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  • 17 Jul 2024 6:47 PM | Anonymous

    The following is an excerpt from a much longer article written by the National Park Service:

    Acadia National Park, Cape Cod National Seashore, Cape Lookout National Seashore, Cumberland Island National Seashore, Fire Island National Seashore,more »

    Climate change compels National Park archeologists to use science to save valuable data from deteriorating and disappearing back into the sea. In response, the National Park Service’s Submerged Resources Center (SRC) and its partners are expanding their shipwrecking timber tracking initiative, the Shipwreck Tagging Archaeological Management Program (STAMP), to encompass all national parks with bodies of water.

    What is STAMP?

    Through STAMP, the public helps archeologists monitor shipwrecks to understand how sites change over time. Natural conditions like wave action, storms, tides, and currents can all cause coastal and intertidal submerged sites to erode and degrade. Human factors like vandalism and looting, construction, dredging, and development also have adverse effects on these sites. Occasionally both natural and human factors can detach or disarticulate wooden timbers from historic shipwrecks. These timbers may wash ashore, become covered or uncovered by sand, wash out to sea again, and travel enormous distances pushed by waves and wind. Tracking these timbers will increase knowledge of site formation and change and may even lead to the discovery of previously unrecorded wrecks.

    The Florida Public Archaeology Network (FPAN) initiated STAMP at Gulf Islands National Seashore. The first FPAN workshop tested STAMP documentation and tagging on a timber brought to the park as an example of how STAMP can help archeologists track the degradation of shipwrecks over time and how storms and hurricanes affect these sensitive archeological sites.

    Graphic about STAMPAn intertidal shipwreck in Fire Island National Seashore marked with STAMP tags for park visitors to engage. NPS photo. The Florida Public Archaeology Network (FPAN) initiated STAMP at Gulf Islands National Seashore. The first FPAN workshop tested STAMP documentation and tagging on a timber brought to the park as an example of how STAMP can help archeologists track the degradation of shipwrecks over time and how storms and hurricanes affect these sensitive archeological sites.

    How does STAMP work?

    STAMP projects consist of two distinct execution phases: tagging and recording. During the tagging phase, trained staff and volunteers participate in documenting shipwreck remains.

    You may find the full article at: https://www.nps.gov/articles/000/shipwreck-tagging-archaeological-management-program.htm. 

  • 17 Jul 2024 6:36 PM | Anonymous

    Most research in human genetics has historically focused on people of European ancestries—a long-standing bias that may limit the accuracy of scientific predictions for people from other populations.

    Now, a team of Johns Hopkins University scientists has generated a new catalog of human gene expression data from around the world. The increased representation of understudied populations should empower researchers to attain more accurate insights into genetic factors driving human diversity, including for traits such as height, hormone levels, and disease risk.

    The work deepens the scientific field's understanding of gene expression in populations of Latin America, South and East Asia, and other regions for which limited data existed.

    Published today in Nature, the findings may improve future studies of human variation and evolution.

    "We now have this global view of how gene expression contributes to the world's diversity, the broadest picture to date in populations that have been poorly represented in previous studies," said senior author Rajiv McCoy, a Johns Hopkins geneticist. "We're trying to better understand the connection between variation at the level of our DNA and variation at the level of our traits, which previous genetic studies have looked at but with a really persistent bias that often excludes non-European ancestry populations."

    You can read more in an article by Roberto Molar Candanosa published in the Johns Hopkins Magazine's web site at: https://hub.jhu.edu/2024/07/17/diversity-bias-genetics/.

  • 17 Jul 2024 1:44 PM | Anonymous

    An 83-year-old Holocaust survivor who was rescued as a toddler, grew up knowing nothing about his origins, and finally discovered his long-lost family thanks to a MyHeritage DNA  DNA test. Last week, Shalom finally met his newfound relatives for the first time in the United States.


    Their reunion was covered by many major news outlets from all over the world, including ABC News, NBC News, the Associated Press, and the Post and Courier. You can read the full story on the  MyHeritage blog. or on a different video on YouTube at: https://youtu.be/vY22oNZnNdQ.

    This is an incredibly important story that highlights the importance of DNA testing especially for older family members.I suspect you will enjoy the full story at: https://blog.myheritage.com/2024/07/orphaned-holocaust-survivor-83-reunites-with-the-family-he-never-imagined-he-had/.

