Posts Tagged ‘libraries’

Invisible Ancestors: Ideas & Strategies for Recreating Their Stories: A Web Conference

Elissa Scalisse Powell, a Certified Genealogist, posted on the Association of Professional Genealogists (APG) mail list, the following exciting information about a free web teleconference for genealogists at the Library of Congress this coming Wednesday, June 18th.

Invisible Ancestors: Ideas & Strategies for Recreating Their Stories: A Web Conference

When: Wednesday, June 18, 2:00 – 3:00 p.m. (Eastern Daylight Time), 1:00-2:00 p.m. Central Time

Many ancestors – early immigrants and pioneers, slaves, women, native peoples, and others do not have compiled biographies. They are invisible except in the historical record, through the census or other data collection entities. Where there are gaps in their history, the stories can be told through early travelogues, letters, diaries, other texts and printed ephemera, photographs and other visual media, and maps.

Join Library of Congress Digital Projects Coordinator, Judy Graves, and Local History & Genealogy Specialist, Anne Toohey, for ideas and strategies for combining physical and online materials that go beyond the data and recreate the stories of these individuals. We invite you to take this opportunity to sample the Library’s online materials and locate items that will enrich the stories of those whom you would like to know better.

NOTE: Allow yourself time to download the small software plugin needed to participate in the conference. Depending on your network security requirements, you may need assistance from your local technical support group to download and install the plugin.

Actual installation should be very quick, depending on your computer and connectivity. All that is needed is a computer with an Internet connection, sound card, and speakers. A microphone will enable you to speak to the group.

To attend, go to OPAL at:
1. Click the “Download Here” button in the light blue rectangle in the center of the screen.
2. Follow the directions to download and install the plugin.
3. Click the link in the orange rectangle to enter the room.
4. A gray box will appear with text asking permission to launch an external application, web conference plugin. When the grayed out text “Launch application” becomes black, click the Launch application button.
5. Type your name (no password is required) and click “Log on” to enter the online conference.

To learn more about programs sponsored by the Digital Reference Section, see: Virtual Programs & Services -

To learn more about the Library’s Local History & Genealogy Reading Room, see:
Laura Gottesman
Digital Reference Section,
The Library of Congress
From the Quick Links column on the left, choose Auditorium.

Submitted by:
Elissa Scalise Powell, CG

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Vital Records Lookups, Update to the Update

This morning the Onondaga County Public Library (OCPL) sent a request that I post some additional information regarding their offer to do Free Lookups.

“OCPL will do limited lookups – a 5-year span on births, deaths and marriages. Questions are answered in order and often may take several days. Please be aware that many fiche are difficult to read, and while staff tries to be as accurate as possible any information stated is as it appears.

The index begins in 1880 and while NY State passed a law that year requiring the filing of these records, they still weren’t uniformly or consistently filed until well into the 1900′s. For more information about the index and what it covers:

Read the first article in this series by going to this link:  How to obtain copies of Vital Records for Genealogical Purposes in Upstate New York.

Read the second article in this series by going to this link:  New York State Vital Records Microfiche Indexes Update

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Here is a very fast search site for books and other media that are available from libraries worldwide. It is part of the OCLC system and is located at the url of:

When you input a search term it will quickly come back with numerous items and when you put your zip code in it will show you which libraries nearest you have the item you searched for.

It will benefit you to use the “Learn More” button. Here is a partial blurb from their information catagory.

You can search for popular books, music CDs and videos—all of the physical items you’re used to getting from libraries. You can also discover many new kinds of digital content, such as downloadable audiobooks. You may also find article abstracts and their full text; authoritative research materials, such as documents and photos of local or historic significance; and digital versions of rare items that aren’t available to the public. Because WorldCat libraries serve diverse communities in dozens of countries, resources are available in many languages.

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