Sunday, August 23, 2015

Scanfest is Coming!

The August 2015 Scanfest will take place here at AnceStories this coming Sunday, August 30th, from 11 AM to 2 PM, Pacific Daylight Time.
What is Scanfest? It's a time when geneabloggers, family historians, and family archivists meet online here at this blog to chat while they scan their precious family documents and photos. Why? Because, quite honestly, scanning is time-consuming and boring!

Scanfest is a great time to "meet" other genealogists, ask questions about scanning and preservation, and get the kick in the pants we all need on starting those massive scanning projects that just seem too overwhelming to begin.

To get started, you need to know the basics about scanning:

1. Don't use commercial glass cleaners (i.e. Windex) or paper towels to clean your scanner's glass plate. Use a soft, clean cloth, preferably microfiber. If you must use a liquid, use water sprayed directly onto the cloth  and make sure to let the plate dry thoroughly before placing photos or documents on it.

2. Wear cotton gloves (available at many art and/or photography supply shops) when handling photos and old documents.

3. Don't slide the photos around on the glass plate. Place them exactly where you want them. Photos should NEVER be scanned by a scanner that feeds the document through the machine, but ALWAYS on a flat-bed scanner.

4. Set your scanner to scan at no smaller than 300 dpi (dots per inch). Many experts recommend 600 dpi for photographs.

5. Photographs should ALWAYS be scanned and saved as .tif files. Use "Save As" to reformat the .tif file to a .jpg file for restoration and touchups, emailing, or uploading to an online photo album. ALWAYS retain the original scan as a .tif file.

6. Documents can be scanned as .pdf files or .tif files.

7. When you are done scanning your photos, don't put them back in those nasty "magnetic" photo albums. Place them in archival safe albums or boxes found at websites such as Archival Products or Archival Suppliers. Do NOT store any newsprint (articles, obituaries, etc.) with the photos. The acid from the newspaper will eventually destroy the photograph.

Now about the chatting part of Scanfest:

We will be using Blyve, a live blogging platform that you access right here at AnceStories. On Sunday at 11 AM, PDT, come right here to AnceStories and you'll see the Blyve live blog/forum in the top post. It's not really a "chat room," per se, it's more like a live forum and anyone visiting this site can read and see what is happening in the forum.

You will not need to download any software.

We look forward to having you participate with us!

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Friday, August 21, 2015

Friday Finds and Follows: 21 August 2015

Articles and posts that caught my eye:

This week's post will be heavily geared toward Washington State Resources, mainly because of the Northwest Genealogical Conference held last week in Arlington, as well as recent articles published at the Washington State Secretary of State and Washington State Library blogs.

  • Digitization grants awarded for Washington Rural Heritage, 2015-2016 by Evan at the Washington State Library blog - great news if you have ancestors from Asotin, Clallam, Kittitas, Skagit, Stevens, and Whitman Counties. And if your ancestors hail from other counties instead, check out the Washington Rural Heritage project to see if digitization has been done for those.
  • Jackson Axley at the Washington State Secretary of State blogs has begun a fantastic new series called "A Snapshot of..." which highlights each county in Washington State. An image of the county flag, a historical overview, photos, and fun facts are included in each post. They are being published in alphabetical order. Currently, posts for the following counties are available: Adams, Asotin, Benton, Chelan, Clallam, Clark, Columbia, and Cowlitz.
  • Washington's session laws by Judy G. Russel at The Legal Genealogist - Judy highlights some of the historical legal gems available online for Washington state
  • Washington State resources by Judy G. Russell at The Legal Genealogist - another post by Judy, this one highlighting the Seattle regional branch of the National Archives, the Washington State Archives (including the famous Digital State Archives), and the Washington State Genealogical Resource Guide.
  • Jurisdiction Alert - Alaska Court Records by the author of BRB's Public Records Blog - notifies the public of some significant fee rates for record searching and filing for the State of Alaska's Superior and District Courts.
  • On Mice and Men—and Research Habits by Elizabeth Shown Mills at the Evidence Explained blog - the importance of heading back "into the maze" and looking for our "cheese" in different ways and places
  • Glacier National Park : Fire! by Becky Wiseman at kinexxions - My friend Becky came and visited me right after this event. Unfortunately, Glacier Park--and much of the Northwest--is still afire.
  • That was too close for comfort! by Chris Korstanje at My Genealogical Adventures - this reminds me that I need to do another backup!
  • Is it safe to scan curled negatives? by Sally Jacobs at The Practical Archivist blog - I'm always looking for good answers for scanning questions like these, especially when similar ones often get brought up at Scanfest 
  • Museum Day Live! 2015: Free Admission to Participating Museums on Sept. 26! by Diane Haddad at Genealogy Insider - looks like I need to put "Visit the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture (the MAC)" on my calendar for September 26th!
  • British Movietone Digital Archives Online by Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter - want to watch the same newsreels your ancestors watched? Or use them to highlight a blog post? Check out this free collection!
  • Maggie Bennett Killed By A Train by Lee Drew at FamHist - this sent chills up my spine, mainly because for the last month, I've been putting together a post about my Maggie, also age 12, who was killed by a train in the Midwest.