  • 17 Jul 2024 9:08 AM | Anonymous

    Hungary is a main provider in the publication of synchronized, or in other terms, georeferenced maps of the Napoleonic era. As a result of a new research, Hungarian and German researchers have synchronized maps produced during the Napoleonic wars about Southern Germany with modern databases, which has made it possible to track a wealth of interesting information, historical and environmental changes.

    Working with Arcanum Databases Ltd, several archives in Europe and scientists at ELTE, the Hungarian experts have gained considerable experience in georeferencing historical maps, often hundreds of years old, with modern databases. As a result of their work, the portal, formerly known as MAPIRE, now known as Arcanum Maps, allows users to browse the changes in Europe's natural and built environment from the 1700s to the early 20th century on maps that are all mapped into the coordinate system of today's databases, so that they can be overlaid on each other. The landscapes of our country and the Carpathian Basin, for example, are seen in this database for almost two decades.

    In a recently published scientific paper, Gábor Timár, head of the Department of Geophysics and Space Sciences at the Faculty of Physics and Astronomy, and Eszter Kiss, of the German Federal Office of Cartography and Geodesy in Frankfurt am Main (Hessen), describe the synchronization process of the map of Southern Germany, completed in 1797 by the Habsburg military survey, with today's maps. The interesting thing about the project is that this map was produced in the shadow of the Napoleonic Wars, and very quickly, as no one knew when the war would break out again. This meant that actual field surveys could only be carried out where no previous field information was available. Rather, map-making consisted of redrawing existing atlases, maps and sketches for various purposes into a common system with a unified map legend. This paper presents this unified coordinate system, analyzing archival sources and errors in synchronization.

    It is relatively rare that classical archival work coupled with mathematical analysis is successful, but this is exactly what happened here. The above map fragment is taken from a document found by the authors in the War Archives of the Austrian State Archives. It is assumed that this sketch was the basis for the map work; the rectangles show the positions of the future map sections, with some typical landmarks used for later map drawing. The network of rectangles is accompanied by a coordinate system rotated by 5 degrees in relation to the rectangles, with a text clearly using the vocabulary of the Cassini cartographic coordinate system.

    But why would Habsburg cartography have used the French survey system, especially, as the work shows, with Paris as the starting point, when the “black & yellow” army was drawing the map in preparation against the French? It is because the first survey of the territory, during the Seven Years' War alliance, was carried out by Jean-François Cassini along the Danube and the Rhine, and the points (still available in Google Books) were used as 'imported material', as were other map sketches of the time. Thus, if the 1797 map is synchronized with Cassini's projection, the residual errors are smaller than if other map systems are chosen.

    The researchers' work has thus resulted in the publication of a 220-year-old sketch-based map work on the MAPIRE portal with errors of a few hundred meters, taking into account the residual errors.

    The paper on this work was published in the June issue of the ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information: https://www.mdpi.com/2220-9964/13/6/207

  • 17 Jul 2024 9:03 AM | Anonymous

    The following is an an announcement from the (US) National Archives and Records Administration:

    The (US) National Archives (NARA)  will soon have digital access to the morning reports of Army units during the final year of World War ll. These will offer descriptions of unit locations, award nominations and soldier personnel movements.

    The records have been transferred to a digital format that now exist on microfilm at the National Archives facility in St. Louis, MO.  The project, which also includes more than a decade’s worth of post-war draft registration cards, was announced this year as part of a partnership with Ancestry. All records will be available to the public and were not previously available online.  Using the reports, researchers can track a veteran from the date that they joined a particular unit to the date that they left it.

    “The unit’s clerk would type the reports onto long strips of paper and send them in batches to the Army, she said. The Army used this form of morning reports until 1974 when it switched to a system of personnel data cards. The Navy and Marine Corps kept similar records but in large diaries as opposed to individual papers.” 

    Once this round of records is transferred to a digital format, full sets of morning reports from 1944 through 1946 will be available online.

    Once the process is complete, the records will be available to access through the National Archives website https://www.archives.gov/. 

    Read more at: https://www.stripes.com/history/2024-07-15/army-records-national-archives-morning-reports-14494497.html

  • 17 Jul 2024 8:38 AM | Anonymous

    The following announcement was written by the folks at Projectkin.org:

    Projectkin will celebrate the role of “place” in family history by sponsoring a new Pacific Edition of the Society of Genealogists’ 2024 challenge program, “All About That Place,” from September 27 to October 6, 2024.
     
