Gary Mokotoff, Editor
Volume 16, Number 23 | June 7, 2015
Every government puts value on preserving its history. That is why we have national archives. Genealogy preserves history; the history of a family. It cannot be done without access to records, just as historians cannot preserve a nation's history without access to records. It is a greater good than the right to privacy. It is a greater good than the risk of identity theft.
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Underlined words are links to sites with additional information.
Morse Site Shut Down Over Copyright Dispute
The entire Stephen P. Morse One-Step site at http://stevemorse.org has been taken off the Internet because an individual filed a Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) complaint stating the site violated her copyright. Specifically, the woman says a picture of her shown in a yearbook displayed at the Morse site is her property and should not have been used without her permission. Morse hopes to have the matter resolved by June 16.
The stevemorse.org site is hosted by GoDaddy.com whose policy is “While GoDaddy is investigating the claim [of copyright infringement], GoDaddy, at its sole discretion and without any legal obligation to do so, may notify the alleged infringer it will lock down the domain name(s).” It would appear its policy is guilty until proven innocent. GoDaddy, as an Internet Service Provider, has thousands if not tens of thousands of web clients, so their policy is a quick solution to a potential problem.
Ancestry.com also has yearbook photos at its website. I am sure they would treat such a DCMA inquiry differently. The pcture at the right, taken from a Columbia University College of Pharmacy yearbook, appears on Ancestry.com
It is unlikely that the woman is the copyright owner of a picture in a yearbook, but it brings up a matter that is very important to family history researchers. Who owns the copyright to a creative work such as a photograph or a family history written by a professional writer? The answer is the creator of the work. If you have someone write a family history and pay thousands of dollars for the effort, the writer stills holds the copyright. If you get into such a circumstance, have a written agreement transferring the rights to you.
IAJGS Conference Offering Option to Those Who Cannot Attend
Can’t make it to the conference but wish you there to hear the lectures? The conference planners are offering you an option. “IAJGS On-Demand 2015” will bring more than 50 of the best programs from the 35th IAJGS International Conference on Jewish Genealogy to your computer screen. Subscribers will have access to the lectures for up to a year. “IAJGS On-Demand” subscriptions are $149 for the full package or $55 for one day. A discount of $50 will be given to anyone with a full conference registration.
Registration for this service will be open shortly. To receive a notification of registration, write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Website Identifies Archives in Israel
Rose Feldman of the Israel Genealogy Research Association reports that the National Library of Israel has launched a list of 465 of the more than 600 archives in Israel. The list is available in both English and Hebrew. It includes archives name, telephone, e-mail, manager name, and links to the archives Facebook or website if they exist. The site is located at http://tinyurl.com/ISAArchives. There is also an interactive map of all the archives at http://tinyurl.com/ISAMap.
Feldman reports that these two pages are part of the IAN (Israel Archives Network) Project, which is part of the “Landmarks” Project, a large-scale national initiative to promote preservation and exposure of and access to cultural materials for the public at large using up-to-date means. The IAN Project brings together the National Library of Israel and the State Archives, under the auspices of the Prime Minister's Office, in order to create an infrastructure and unified standards to ensure that the unique material preserved by the various heritage archives in the State of Israel will be properly preserved and broadly accessible to the Israeli public at large in a convenient and uniform format in the near future and for generations to come.
All Galicia Database Adds Search-By-House Number Feature
The All Galicia Database has added yet another search parameter to its search engine: searching by house number within any town with more than 25 records. This means that analysis of events taking place in the same house over nearly one hundred years—based on any type of record where a house number was noted (birth, death, tax, school, landowner, notary, etc.)—can now be made with the data at the site, which is located at http://search.geshergalicia.org.
For example, searching for persons named Horn living in Buczacz produced a house number of 118. Going back to the search engine and now searching for anyone associated with house #118 produced the names of other persons living at that location.
The All Galicia Database now has 320,394 records from 138 different sources. Its search engine has a large number of ways to search the database including given name, surname, located within a given number of kilometers from a specific town, house number in a specific town, and recently added records only. It is also possible to sort the results in a variety of ways.
JewishGen Announces Updates to Memorial Plaques and JOWBR Databases
JewishGen Memorial Plaques Database (MPD) now has more than 82,000 Records. It can be accessed at http://www.jewishgen.org/databases/Memorial/. MPD includes data on memorial plaques and yizkor (memorial) lists from synagogues and other organizations. In many cases the actual memorial plaque is shown. These plaques usually include the person’s name, date of death (based on the secular and Hebrew calendar) and Hebrew name (which includes the patronymic). Where the plaque is not illustrated, the site provides information on how to contact the institution that has the plaque.
For a complete listing of the institutions currently in the database, go to http://www.jewishgen.org/databases/Memorial/tree/MemList.htm. Persons interested in volunteering to add plaque information from their local synagogue can find instructions at http://www.jewishgen.org/databases/Memorial/Submit.htm.
JOWBR, the JewishGen Online Worldwide Burial Registry, now has more than 2.4 million records. It is located at http://www.jewishgen.org/databases/Cemetery. For each deceased person there is identifying information from cemeteries and burial records worldwide; in some cases, the actual tombstone.
Recent additions are from Austria, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Poland, Romania, Scotland, Ukraine and the United States. A complete cemetery inventory is at http://www.jewishgen.org/databases/Cemetery/tree/CemList.htm. There are more than 100 countries cited.
Ancestry.com Adds Virginia Vital Records
Ancestry.com has added an index to Virginia vital records, many as recent as 2014. They include birth records (1864–1999), marriage records (1936–2014), death records (1912–2014) and divorce records (1918–2014).
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