My New Genealogy Follows at Twitter:

I'll have an updated list next time.

Genealogy Facebook Pages I've "Liked":

Follow Me

Check out my websites:

Online Historical Directories 

Online Historical Newspapers

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Saturday, July 18, 2015

July 2015 Scanfest Has Been Cancelled

I'm cancelling Scanfest for July.

I have a fantastic reason to do so.

See this couple looking adoringly at one another?

That's my sister with her Mr. Wonderful. And they are going to be married next week, the day I had planned for the July Scanfest way back in December.

As genealogists, we love weddings! A whole new branch to tie into the family tree; another family to research!

But as the sister of the bride, I have my own reasons for loving this marriage. You see, my sister is a wonderful woman. She's a loyal friend, a loving mother, a dedicated nurse, and an I'll-be-there-for-you-no-matter-what sister. She deserves a great guy, and she is getting one.

Lucky me; I get another family to research AND I get another wonderful brother, nephew, and niece in the bargain! Good people who will make great family members.

We'll commence Scanfest again in August; the 30th, to be exact. Be on the lookout for the upcoming announcement. And send your best wishes and thoughts to Sis and Mr. Wonderful next Sunday as they celebrate the beginning of a whole new life together.

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Friday, July 10, 2015

Friday Finds and Follows: 10 July 2015

Articles and posts that caught my eye:

Helga Estby walked cross-country to try and save family farm by Stefanie Pettit at The Spokesman-Review - in 1896, a Norwegian immigrant from Spokane County and her 18-year-old daughter set out to walk across America from the Northwest to New York City to win $10,000 to save their family farm. Were they successful?

Two new coins to mark McCrae’s ‘In Flanders Fields’ by Gail Dever at Genealogy à la carte - Canada is honoring its most famous WWI veteran

Using Etsy for Genealogy by Thomas MacEntee at Geneabloggers - who knew? Using this "Ebay for handmade goods" site can yield some genealogy treasures!

Pacific Northwest Digital Collections Summit, Final Report Available by Nono Burling at Between the Lines (the Washington State Library blog) - "In March 2015, the Oregon and Washington State Libraries co-hosted a summit of approximately 50 library, archives, and museum professionals to explore avenues for increased collaborative digitization throughout the region." Includes an interactive map which shows you digital projects already underway in Washington and Oregon.

How to Find the Cheapest Office Supplies Online by Ryan Dube at MakeUseOf - because genealogists can never have enough genealogy supplies!

How To Stay Healthy Before, During, And After A Convention by Stephanie Lee at Lifehacker - SLIG and RootsTech 2015 were visited by plagues; here's how to avoid them in the future

My New Genealogy Follows at Twitter:

@mohistorymuseum, @ACGSI, @FamilySleuther

Genealogy Facebook Pages I've "Liked":

Follow Me

Check out my websites:

Online Historical Directories 

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Friday, July 03, 2015

Friday Finds and Follows: 3 July 2015

The last "Friday Finds and Follows" post I published was on April 17th. A lot has been happening in my life since then, which caused me to kind of drop off the face of the earth...or at least off the face of Blogger. Some of the many things which have kept me busy, tired, and realizing the need for cutting back from genealogy and blogging for a while until I catch my breath have included;

