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  • 6 Mar 2023 5:18 PM | Anonymous
    Periscope Film owners [Doug] and [Nick] just released a mini-documentary about the rescue of a large collection of old 35 and 16 mm celluloid films from the landfill. The video shows the process of the films being collected from the donor and then being sorted and organized in a temporary storage warehouse. There is a dizzying variety of films in this haul, from different countries, in both color and black and white.

    We can see in the video that their rented 8 meter (26 foot) cargo truck wasn’t enough to contain the trove, so they dragged along a 1.8 x 3.6 m (6 x 12 ft) double-axle trailer as well. That makes a grand total of 49 cubic meters of space. Our back-of-the-envelope calculations says that filled to the brim, that would be over 30,000 canisters of 600 m (2,000 ft) 35 mm movie reels.

    When it comes to preserving these old films, one big problem is physical deterioration of the film stock itself. You will know something is wrong when you get a strong acetic or vinegary odor when opening the can. [Nick] shows some examples where the film has even become solidified, taken on a hexagonal shape. It will take months to just assess and catalog the contents of this collection, with damaged films that are still salvageable jumping to the head of the queue to be digitized.

    Films are digitized at 4K resolution using a Lasergraphics ScanStation archival quality film scanning system, and then the restoration fun begins. One issue demonstrated in this video is color deterioration. In the Eastmancolor film technology introduced in the 1950s, the blue dyes deteriorate over time. This, and a plethora of other issues, are corrected in the restoration process.

    If you’re interested in doing this with 8 mm home movies, we covered a project way back in 2011 of a DIY home movie scanning project.

    In the meantime, you can learn more about the current project at:

  • 6 Mar 2023 12:30 PM | Anonymous

    Here is a list of all of this week's articles, all of them available here at

    Introducing cM Explainer™ to Predict Relationships Between DNA Matches With Greater Accuracy

    MyHeritage Announces Third Installment of DNA Quest Initiative

    MyHeritage Introduces Color Coding for Family Trees

    Vivid-Pix and the National Genealogical Society Restore Treasured Memories

    Ancestry® Launches Storymaker Studio

    Connect Our Kids Will Tell Its Story Today at RootsTech 2023

    Celebrating 40 Years of Family History Discoveries

    National Archives Allocates $600,000 to Transfer Digitized Veterans’ Records from the VA

    Black History Month at Atlantic City Library Strengthened by Digitized Collection

    BYU Professor Works to Connect ‘Entire Human Family’ Through Genealogy Research Lab

    Museum of Jewish Heritage Plans Peter and Mary Kalikow Genealogy Research Center

    Newberry Library Online Exhibition Showcases Images From the Great Migration

    Museum Of Jewish Heritage Reviews Plans For Genealogy Research Center In Battery Park City, Manhattan

    Reykjavík Municipal Archives to Be Closed Down

    Trent Park House Oral History Project Gets Underway

    National Archives Allocates $600,000 to Transfer Digitized Veterans’ Records from the V

    New Records Added to Findmypast

    All the New Android Features Google Announced

  • 4 Mar 2023 10:40 AM | Anonymous

    The Museum of Jewish Heritage is currently reviewing plans to build a new genealogy research center at its facility at 36 Battery Place in Battery Park City. Named the Peter and Mary Kalikow Genealogy Research Center, the waterfront expansion will provide visitors with Jewish genealogy resources through JewishGen, a non-profit organization and affiliate of the museum.

    When complete, the space will contain computer stations for visitors to peruse Jewish Gen’s vast collection of records and historical data, including ancestry, hundreds of memorial prayer books known as Yizkor, and other records. There also will be trained volunteers on site to assist visitors interested in the service.

    “JewishGen has enabled countless people to learn more about their Jewish ancestry, and we are extremely grateful to launch this initiative to serve as an invaluable resource to anyone wishing to learn more about their relatives and their heritage,” said Jack Kliger, president and CEO of The Museum of Jewish Heritage. “We are proud to name this center after Peter and Mary Kalikow, who have been longtime supporters of the museum.”

    Designed by Kevin Roche John Dinkeloo & Associates, The Museum of Jewish Heritage was first opened in 1997. The same design team completed an 82,000-square-foot addition that curves around the existing building. Today, the museum features a collection of Jewish historical artifacts, classrooms, a 370-seat theater, gallery space, and a library.

    The museum has not revealed when the new Genealogy Research Center might be completed.