    The Society of Genealogists, Society for One-Place StudiesBritish Association for Local Historyand other generous UK-based contributors are sponsoring this event with pre-recorded talks released online hourly between 8 AM and 8 PM for ten days. Unfortunately, 8 AM in London is midnight in California. 
     
    To encourage genealogists and family historians with one-place studies in the New World and the Pacific Rim, Projectkin is creating a variation of this fabulous event with 5 live programs starting at midnight in London, or 4 PM in California and early morning in Australia. These five program days will feature 1, 2, or 3 different speakers and time for discussion. 
     
    To learn more and sign up to give a talk, please visit Projectkin.org/AATP24
  • 15 Jul 2024 6:56 PM | Anonymous

    Here is an article that is not about any of the "normal" topics of this newsletter: genealogy, history, current affairs, DNA, and related topics. However, it may interest some old timers (such as myself) who still enjoy copyinh rather high speed Morse Code:

    On July 12, 1999, the last Morse code message was sent from a Bay Area radio station, marking the end of an era. Every July 12, the Historic KPH Maritime Radio Receiving Station in Point Reyes revives the golden age of maritime radio, with volunteers exchanging Morse code messages worldwide. The Mercury News reports: 

    Friday's "Night of Nights" event, which commemorates the long-gone stations and the skilled radiotelegraph operators who linked ships to shore, starts at 5:01 p.m. -- precisely one minute after the 1999 message ended. Operators will keep working until 11 p.m. "We're carrying on," said historical society president Richard Dillman, 80, who learned Morse code as a boy. "Morse code is not dead."

    The event, based at KPH's stations that are now part of the wild and windswept Point Reyes National Seashore, northwest of San Francisco, is not open to the public. But amateur radio operators around the world can participate by sending messages and exchanging greetings. The operating frequencies of the historical society's amateur station, under the call sign K6KPH, are 3550, 7050, 14050, 18097.5 and 21050. Radiogrammed messages arrive from as far away as New Zealand and Europe, rich with memories of rewarding careers or poignant tributes to lost loved ones. "Dear dad, we love you and we miss you so much," said one. The station uses the original historic KPH transmitters, receivers, antennas and other equipment, carefully repaired and restored by the society's experts. [...]

    All over the Pacific coast, stations closed. KPH's receiving headquarters -- an Art Deco cube built between 1929 and 1931, its entrance framed by a tunnel of cypress trees -- was acquired by the National Park Service in 1999. Its transmission station is located on a windswept bluff in Bolinas. [Historical society president Richard Dillman] and friend Tom Horsfall resolved to repair, restore and operate KPH as a way to honor the men and women who for 100 years had served ships in the North Pacific and Indian Ocean. "It was a brotherhood," said Dillman. "There was camaraderie -- a love of Morse code and the ability to do a job well." [...] They pitched their ambitious plan to the National Park Service.

    "At first, I was skeptical about their proposal," said Don Neubacher, the Seashore's former Superintendent. "But over time, I realized the Maritime Radio Historical Society, led by Richard Dillman, was a gift for the National Park Service." "I was impressed by the overwhelming knowledge of early wireless and ship-to-shore communication," he said, "and their lifelong commitment to saving this critical piece of Point Reyes history." With a dozen society volunteers from all over the Bay Area -- all over the age of 60, self-described "radio squirrels" -- they went to work. They meet on Saturday mornings over coffee and breakfast "services" dubbed "The Church of the Continuous Wave," sometimes ogling over radio schematics. Then, for a few hours, they broadcast news and weather.

  • 15 Jul 2024 9:27 AM | Anonymous

    A collection of Welsh-language Bibles will be saved for future generations thanks to a multi-million-pound investment in a new archive.

    It was feared that the William Morgan Bibles collection, which is currently kept in Ruthin, could deteriorate to the point of destruction if urgent action wasn’t taken to keep the precious texts safe from damage.

    Plaid Cymru councillor Emrys Wynne, cabinet member for the Welsh language, culture and heritage on Denbighshire County Council, hailed the investment as “hugely important to our cultural heritage in Wales”.

    The William Morgan Bibles collection is currently stored at Ruthin Gaol, on Clwyd Street, but the system used to maintain the delicate air quality that is necessary to safeguard the material is old and will cease to function in a few years.

    The texts are also at risk from the Gaol flooding again.

