I’ve blogged before about the relatively new Digital Public Library of America (here’s a post introducing the DPLA and here’s one on historical maps you’ll find there). Now the Library of Congress has posted a 31-minute webcast that features the DPLA content director, Emily Gore. She not only demonstrates some great examples of what you can find in the public portal of the DPLA, but also discusses the potential for gathering even more materials (she gives an example using local sources.) It’s a great introduction to the site, and Gore answers some questions from the audience that seem to be on a lot of people’s minds.
Looking for a more basic intro to the DPLA? Check out this introductory video, too.
Ever wish there was a really easy directory for U.S. digital libraries and archives, organized by state with great commentary about the content? There is. But it’s not in a place most genealogists would look.
Open Education Database.org has a blog post called “250+ Killer Digital Libraries and Archives.” The post is a LONG annotated list of digital libraries and archives that don’t require library memberships, subscriptions, etc. to access. (In other words, open access.) It’s organized by U.S. state, so you can scroll down to the states of most interest to your research.
Digital archives and libraries give us remote, fingertip access to original and published materials we might never otherwise know about or be able to access. Look here for books, government documents, photographs, manuscript items, memorabilia, audio recordings and more. This is a great resource for genealogists. Click the link above to get all the info.
Digital archiving is a hot topic for genealogists these days. Digitizing our family documents, photographs and other artifacts is one more way to help us preserve and share our heritage. Well, the Library of Congress wants to help us out! It has published a free e-book, Perspectives on Personal Digital Archiving.
Scroll through the table of contents and you’ll see immediately why this book is valuable to family historians. There are lots of how-tos on preserving photos and other images: what file formats to use, cloud storage, adding digital captions, image resolution and more. There are sections on how everyday people are preserving their own digital archives. There’s even a great chapter on making sure your digital files live on after you pass away.
There’s an entire chapter on digitizing for the family historian. It gets to the heart of a genealogist’s file organization and storage needs: “Digital genealogy could result in a heap of text files (such as GEDCom files), image scans (most sites enable you to save an image in either JPEG, TIFF or PDF formats), audio files and video files. It’s best to follow the Library of Congress’s personal archiving advice, which is basically to:
1) organize everything within one collection folder
2) backup your collection onto several storage media in several different places
3) migrate your collection every five years or so to new storage media.
Don’t trust that a third-party genealogy service will always remain in business and keep your stuff safe forever. You should have your own copy handy and another copy backed up somewhere else.”
Great advice! Check out the entire book for yourself. And thanks to GenealogyBlog authors Leland and Patty Meitzler who blogged about this new e-book on their site.