  • 4 Mar 2023 10:15 AM | Anonymous

    The City Council of Reykjavík approved the mayor’s proposal to close down the Reykjavík Municipal Archives. The operations of the Municipal Archives would be incorporated into the National Archives of Iceland. Historians and archivists have criticised the decision, RÚV reports.

    Operations to be transferred to the National Archives

    Reykjavík City Council approved Mayor Dagur B. Eggertsson’s proposal to close down the Reykjavík Municipal Archives. The mayor’s proposal was presented at a city council meeting six months ago, although its formal processing was postponed until yesterday.

    The proposal was predicated on a summary authored by KPMG, which reviewed the operation of the Municipal Archives and assessed three possible options to cut down costs: one, to continue running the Municipal Archives in its current form; two, to increase cooperation with the National Archives of Iceland, which would imply the construction of a new archive; and three, to close down the Municipal Archives and transfer its operation to the National Archives. The last option was considered, by far, the cheapest.

    Mayor Dagur told RÚV that the city council had made “a policy decision,” but that the matter would go before the city executive council. “The [path] that was chosen was to start discussions with the National Archives about joint digital preservation and, in effect, the merging of these institutions. That would mean that the Municipal Archives, in its current form, would no longer be an independent entity.”

    According to available analyses, operational changes will not be felt over the next four years, Dagur noted. “It will depend on the progress made during discussions, on the outcome of those discussions, and the overall outcome regarding these preservation issues in the country as a whole.” On this latter point, Dagur referred to the global discussion concerning the digital preservation of documents. He hopes that museums in Iceland will unite to ensure safe and accessible document storage.

    You can read more in an article by Ragnar Tómas published in the Iceland Review web site at:

  • 4 Mar 2023 10:07 AM | Anonymous

    A few years ago I would have described this as "magic." Yesterday, I sat through a demonstration of cM Explainer™ while at the RootsTech 2023 confenrece and now I will dscribe it as "state of the art technology."

    The following is extracted from an article in the MyHeritage Blog:

    One of the most important benefits of taking a DNA test is the matches that you receive. DNA Matches reveal many relatives you never knew about before, based on shared DNA inherited from common ancestors. However, the relationships to your DNA Matches can be confusing. This results in many users not understanding how they are related to most of their DNA Matches, which holds them back from using the matches to advance their family history research and make new discoveries.

    Today we’re excited to announce the release of cM Explainer™, an innovative, free new feature on MyHeritage that estimates familial relationships between DNA Matches with high accuracy. This helps overcome the challenge of understanding relationships to DNA Matches. For every DNA Match, cM Explainer™ predicts the possible relationships between the two people and the respective probabilities of each relationship, estimates who their most recent common ancestor(s) could be, and displays a diagram showing their relationship path.

    DNA Matches are characterized by the amount of DNA shared between two individuals, measured using a unit of genetic distance called centimorgans (cM). cM Explainer™ is unique in the way it uses both the centimorgan value as well as the ages of the two individuals (if known) to fine-tune its predictions, making MyHeritage the only major genealogy company to offer relationship prediction at this level of granularity and accuracy.

    cM Explainer™ is fully integrated into the MyHeritage platform to shed light on any DNA Match found on MyHeritage, and is also available as a free standalone tool to benefit individuals who have tested with other DNA services.

    How cM Explainer™ works

    cM Explainer™ was developed by MyHeritage in collaboration with Larry Jones, developer of the cM Solver technology. We exclusively licensed this technology from Jones, and our Science team enhanced it further over a period of five months to create an industry-leading solution for genetic genealogy that is exclusive to MyHeritage. Among the enhancements are an age algorithm developed by MyHeritage’s Science team that greatly enhances the prediction by adjusting the probability of each possible relationship, and a slick user interface that displays possible relationships and their probabilities. cM Explainer™ includes useful features such as the ability to filter the predictions by full and half relationships, and to display the probable most recent common ancestor(s) (MRCA) of a match.

    The ages of the two people who match each other are instrumental in predicting their relationship. They help rule out impossible relationships and adjust probabilities when multiple relationships are possible. For example, half siblings typically share the same amount of DNA as a grandparent and grandchild. But if the two people are of a similar age, they are probably half siblings. If they are 60 years apart, they are more likely to be a grandparent and grandchild. Other relationships may be possible for the same amount of shared DNA, such as an uncle and nephew, and knowing the ages can help determine which one is more likely. In many cases, the ages don’t make a selection clear-cut, but they affect the probability of each possible relationship, providing useful predictions you can apply to your research.