  • physical therapy twice a week after my knee surgery on April 2nd; there was also a twice-a-day exercise regime I had to follow
  • much pain and fatigue as a result of my surgery; some days I'd come home from work, pop dinner in the microwave, and then crash in bed!
  • teaching a five-week genealogy course through my local community colleges district's seniors' program
  • an interview for and a job offer as a Secretary  Senior with the Toxics Cleanup Program at the Washington State Department of Ecology, the latter which I gladly accepted!
  • giving my two weeks' notice as a Special Education Instructional Assistant at Spokane Public Schools and subsequently finishing up my duties there, including writing detailed sub plans for my replacement
  • a new job with a steep learning curve...but a fun and interesting place to work!
  • a two-day out-of-town workshop for my new job's program
  • planning for my parents' 50th anniversary celebration
  • getting used to my new daily schedule and routine with a longer work day (eight hours vs. six hours)
I've finally "found my groove" and actually have spent some time the last week in a half doing research on the sister of one of my great-grandfathers. It's time to do some blogging once again! Thanks for bearing with me. This post includes some older finds and not just ones from the past week.

Articles and posts that caught my eye:

The laws of access by Judy G. Russell at The Legal Genealogist - be prepared the next time you go to a county clerk's office or state archives

An open letter to genealogy societies by Susan Petersen at Long Lost Relatives - Susan lists her (very valid, in my opinion) frustrations about societies. These are reasons why many are dying off.

Digital Archives milestone: 150 million records by Brian Zylstra at From Our Corner (blog of the Washington State Secretary of State) - I'm proud of what my home state has done with their fabulous digitized records collections, and wish more states would follow this example.

Ten Tips for New Geneabloggers by Bill West at West in New England - Are you thinking about blogging, or are you a new blogger? Here's some good advice from a long-time and well-read geneablogger.

How to Download Your Tree by Elizabeth O'Neal at Little Bytes of Life - some handy tips

A challenging environment: Alaska, 1900-1940 by Zachary Garceau at Vita Brevis - ever wonder how those enumerators got around that remote land called Alaska to do the census? You'll be amazed!

EWGS 80th Anniversary Celebration...A Fun Event by Donna Potter Phillips at the Eastern Washington Genealogical Society blog - still going strong after 80 years! Here's how we celebrated!

New Maps of Juneau, Alaska's Evergreen Cemetery to Go Online in October by Leland Meitzler at GenealogyBlog - as someone born and raised in Alaska, I always cheer when more of that great state's genealogy resources go online!

Longest Marriage in My Family Tree by Cecily Cone Kelly at Letters to My Grandparents - this post came about from a Facebook conversation Cecily and I had. I'm so glad she wrote it; now I need to write mine!

Make Your Genealogy Blog Photos Stand Out on Pinterest! by Lisa Lisson at Lisa blog - I'm a new fan of Lisa's blog, and after reading this post, I'm sure you'll know why. She's got lots of great tips!

A Time I Will Never Forget--I Am a Survivor! by Brenda Leyndyke at Journey to the Past - Brenda is another blogger whose writings have recently been added to my news feed. This story is personal, poignant, and exactly an example of what WE should be writing about for OUR descendants!

My New Genealogy Follows at Twitter:

@steve_newby3, @OnwardToOurPast, @ITAPconference

Genealogy Facebook Pages I've "Liked":

Follow Me

Check out my websites:

Online Historical Directories 

Online Historical Newspapers

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Saturday, June 27, 2015

24liveblog: New Platform for Scanfest!

The last two Scanfest sessions have been a bust. We've had technical issues with Blyve, the liveblogging platform we've been using for several years. So I went in search of another free liveblogging platform and discovered 24liveblog.

Like other liveblogging platforms we've used in the past, 24liveblog has the ability to be archived on my blog for those readers who missed Scanfest and want to read about what happened, or for those participants who may wish to look up some information that was shared during Scanfest.

However, one difference is that 24liveblog does not have any kind of set up for participants to have their own behind-the-scenes dashboard. Only the liveblogging host has that option. I'm not sure that we'll be able to share media, either. But the reliability and cost-free factors are well-worth it. We'll be giving it a spin tomorrow for the June 2015 Scanfest.

To participate, simply go to any time between 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m., Pacific Standard Time. You'll see the June 2015 Scanfest post with the 24liveblog event embedded in the post. You'll be able to post your comments at any time.

If our trial event goes well tomorrow, I'll be updating future "Scanfest is Coming!" posts to include the new platform and more detailed information on how to participate.

Looking forward to "seeing" you soon!

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