higher education institutions that have concluded the agreement.

    Regardless of microfilm discontinuation, any microfilms made by the end of 2023 will remain accessible in the National Library’s North Hall.

    Microfilming will be discontinued for several reasons. One is that as the required technology is no longer developed except to a very limited extent, we would be unable to replace our ageing equipment. Access to equipment maintenance services is also uncertain, making microfilming risky.

    Since the 1950s, microfilm has been a reliable and secure storage format for extensive datasets. As resources are becoming increasingly digital, the National Library will use the Digital Preservation Service offered by CSC (IT Center for Science) to ensure the preservation and usability of digital newspapers for future generations. The Digital Preservation Service is intended for the long-term preservation of cultural heritage resources.

  • 29 Mar 2023 6:52 PM | Anonymous

    From the National Genealogical Society's web site:

    Videos of our recent conference question and answer Zoom sessions are now available on the NGS YouTube Channel. Sessions were held on 9 February and 14 March 2023. The videos provide overviews of the main conference and pre-conference activities including tours, the BCG Educational Fund workshop, FOCUS events for genealogy organizations, and featured events. Speakers include Conference Committee Chair Jan Alpert, Executive Director Matt Menashes, Organizations and Communities Manager Kate Smith, Conference Chair Teresa Kelley, VGS Host Committee Chair Mary Vidlak, Teresa Koch-Bostic, and more.

    Registration is now open at

  • 29 Mar 2023 8:28 AM | Anonymous

    An average of 80 people have attended each event, and participants have tuned in from as far away as California.

    A partnership between the Rauh Jewish Archives at the Heinz History Center and the Jewish Genealogy Society created nearly 30 programs with close to 2,400 attendees from around the world over the last three years.

    Due to the success of the alliance, the organizations have decided to renew their collaboration for another two years.

    The idea of a partnership first came to Rauh Jewish Archives Director Eric Lidji in late 2019 when he was approached by representatives of the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh, telling him that the William M Lowenstein Genealogical Education Fund, created after the pioneering genealogist’s death, required a distribution to be made every few years.

    You can read more in an article by David Rullo published in the Times of Israel web site at:

  • 28 Mar 2023 10:00 PM | Anonymous

    The 4th annual 24-Hour Genealogy Webinar Marathon will take place on April 13–14, 2023, hosted by Legacy Family Tree Webinars.

    The entire event is free and open to all. Pop in for just a session or two, or challenge yourself and tune in to the entire marathon. The event will include live Q&As and door prizes, and will feature 25 back-to-back lectures from the world’s top experts on a wide variety of topics relating to family history research and DNA.

    Visit the MyHeritage Blog to check out the full lineup of lectures, and to 

  • 28 Mar 2023 9:34 AM | Anonymous

    Tina Hwang, slated to be co-leader of Twitter Inc.'s law department until Elon Musk bought the social media company, has taken a job as vice president of legal and chief privacy officer at LLC.

    Hwang succeeds Eric Heath, an attorney who left Ancestry last year to take the top the privacy job at Placer Labs Inc., a real estate data and analytics startup.

    She started March 13 and reports to general counsel Gregory Packer, said Katherine Wylie, a spokeswoman for

    Tina Hwang was part of a legal leadership succession plan that Twitter’s then general counsel, Sean Edgett, put in place before Musk fired him upon taking control of the company last October. Twitter then scrapped the plan, and Hwang, a deputy general counsel for product and intellectual property, joined a slew of legal leaders in leaving the San Francisco-based company.

    Within the past few weeks, many of those former Twitter lawyers have started to secure new jobs at other technology companies and law firms.

  • 28 Mar 2023 8:44 AM | Anonymous

    The C. Blythe Andrews, Jr. Public Library is located in East Tampa, Florida and highlights the community's rich Black history.

    The Florida Sentinel Bulletin Collection dates back to the 1940s. The collection highlights African American history that you wouldn't see in other media outlets. Right now, the library is in the process of digitizing all of the items to make them more accessible to the community. 

    Raishara Bailey, Administrative Librarian said, "It's so important because a lot of African Americans don't get to, you know, see themselves in other avenues of media. So, a lot of families come to look at obituaries, to find out family history, old sports articles, things like that. So it's very, it's used a lot by the community because they really, really enjoy seeing their families and, and reading articles about things that weren't highlighted in other areas."