    To maximize the accuracy of the relationship predictions, MyHeritage’s Science team developed an age algorithm by first examining age difference distributions among parents and children, and siblings (calculated separately for full and half siblings), based on extensive research using empirical aggregated data from family trees.

    We further derived age difference distributions for all other relationships by combining those for parents, siblings, and children along a standard genealogical path. For example, the distribution of the age difference between an uncle and his nephew (see bottom graph below) is estimated by considering all potential ages of the nephew’s parent, and then adding the age difference between the nephew and his parent (see middle graph) and the age difference between the parent and the uncle (see top graph). On the graphs below, you can see that the average age difference for Parent, Uncle/Aunt, and Parent’s Cousin are similar, but the distribution is more widespread for Uncle/Aunt, and even more so for Parent’s Cousin because of the additional age differences between siblings. More generally, using the age difference allows us to rule out some relationships and assign more accurate probabilities to the remaining possible relationships. Since shared DNA and age difference complement one another, this method provides better results than those provided by shared DNA alone, and is useful even when only one individual’s age is known.

    The full description is significantly longer and includes several charts used to explain the technology. You can read the full article at:

  • 4 Mar 2023 10:00 AM | Anonymous

    The following is an extract from a longer announcement in the MyHeritage Blog:

    DNA Quest, our worldwide pro bono initiative to reunite adoptees with their birth families through genetic testing. As part of this installment, we are donating 5,000 free DNA kits to adoptees and people seeking family members placed for adoption.

    Learn more and apply on the DNA Quest website

    About DNA Quest

    DNA Quest was initially launched in March 2018 and extended the following year, with 20,000 free DNA kits donated to adoptees and people seeking family members placed for adoption. As a result, countless reunions took place across the globe and many lives were forever changed for the better. We are now relaunching the project and pledging an additional 5,000 free DNA kits.

    Adoptees often encounter multiple barriers when embarking on the search for their biological families. For some, at-home DNA testing offers the only hope of getting answers to their profound questions about who they are and where they come from. For many, time is of the essence in the search for biological family, as each year the older relatives they are seeking pass away. Especially given today’s economic climate, we are launching this third installment of DNA Quest to ensure that the cost of DNA testing does not prevent these individuals from discovering their origins and finding their biological family members.

    MyHeritage is home to one of the largest and fastest-growing DNA databases in the industry, with more than 6.5 million individuals. Since the previous installment of DNA Quest, our DNA database has nearly tripled in size. Given that many adoptions take place internationally, MyHeritage’s DNA test is ideal for adoptees seeking biological family, thanks to the company’s vast international footprint. With every person who takes a MyHeritage DNA test or uploads DNA data to MyHeritage, the chances of finding biological family members increase.

    While some DNA Quest beneficiaries found their birth families immediately upon receiving their DNA results, others continue to make new discoveries even now, years after the initiative was first launched. The past year saw a particularly high number of reunions, thanks to the lifting of COVID-related travel restrictions that allowed families to finally reunite in person.

    DNA Quest is open to anyone anywhere in the world who has been placed for adoption or who is searching for a close relative who was placed for adoption, provided they are above the age of 18. More details on the application process are provided below.

    You can read more, including numerous success stories, at:

  • 3 Mar 2023 10:52 AM | Anonymous

    The following announcement was written by FamilySearch. If you are not attending RootsTech 2023 in person, you will be able to watch this online at:

    Helping Foster Children Learn Who They Are by Connecting to Their Past

    RootsTech, the largest genealogy and family celebration event in the world, announced today that Connect Our Kids, a nonprofit organization pioneering technology to find families, build connections, and create community for children in foster care, will present their organization’s story live on the RootsTech 2023 main stage on Friday, March 3. Connect Our Kids’ Family Connections platform provides child welfare professionals tools to find contact information for extended families for youth in foster care—with the mission of finding extended relatives and natural support networks who will offer lifelong connections, support, and belonging. Find out more at

    Jennifer Jacobs and Jessica Stern, co-founders of Connect Our Kids, will share their organization’s incredible story in person with the global, family-oriented community of RootsTech 2023 in Salt Lake City, Utah, and live online at

    ”Knowing your family history helps you know who you are and where you come from. This information helps to heal trauma,” said Jessica Stern, co-founder of Connect Our Kids. “FamilySearch is an incredible and powerful tool for children in foster care to discover their roots, which leads to healing trauma and moving into adulthood with confidence.”

