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Tag: Prologue

Monuments Men Coming to the National Archives

A new movie due for release next month tells the story of a special unit of Allied soldiers in Europe at the end of World War II. They were charged with finding and savings works of art and other cultural artifacts that the Nazis had seized.

Officially, this unit was called the Monuments, Fine Art, and Archives (MFA&A) section, but unofficially, they were the Monuments Men. But you don’t have to wait until the movie, also called Monuments Men, is released to learn about them. Greg Bradsher, a senior archivist and a specialist in this period in history, tells one story of the Monuments Men in the latest issue of Prologue magazine.

Bradsher is a frequent contributor to Prologue and an archivist specializing in World War II intelligence, looted assets, and war crimes.
In his article, Bradsher provides an account of how U.S. soldiers found a cache of treasures and called in the Monuments Men.
The most unusual find was a group of four caskets—with the remains of Frederick the Great, Frederick William I, and President Paul von Hindenberg and his wife. What happened to them? Bradsher has the answer.

The movie has an all-star cast: Oscar winners George Clooney, Matt Damon, and Cate Blanchett as well as Bill Murray and John Goodman. Clooney directs and is one of the producers. The film … [ Read all ]

Social Media for Genealogists

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
With over 15 years of “Genealogy Notes” now online, genealogists can search the Prologue magazine web site for fascinating articles listed by topic, including African Americans, the … [ Read all ]

“The pole at last!”

When Robert Peary wrote “The pole at last!!!” into his diary on April 6, 1909, he had no idea that his claim would be disputed for the next several decades by experts who doubted that he and Matthew A. Henson were the first men to reach the North Pole.

Marie Peary Stafford had no such doubts, but her mission was equally difficult to complete. In 1932 she headed to a remote part of Greenland to erect a monument to her father’s accomplishments.

Marie had been born in Greenland while her father was on an expedition there, and she was now returning to the remote country with her two sons. She had raised the money and had the plans for the monument—56 feet high with decorative marble Ps at the top—created by a Boston firm. They charted the schooner Morrissey, and when they sailed away from the dock, Matthew Henson was on the shore to wave them off.

The expedition was recorded by a cameramen hired to film the events, but Marie’s diary revealed that she struggle to maintain control over mounting problems.

In a her Prologue article detailing Marie’s journey, National Archives preservation specialist Audrey Amidon notes that the five master stonemasons turned out to be “a bricklayer, two stonecutters, a painter, and a carpenter.” When the cement froze and the workers attempted … [ Read all ]

So long, farewell! Remembering a von Trapp family singer