    But thanks to a £7.3million grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, which is subject to a successful development stage review, contributions of £2m from Denbighshire County Council and £3m from Flintshire County Council their future has been secured.

    The investment will be used to establish a new facility for the North East Wales Archives (NEWA).

    Archives currently spread across Ruthin and Hawarden, will be moved to a single, purpose-built, net carbon-zero facility in Mold.

    Moving the archives will enable Ruthin Gaol to be further developed as a popular attraction.

    You can read more in an article by Matthew Chandler published in the denbighshirefreepress.co.uk web site at: 

  • 15 Jul 2024 9:19 AM | Anonymous

    One of the towering figures in the evolution of computer science was Grace Hopper, an American mathematician, academic, and Naval reservist, whose work gave us the first programming languages, compilers, and much more. Sadly she passed away in 1992, so her wisdom hasn’t directly informed the Internet Age in the manner of some of her surviving contemporaries.

    During her life she gave many lectures though, and as [Michael Ravnitzky] discovered, one of them was recorded on video tape and resides in the archives of America’s National Security Agency. With the title “Future Possibilities: Data, Hardware, Software, and People”, it was the subject of a Freedom Of Information request. This in turn was denied, on the grounds that “Without being able to view the tapes, NSA has no way to verify their responsiveness”. In short, the recording lies on Ampex 1″ reel-to-reel video tape, which the NSA claims no longer to be able to read.

    It’s fairly obvious from that response that the agency has no desire to oblige, and we’d be very surprised to find that they keep a working Ampex video system to hand on the off-chance that a passing researcher might ask for an archivåe tape. But at the same time it’s also obvious that a lecture from Rear Admiral Hopper is an artifact of international importance that should be preserved and available for study. It’s an interesting thought exercise to guess how many phone calls Hackaday would have to make to secure access to a working Ampex video recorder, and since we think for us that number would be surprisingly low it’s likely the NSA know exactly who to call if they needed that tape viewed in a hurry. We don’t have influence over secretive government agencies, but if we did we’d be calling shame on them at this point.

    If you’re curious about Grace Hopper, we’ve talked about her work here in the past.

  • 15 Jul 2024 9:11 AM | Anonymous

    UPCOMING DLG WEBINAR: Scrapbooks as Archival Records and Digital Artifacts

    Date: Thursday, August 15 | Time: 2 pm EST

    Join the DLG and presenters Joshua Kitchens and Lauren LeDesma, from the Archival Services and Digital Initiatives unit of Georgia Public Library Service, who will address preservation concerns for both physical and digital versions of scrapbooks and explore digitization procedures for scrapbooks.

    This webinar will cover the significance of scrapbooks as archival records and their value as digital artifacts.

    Register here: https://tinyurl.com/dlg-scrapbooks-2024-08-15

    For those who cannot attend: The webinar will be added to the DLG’s webinar channel at https://tinyurl.com/dlg-webinar-channel

    …And while you’re here: Have a look at the (more than 400) scrapbooks represented in the DLG! 

    You’ll see a page from one scrapbook at the top of this post!

    Speaker Bios:

    Joshua Kitchens

    is currently the Director of Archival Services and Digital Initiatives for GPLS. Josh previously served as the Director of Archives and Information Studies Programs at Clayton State University. Josh managed the program and taught various courses, including Law and Records, Digital Preservation, and many others. Before working at Clayton State, Josh was an Archivist for Special Collections at the Georgia College Ina Dillard Russell Library. He was responsible for digital collections, the library’s institutional repository, the Knowledge Box, and university archives.

    He holds a BA in history from Georgia College, an MA in Applied History from George Mason University, and a master of Archival Studies from Clayton State University. Joshua is also a Certified Archivist.

    Lauren LeDesma

    is a Local Archivist at the Georgia Public Library Service, providing support for various archival collections in the state. She has previous experience as a Records Manager/Assistant Archivist for the Archdiocese of Atlanta and as a Processing Archivist/Records Analyst at the Archdiocese of New Orleans. Lauren holds a BA in History, an MA in Public History, a Graduate Certificate in Historic Preservation, and a Graduate Certificate in Records and Information Management. She is also a Certified Archivist and a Certified Records Analyst.

    Image credit at top of page: Scrapbook [page 2]. Sanford Henry Lee papers. Archives Division, Auburn Avenue Research Library on African-American Culture and History, Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System. https://dlg.galileo.usg.edu/aaed/do:aarl96.001-002-001

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