    “The theme of RootsTech 2023 is ‘Uniting,’” said Jen Allen, director of RootsTech. “We are pleased to use the RootsTech platform to help raise awareness for this important cause of uniting children with family members who can help them succeed in life.”

    Connecting Foster Children with their Families

    Connect Our Kids relies on 300+ public databases to help child welfare professionals find potential connections to living relatives for those in the foster care system. Before Connect Our Kids, social workers and volunteers had only their own sleuthing skills and a combination of web searches, telephone calls, knocking on doors, and social media searches—an arduous and time-intensive process. With Family Connections, an online and mobile app, the search process can begin in seconds, right from a smartphone.

    Research shows that foster placement in the home of extended family and natural support networks is safer for the youth and increases the likelihood of success significantly. This can include reduced trauma, higher participation in extracurricular activities, higher levels of employment, and preserved family connection. An estimated 100,000 children in the United States are currently waiting for permanent placement due to the termination of parental rights. Another 400,000 are in the foster system and could benefit from Connect Our Kids technology tools.

    The Family Connections platform is available free of charge to child welfare professionals at due to the generosity of family foundations and private donors.

  • 3 Mar 2023 10:42 AM | Anonymous

    The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration  has allocated $600,000 to transfer digitized veterans’ records from the Department of Veterans Affairs as it continues to work through a backlog of document requests, according to details set out in a strategic plan.

    The funding will be used to move files to NARA’s cloud workspace from the VA, which the Archives says will allow staff to access images and conduct day-to-day processing of veteran requests.

    Details of the funding were included in a strategic plan, revealed through a Freedom of Information Act Request, and follow sustained scrutiny of the backlog by lawmakers.

    NARA last May received a $9.1 million loan from the Technology Modernization Fund to update two systems that are key for furnishing veterans with documents.

    According to plan documents, as of Feb. 13, the backlog of unanswered requests had fallen to 404,000 down from a peak of 604,000 at the height of the pandemic.

    “NARA has allocated funding for several initiatives that will transform paper-based processes for fulfilling customer requests for paper records into fully electronic processes that rapidly deliver digitized copies to customers through secure, accessible web portals,” the agency said in the plan.

    The strategic plan also allocates $400,000 to support the electronic processing of record requests, which includes the purchase of laptop computers and other technology to allow NARA staff to fulfill requests electronically.

    During fiscal 2023, NARA has allocated $7.1 million to the modernization of its Case Management Reporting System (CMRS), one of the two systems at the center of the agency’s plan for furnishing veterans with documents.

    NARA added also that it will allocate “additional funds” to implement secure user authentication for the public using the governmentwide authentication service

  • 3 Mar 2023 10:13 AM | Anonymous

    The following announcement was written by Findmypast:

    Legacies of British Slavery 

    This collection from University College London comprises individuals who were compensated in 1833 with the abolition of slavery in the British Empire. There are just over 60,000 transcripts, which can include biographical information, names of spouses, and addresses. Be sure to click through the UCL website for more detail. The Legacies of British Slavery project at UCL was designed to shed light on the ways that the slavery system has shaped British history.  

    Nottingham Catholic Records 

    Over 290,000 new records have been added for the Diocese of Nottingham, which covers Nottingham, Derby, Rutland, Lincolnshire and Leicestershire. The earliest records are for 1641 and run up to 1913. These detail-rich biographical records can include names of godparents, witnesses to marriages and more, and include original images to explore. Simply add Nottingham as the diocese into your search of England Roman Catholic Baptisms, Marriages, Burials or Congregational records to delve in. 


    Around 246,000 new pages have been added to 55 updated titles, including Scottish tabloid The Daily Record.  

    Updated titles: 

