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Archive for 'Social Media Guides'

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.

Pigeon Message from Capt. Whittlesey to the Commanding Officer of the 308th Infantry, 10/04/1918 (ARC Identifier: 595541); File Unit: Field Messages - 32.16; , Records of the American Expeditionary Forces (World War I), 1848-1928; Record Group 120.

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 … [ Read all ]

Get your smartphone–we’re on SCVNGR!

Admiral Farragut wishes he had a smartphone to play the new Civil War trek on SCVNGR (ARC 529975).

We’re excited to announce that you can now play with historic records outside the National Archives Building!

The Foundation for the National Archives, the National Archives’ nonprofit partner, has partnered with mobile gaming company SCVNGR to build a game that lets you experience our historic records in the very places where their creators lived and worked.

Find Mathew Brady’s studio, see a now-disappeared canal, and learn about Civil War nicknames by downloading the SCVNGR app (pronounced “scavenger”) on your iPhone or Droid. Then follow the “trek” in an easy walk around the National Archives neighborhood, completing history challenges, earning points, and winning  rewards!

You can even complete certain challenges on the trek to win a special SCVNGR coupon to use for 15% off in our Gift Shop at the National Archives Building.

For more information on how to play, watch the “How to Play” video on http://www.scvngr.com/.

Happy trekking!… [ Read all ]

Social Media for Genealogists

Even if you can't attend our annual Genealogy Fair in Washington, DC, you can use social media to hear from subject matter experts at National Archives events

Are you thinking of starting to research your family tree? Or maybe you’re wondering how to use bounty land warrants to find your ancestors? Or do you’re confused on how to search immigration records? The National Archives has programs and resources for beginning and expert genealogists. And one way to use these resources, regardless of where you are in the world, is to use social media.

Twitter
Follow us @archivesnews. When Hurricane Irene was coming, we tweeted out links on how to keep your personal records safe. Follow us for genealogy workshop announcements at our National Archives locations across the country or for updates on the 1940 census. If it is a genealogy announcement, we use #genealogy. And feel free to tweet your questions to @archivesnews!

Blogs
The National Archives has 13 blogs to choose from, but genealogists will be especially interested in NARAtions. With NARA staff from across the nation contributing, this blog features posts on “Family Tree Friday” with all kinds of useful information for genealogists. We also like The Text Message–look over to the right-hand side of the page under “categories” and click on “genealogy” to bring up all the posts that might interest you.

Prologue magazine online[ Read all ]

Tag! You know something!

Sharks! ARC 535531

Last week on Facebook, I posted up a image that my colleague found for Shark Week. It wasn’t a biological shark, but a mechanical one. The caption provided some basic information: “A Chinese soldier guards a line of American P-40 fighter planes, painted with the shark-face emblem of the ‘Flying Tigers,’ at a flying field somewhere in China. The American pursuit planes have a 12-to-1 victory ratio over the Japanese., ca. 1942.”

The comments in the post, however, provided far more information! Facebook users launched into a knowledgeable  discussion of dates, forces, and plane types.

But if anyone used our Online Public Access search engine (OPA) to search the online holdings of the National Archives using the words that came up in the discussion (“23rd Fighter Group” or “Kunming” or “Zhongzheng Type-24,”) this photograph would not appear. A possibly useful record would not make its way to a researcher.

This is why the Archivist has invited “citizens archivists” to join him in crowdsourcing our vast holdings by tagging images and photographs. Users who have knowledge about our holdings can assign tags that make records more findeable for fellow users.

Already, users have contributed hundred of tags. Are you interested in joining the fun? We’d like your help!  To learn more about the project, sign up, and start tagging, go here.

Interested in learning more about those strange shark … [ Read all ]

NARA on Twitter

2010_229a.jpg

Birds of a feather ...

In honor of our Bill of Rights Twitter Contest, we thought it was high time to review all the tweeting that goes on in the National Archives family. While our tweets may be short, they are many, and so to help you navigate the micro-blogging waters, we’ve put together a short list that describes what our separate Twitter accounts do. So, check out the list below, and follow your favorites!

  1. @ArchivesNews: Designed to be your one-stop-Twitter-shop for all things Archival, the @archivesnews Twitter feed is a hodgepodge of links to historic goodness. Think of @archivesnews as the hub of spokes in a wheel, from here you can connect to the latest Piece of History, Press Release, speech from Archivist Ferriero, document of the day or … background history on Teddy bears?
  2. @FedRegister: Consider this Uncle Sam’s personal Twitter account. Routinely updated, the Federal Register’s Twitter account is a great way to keep tabs on what’s going on in the Federal Government. Want to know what the EPA is doing to keep the air clean?  Look no further. What about the latest documents signed by President Obama? If you need to be in-the-know when you’re on the go, this is a great resource.
  3. @JFKlibrary: It’s no surprise that JFK’s most famous line fits in
[ Read all ]