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  • 1999 Archive

  • Vol. 1, No. 12
    Whole #12
    December 28, 1999
    ** Circulating Library News
    ** Y2K at NEHGS
    ** National Digital Library News
    ** Website Log-In Instructions
    ** Manuscripts Volunteers on Newbury


    From the Circulating Library

    We are busy editing and updating our new circulating library catalog, readying it for the printer.  The new catalog will feature lay-flat binding to make it easier to use, especially when one hand is occupied by a phone!  The total page count has soared more than 20% to reflect our rapidly building collection.  The cover is being designed by a graphic artist in consultation with the Coordinator.  A recent sneak preview of the cover convinced us that this edition will be attractive enough for your coffee table!  Our target date for availability is the end of February.

    During the past few months we have acquired some very interesting books for patrons looking for ancestors coming to America from Italy, Germany and Russia.  We possess a ten volume set of books entitled Italians to America (New York arrivals January 1880-January 1897).  Germans to America catalogs in 60 volumes from January 1850-May 1891.  The six volume set, Migration from the Russian Empire covers the period January 1875-June 1891 and lists passengers arriving at the port of New York.  The criteria used to select names and lists varies, but these remain very valuable resources.  It obviously helps to know the date, but one can check the index very quickly for the name.  I have had difficulty finding my original surname spelling until I found an ancestor in one of these books.  His age and dates of arrival jibed with other information I had, but finding the German spelling was a real breakthrough!

    Have you tried searching our holdings at our new website?  Go to , link to 'Research Resources' then 'Search our Library.' Remember that the circulating library's holdings   have the words "also LOAN" following the Call Number.


    Y2K OK

    The Society and its Y2K Committee have taken steps to ensure that January 1, 2000 finds NEHGS compliant in all vital record-keeping and service areas. The Information Technology Department is expecting no trouble, as testing for Y2K compliance on the hardware, software and network levels have been ongoing throughout 1999 and are now complete.

    We wish all members and friends of the Society a safe, happy and healthy New Year!!


    Subject: Announcement of Collection Update on American Memory

    The National Digital Library and [its] Manuscript Division are proud to announce additions to one of the American Memory collections currently online: Words and Deeds in American History. This collection was created to celebrate the centennial of the Library’s Manuscript Division and its continued work protecting and providing access to the primary resource material that documents the people and organizations that shaped our country.

    The first addition to the Words and Deeds collection is a Civil War Photograph Album that is part of the James Wadsworth Family Papers. This album of two hundred, autographed cartes de visite (miniature portraits used as calling cards) is believed to have been compiled by John Hay, a personal secretary to Abraham Lincoln and later a noted political figure in his own right. Included in this leather-bound album are images of military officers, politicians, and cultural figures. People of note include Abraham Lincoln, Montgomery Blair,

    Oliver Wendell Holmes, Edwin Booth, Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee, and Salmon P. Chase. The work of twenty photographers or photographic firms is represented, including such notables as Mathew B. Brady, Alexander Gardner, the Whitehurst Gallery of Washington, D.C., and Black and Case Photographic Studios. Patrons can flip through each page of the album or view each image individually. They can also select images to view from two lists: a list of individuals appearing in the album and a list of photographers represented.

    The second addition to the collection is a draft of Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s The Woman’s Bible. Stanton, who is best known as a suffragist, participated in a number of reform initiatives with her focus on insuring women’s rights in all areas not just in the polling place. One of her most controversial stands was on the Church’s role in limiting women’s progress. In the late 1880s, Stanton began a through study of the Bible. Her work, along with the contributions made by a committee of academic and church women brought together for this project, led to the creation of volume one of The Woman’s Bible. Focusing on only those passages that mentioned women or erroneously omitted women, The Woman’s Bible reproduces the original text followed by a reinterpretation or commentary. The 151 pages of material made available online as part of Words and Deeds contains Stanton’s handwritten text for the books of Genesis, Exodus, and Numbers published in the first volume of her Bible and the book of Matthew published in volume two.

    “Words and Deeds in American History” can be found at the following URL: .

    Please direct any questions about the additions to the Words and Deeds online collection to


    Log-In Instructions for

    To access members-only areas of the new website, you need to enter your membership number and last name (as it appears on your membership application) in the member log-in area, located near the top left corner of each page.


    Newbury Street Volunteers Sought: Manuscripts Department

    The Manuscripts Department collects unpublished material that supports the research of historical and genealogical studies of families with New England connections.  Our collections include the papers of professional genealogists, family associations as well as primary source materials including original diaries, Bible records, correspondence and photographs.

    Volunteers are needed to help process manuscript collections.  Processing collections includes placing material into acid-free folders and boxes, flattening documents and removing items which may damage the paper such as staples or paper clips.  The collections are arranged and described by creating, if one does not already exist, a logical and useful order and writing a guide to the collection that provides a biography of the compiler/creator, description of the contents, and a folder-level inventory. Cataloging opportunities also exist.

    There is a training manual describing each process along with instruction by staff and other volunteers.

    NECESSARY SKILLS include attention to detail and computer skills, especially word processing. An understanding of research in original material, or familiarity with history or genealogy is useful

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