    ·         Accrington Observer and Times, 1912 

    ·         Airdrie & Coatbridge Advertiser, 1988 

    ·         Ashbourne News Telegraph, 1990 

    ·         Birmingham Daily Post, 1997, 1999 

    ·         Birmingham Mail, 1968, 1980, 1982 

    ·         Birmingham Weekly Mercury, 1994 

    ·         Birmingham Weekly Post, 1889 

    ·         Bristol Evening Post, 1969 

    ·         Buckinghamshire Advertiser, 1988 

    ·         Chelsea News and General Advertiser, 1991 

    ·         Crewe Chronicle, 1982 

    ·         Derby Daily Telegraph, 1984 

    ·         Dover Express, 1991 

    ·         Evening Despatch. 1938 

    ·         Folkestone Express, Sandgate, Shorncliffe & Hythe Advertiser, 1902 

    ·         Gateshead Post, 1972 

    ·         Gloucestershire Echo, 1992 

    ·         Grimsby Daily Telegraph, 1999 

    ·         Hinckley Times, 1998 

    ·         Huddersfield and Holmfirth Examiner, 1878-1879, 1881 

    ·         Huddersfield Daily Examiner, 1996 

    ·         Hull Daily Mail, 1977 

    ·         Leek Post & Times, 1991 

    ·         Leicester Daily Mercury, 1994 

    ·         Leicester Journal, 1781 

    ·         Lincolnshire Echo, 1977, 1980, 1993-1995 

    ·         Liverpool Daily Post (Welsh Edition), 1981-1982 

    ·         Macclesfield Express, 1987 

    ·         Marylebone Mercury, 1996 

    ·         Nantwich Chronicle, 1982, 1999 

    ·         Newcastle Evening Chronicle, 1934, 1938 

    ·         Northampton Herald & Post, 1993 

    ·         Nottingham Evening Post, 1999 

    ·         Paisley Daily Express, 1999 

    ·         Retford, Gainsborough & Worksop Times, 1982 

    ·         Rutherglen Reformer, 1988 

    ·         Saffron Walden Weekly News, 1920, 1948, 1969, 1971, 1974 

    ·         Sandwell Evening Mail, 1978 

    ·         South Wales Echo, 1993 

    ·         Southall Gazette, 1982 

    ·         Sports Argus, 1980 

    ·         St. Neots Weekly News, 1988 

    ·         Staffordshire Sentinel, 1888, 1894, 1899, 1974 

    ·         Staines Informer, 1993 

    ·         Sunday Sun (Newcastle), 1974 

    ·         Surrey Advertiser, 1963 

    ·         Tamworth Herald, 1999 

    ·         Thanet Times, 1993 

    ·         The People, 1983, 1988, 1991, 1993-1995, 1997-1999 

    ·         Tiverton Gazette (Mid-Devon Gazette), 1858 

    ·         Torbay Express and South Devon Echo, 1976, 1981 

    ·         Walton & Weybridge Leader, 1995 

    ·         West Briton and Cornwall Advertiser, 1918, 1922 

    ·         Winsford Chronicle, 1994 

    ·         Daily Record, 1996, 1998 

  • 2 Mar 2023 10:23 PM | Anonymous

    The following announcement was written by Ancestry:

    New tools bring family history to life in sharable, bite-sized stories

    Ancestry®, the global leader in family history, announced today the launch of Storymaker Studio, a new feature in the Ancestry app that easily allows users to create bite-sized stories from their family history and share them within the Ancestry community and on their personal social media channels. Now with Storymaker Studio it’s easier than ever to turn those stories, combined with personal family memories and heirlooms, into engaging, shareable content.

    Storymaker Studio is a centralized, one-stop destination to curate facts, images, records and memories and tell the stories of your family history. With this new tool, members can upload and enhance photos and images, record and upload audio files (for the first time on Ancestry), integrate photos with audio, and publish their Ancestry Stories to their trees, on their personal social channels and within the Ancestry community. We all have a storyteller inside us but with Storymaker Studio you can become the storymaker for your family’s history.

    “Historical records and family trees are the cornerstone of genealogy research, showing moments of times and the relationships between people in several generations of a family,” said Ancestry Corporate Genealogist Crista Cowan. “Yet all of us know they are so much more than that. They capture love stories, triumphs, struggles and bravery - the stories of our family and heritage. They are the blueprint of what makes us, us.”

    To get started using Storymaker Studio, users can download or update the Ancestry mobile app and choose a story prompt. From there, they can easily add images, historical records and audio recordings to tell the story of their family and then publish to the Ancestry community, save to their tree, or share to their social media channels.

    Storymaker Studio is currently free with the Ancestry mobile app. Check out the storymaker studio at and share your story on Ancestry and social media using #MyAncestryStory.

    About Ancestry®

    Ancestry®, the global leader in family history, empowers journeys of personal discovery to enrich lives. With our unparalleled collection of more than 40 billion records, over 3 million subscribers and over 23 million people in our growing DNA network, customers can discover their family story and gain a new level of understanding about their lives. For over 40 years, we’ve built trusted relationships with millions of people who have chosen us as the platform for discovering, preserving and sharing the most important information about themselves and their families.

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