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Archive for 'Social Media Guides'

Ford Library participates in Wikimedia’s GLAM project

“As soon as I left the session, I knew that this would be a ground-breaking project for us,” said Bettina Cousineau, Exhibits Specialist at the Gerald Ford Library and Museum.

Cousineau was at this summer’s Association of Midwest Museums Conference in Indianapolis, IN, and attended the session “Wikimedia: Commons and GLAM” presented by Lori Phillips, the Wikimedia Foundation’s U.S. Cultural Partnerships Coordinator.

GLAM (Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums), a small part of the Wikipedia group, plays a huge role in providing public access to copyright free images from cultural institutions all over the world. These images are then incorporated into articles written by Wikipedia editors.

“We already have an extensive website with thousands of digitized images, documents and artifacts for the public to view. But by uploading those same materials to Wikimedia, they can be used in any Wikipedia article written by anyone in the world in almost any language,” Cousineau said. “I imagined an article written by a Wikipedia editor in Finland, using a document from President Ford’s participation in the 1975 Helsinki Conference as his source and illustration. To me that is significant public access of our material.”

To date, Cousineau has uploaded over 200 artifacts and photographs onto the Wikimedia Commons site. She and her team have connected with volunteer Wikipedia administrators who provide technical and coding assistance. The next step includes … [ Read all ]

The Crossroads of the Genealogy World

Pennsylvania Avenue is synonymous with iconic destinations and extraordinary events. From the White House to the United States Capitol, the notable institutions that line the street have hosted many of America’s most momentous occasions. Last month, the National Archives Building at 700 Pennsylvania Avenue continued this tradition by holding its Eighth Annual Genealogy Fair.

The fair, which was free to the public, took place April 18-19 on Pennsylvania Plaza in front of the Archives. Throughout the two-day event, the National Archives showcased Federal records that can be used as resources for family history research. In addition, staff members and exhibitors provided information for both experienced genealogists and novices.

This year’s fair featured the addition of three large classroom tents for informational lectures. These sessions included workshops on records relating to immigration, land, naturalization, military, online resources, and more.

When visitors were not viewing exhibits and attending sessions, they were primarily discussing the recent release of the 1940 census in digital form. Many visitors revealed that they are now using social media and web tools to locate their relatives.

If you are interested in helping to index the 1940 census, join the online indexing project and start creating a name index for the 1940 census today. To start, find census maps and descriptions to locate an enumeration district. Then browse census images to locate a … [ Read all ]

Join us for Social Media Week DC!

Our business may be the past, but here at the Archives, we use today’s social media tools to bring history to you. Join us for Social Media Week DC with some exciting events. All events will take place in the William G. McGowan Theater in Archives I in Washington, DC.

Thursday, February 16
Want to explore exciting new documents and help make them more accessible to the public? Come learn about the Citizen Archivist Dashboard. Meredith Stewart from the Open Government Division will conduct a demonstration of the Citizen Archivist Dashboard from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. The demo will be followed by an exciting hands-on workshop by Stewart and Social Media Manager Jill James called “Let’s Get Tagging!” from 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. 

These events are BYOD—Bring Your Own Device. Please bring your own laptop or tablet! If you can’t make it but still want to see what’s happening, follow the conversation on Twitter (use the hashtag #SMWarchives).

Friday, February 17
Participate in the “Social Media, Government, and 21st Century eDemocracy” panel at 1 p.m. Our very own Archivist of the United States David Ferriero will welcome the panel to the Archives. It will be moderated by Alex Howard of O’Reilly Radar and focuses on meaningful use of social media by Congress and the Government.

If you’re interested in registering for any these free events, check out … [ Read all ]

NARA, Wikipedia, and the Day of Infamy

No, I’m not talking about January 18, when English Wikipedia went dark in protest of the House’s  proposed Stop Online Piracy Act and the Senate’s PROTECT IP Act.

(Just 10 years ago, having no Wikipedia would not have fazed me in the least. We still had a dial-up Internet connection, and I regularly visited a brick-and-mortar library for reference books and articles. How things have changed . . .)

No, January 18 made me think of the original Day of Infamy,  December 7.

Last month, I was contacted by NARA’s own Wikipedian in Residence, Dominic McDevitt-Parks, regarding Wikipedia, NARA, and the events of December 7, 1941. Although we are more than a month past the anniversary of Pearl Harbor, Wednesday’s events reiterates the significance of Wikipedia and reemphasizes NARA’s involvement with it.

In commemoration of the anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, the featured article on Wikipedia’s main page was the ”USS Arizona.”

“Not only are there multiple NARA images on the article, it also includes two of the images that were digitized on request by Benjamin Christensen from Still Pictures,” McDevitt-Parks said. “They are the articles lead image, and then the second one down. The first one is really useful because it actually gives a full-length side view of the ship, unlike most other images.”

“When I met the primary author of the article, Eddie Erhart, at … [ Read all ]

Inspired by the Archives! Top Ten Tips for Writers

This post was written by Laura Brandt and originally appeared on the Facebook page of the Foundation for the National Archives.

Flexing your literary muscles this month but facing writers’ block? Don’t forget that the National Archives has a wealth of information to enhance your tale, whether you are writing a historical novel or are looking for inspiration for interesting characters or plot twists.

How about a tale of war, heroic birds, and desperate soldiers? During World War I, the U.S. Seventy-seventh Infantry Division attacked the Germans near Charlevaux, France. Only one unit penetrated enemy lines: Maj. Charles W. Whittlesay’s First Battalion of the 308th Infantry Regiment. The battalion was quickly surrounded by Germans—and then came under friendly fire from its own artillery. Whittlesay used his last carrier pigeon to send this three-sentence plea.

Or, what would it be like to be a White House photographer? White House Photographer Cecil Stoughton took this iconic photo of Lyndon B. Johnson’s swearing-in ceremony after John. F. Kennedy was assassinated–but maybe your White House photographer is with President Lincoln at Ford’s Theater, or is covering the President in 2024? Take a look at these photographs for more inspiration!

Are you struggling with character development? How about thinking about what your characters would keep in their wallets? Find out what Eleanor Roosevelt kept in hers…and don’t forget to … [ Read all ]