  • 27 Mar 2023 5:05 PM | Anonymous

    The following press release was written by the Ivy Plus Libraries Confederation (IPLC):

    The Ivy Plus Libraries Confederation is pleased to announce the launch of the Historical Representation at American House Museums Web Archive, curated by librarians, library workers, and professors at Columbia University and Johns Hopkins University. House museums have been a key component of historic preservation in America since the mid 19th century. Until recently, house museums largely interpreted the lives of great men (and, on rare occasions, women), first and second generation settlers in America, or the work of master architects such as Frank Lloyd Wright or Stanford White. More recently, many house museums have begun changing their focus to include the experiences of underrepresented peoples, including but not limited to working people, immigrants, the enslaved, women, LGBT individuals, and indigenous peoples. Websites have in many cases replaced printed guidebooks in disseminating the social history of these sites.

    Web archives preserve vulnerable information that may disappear from the live web and capture the ways in which selected websites have evolved over time. The Ivy Plus Libraries Confederation’s Web Collecting Program is a collaborative collection development effort to build curated, thematic collections of freely available, but at-risk, web content in order to support research. Learn more about the program or explore the collections here.

  • 27 Mar 2023 4:54 PM | Anonymous

    This is a follow-up to a previous article, Beethoven's Genome Offers Clues to Composer's Health and Family History, still available at:

    For nearly 200 years since legendary musician Ludwig van Beethoven's death, dozens of items from his life have been auctioned for thousands of dollars — including hair that recent DNA testing revealed may not actually be his.

    Famous samples of the composer's hair, likely clipped as remembrances around the time of his death in March 1827, have sold for a total of nearly $140,000 in the last 30 years.

    However, new genetic testing on eight hair samples thought to be Beethoven's revealed that at least one high profile sample may not have come from the legendary composer. The testing is part of a study into his life and health issues, published this week in Current Biology

    The easiest to rule out was a sample known as the Hiller lock, named because it was given to composer Ferdinand Hiller around the time of Beethoven's death. The most famous sample used in the study, the Hiller lock was determined to actually be from a woman. It was last sold for $7,300 in 1994 and has been displayed for decades as authentic Beethoven hair.

    Several other locks — with mixed authenticity — used in the Current Biology study were sold in the last ten years, according to a database of auctioned Beethoven memorabilia compiled by San Jose State University:

    -- A lock, reportedly given to opera singer Ludwig Cramolini sold for nearly $10,300 in 2015, but researchers said it's unlikely that it was Beethoven's.

    -- The Stumpff lock sold for about $14,700 in 2016, and the researchers determined it most likely was authentic.

    -- A lock said to have been given to pianist Anton Halm for his wife while Beethoven was still alive, also was verified as authentic by the researchers. It last sold in London in 2019 for about £35,000, or $42,700.

    The Current Biology study also revealed that Beethoven had a genetic predisposition for liver disease, and a hepatitis B infection late in life. Both likely contributed to his death, which historians largely agree was from liver failure. But the report did not provide definitive answers about his lifelong progressive hearing loss.

    You can read more in an article by Aaron McDade available at: 

  • 27 Mar 2023 4:29 PM | Anonymous

    Over the course of her 63 year reign, Queen Victoria made an indelible impact not only on Britain, but on the world. And while many effects of her rule are still present in modern society, perhaps one of the most obvious remains the impact of her massive family tree on the current monarchies of Europe. After all, with nine children, 42 grandchildren, and 87 great-grandchildren, she more than earned the title "the grandmother of Europe."

    Born on May 24, 1819, Alexandrina Victoria was quite literally born to be queen. The daughter of Prince Edward, the Duke of Kent—fourth son of King George III—and German widow Princess Victoire of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, Victoria was the result of a succession crisis that left her as the only legitimate heir to the throne. Just a month after her 18th birthday, the petite princess (she was barely five feet tall) became queen following the death of her uncle, King William IV. 

    In 1840, she married her first cousin, Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, with whom she had a famously passionate connection. Though Albert had no official state powers as Prince Consort, he nonetheless had a major impact on the monarchy. An intellectually driven man—Albert prescribed himself an educational regiment requiring nine hours of study a day during his teen years—he not only served as regent during his wife’s nine pregnancies, he also had a significant role in encouraging scientific and technological innovation, and even helped organize the Great Exhibition in 1851.

    victoria and albert

    Prince Albert and Queen Victoria in 1854. 

    Albert likewise played an active role in his children’s lives, seeking to mold their family into an example to the world of what royal families should be. Though he died at age 42 from what many scholars now believe to have been stomach cancer, his values carried down through many of the European royal lines through his children and grandchildren with Victoria.

    After Albert died in 1861, Victoria remained in mourning for the remaining 40 years of her life, becoming the longest reigning monarch in British history until her great-great granddaughter Queen Elizabeth II.

    Here is how their genetic legacy has shaped the royal families of Europe.

    You can read a lot more, including a rather complete pedigree chart, in an article by Lauren Hubbard and published in the townandcountrymag web site at:,

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