Sunday, May 06, 2007

EWGS Spring Seminar with Halvor Moorshead

Yesterday I had the privilege of attending the Spring Seminar hosted by the Eastern Washington Genealogical Society at the downtown branch of the Spokane Public Library. Our featured speaker was the charming and knowledgeable Halvor Moorshead, publisher of Internet Genealogy, Family Chronicle and History Magazine. Attendees came from as far away as Western Washington (300+ miles) and Northern Idaho.

Mr. Moorshead presented four topics during the all-day program: The Internet 2007: What's New and What's Coming; Researching Old Newspapers Online: Your Ancestor's 15 Minutes of Fame; Web 2.0: New Uses of the Internet for Genealogical Research; and Dating Old Photographs. His presentations were informative, interesting, many times humorous, and well-received. The lecture notes are available online here.

Because I spend much of my free time online connecting in some way to the world of genealogy, much of his information on The Internet 2007 and Web 2.0 was not new to me. However, many of our members and guest attendees appreciated the wide scope of resources available online which Halvor presented to them. I thought I would not be that interested in the presentation about Old Newspapers, but our speaker put his finger on the root of my apathy: it's not that I lack interest in old newspapers online, it's the fact that there's no comprehensive list of online newspaper sites and what they contain coupled with the difficulty of running searches on the sites that are available, not to mention that most sites require subscriptions. It's confusion, not apathy, that is my problem! We need someone to set up a site similar to Joe Beine's DeathIndexes.com with just lists of online newspapers!



Dating Old Photographs was my favorite presentation. Halvor showed us samples of photographs and the clues one can use to help date a photograph. His books, Dating Old Photographs: 1840 - 1929 and More Dating Old Photographs: Expert Advice and All New Photographs are on my wish list.

As the Ways and Means Committee Chairman, I oversaw the sale of merchandise and the auctioning of various genealogy media that had been donated by many members of the society, including large collections from the home libraries of Bette Butcher Topp, Ruby Simonson McNeill, Donna Potter Phillips and Beverly Smith Vorpahl. I think a lot of attendees went home happy with the goodies they had won! In addition, we had Sherry Bays, Eastern Regional Archivist from the Washington State Archives who generously donated two sets of postcards for our door prizes. Each package contained eight different cards with vintage trademarks from various Washington State companies. One set was entitled Salmon Run (salmon cannery trademarks) and the other Early Statehood (food product trademarks: coffee, flour, dairy, etc.). Sherry also had more sets that were available for donations of $10 and $8, respectively. The monies raised will go toward the new proposed Washington State Heritage Center in Olympia. If you are interested in obtaining some of these postcards for yourself, please contact me (click on "View my complete profile" in the right-hand menu), and I will put you in touch with Ms. Bays.

Any finally, the highlight of my day was the opportunity of meeting the footnoteMaven! We didn't nearly have enough time to visit, but we did get to chat on several topics (including genealogy courses offered by the University of Washington's extension program), and I look forward to more conversations in the future.
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