Tuesday, July 12, 2016

world's largest cemetery and other fascinating cemetery facts

I always find historic cemeteries and excavations of remains fascinating. Here's a current story on the largest cemetery in the world, in Najaf, Iraq, where 5 million  are buried there. From the sky it looks like a town. More than 50,000 a year are buried there and burials are up due to the war. See brief video here http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-36688600  The cemetery is called Wadi Al-Salam or Valley of Peace. It covers 1,485.5 acres. Burials have occurred for 1,400 years. It is being considered as a World heritage Site. For more info see here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wadi-us-Salaam

This made me wonder what are the other top ten largest cemeteries? Here's a list from http://10formation.blogspot.com/2013/01/10-biggest-graveyards-around-world_12.html

Biggest in acreage:
1. Wadi Al-Salam, Iraq 1500 acres 10 million
2. Calverton National Cemetery, NY 1045 acres 212, 000 buried
3, Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery IL 982 acres can accommodate 400,000 buried
4. Ohlsdof Cemetery, Germany 966 acres 1.5 million buried
5. Karacaahmet Cemetery, Turkey 750 acres 1 million buried
6. Rookwood Cemetery, Australia 741.3 acres 915,000 buried
7. Spring Grover Cemetery, Ohio 733 acres  ? buried
8. Arlington National Cemetery, DC 624 acres 400,000 buried
9. Crown Hill Cemetery, IN 555 acres 200,000 buried
 10. Brookwood Cemetery, UK 500 acres 235,000 buried

So this made me wonder how does this compare to say Gettysburg National Cemetery? GNC had only has 3,000 Union Civil War soldiers buried originally and then  reburied at the site of Pickett's Charge. The remains of most Southern soldiers were shipped to to Southern sites for burial. Also after 1898 annexes were added to accommodate soldiers from later wars from the Spanish-American through WWII. Now there are more than 6,000 soldiers, and their wives and children, buried in the GNC. The last Civil War era remains were interred in 1996. The remains of an unidentified man, troop unknown, in his 20s, skull shattered by a projectile, were found during an excavation of Seminary Ridge earlier that year. Total acreage of the cemetery and annexes is now over 22 acres. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gettysburg_National_Cemetery and https://www.nps.gov/nr/travel/national_cemeteries/pennsylvania/gettysburg_national_cemetery.html for more information.

Monday, July 11, 2016

secret messaging

Facebook is trying out a new "secret message" service on its messenger app The sender can chose a period of time after which the message becomes hidden..You chose a device to use and store messages on. There are positive and negative applications for the secrecy. There will also be features to report abuse and a delay method before deletion to enable flagging. The service is based on Signal protocol which is well tested and respected in the cryptography field. Read more about it here http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-36744470

Thursday, July 7, 2016

MI job posting

@UMichLibrary is now hiring a Digital Preservation Specialist (2-year term position) umjobs.org/job_detail/128

small collections

Small collections are a lot of work. One of my work tables is full of small collections. A few can go into vertical files, but most will become a small, individual collection requiring processing, sleeving (for photographs) description, a catalog record, adding to the Manuscript Location guide, perhaps a box or two or a folder, labeling, and shelving. There is a couple of weeks worth of work on this table. Trying to find the time....

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

A day or two in the archives

Had a good day today working on co-writing an article about our film project for the MAC Newsletter. New volunteer Cody is working well on our most recent deposit of CMU Park Library organizational records.

Had a good day yesterday watching 1973-4 Channel 9 & 10 news films. There were some fascinating color combinations that made interesting fashion statements then, not to mention those mustaches and sideburns. What were people thinking? Today ended with a 1974 film of people pulling up marijuana in a field. That answers some of the fashion statement query. I laughed a lot yesterday over those films. 

Thinking about AMIA in November-will I make it there and can some of us work on poster presentations?

Big national archival news is that a Thomas Jefferson letter discussing the end of the War of 1812 and how much he hates the British was found in the attic of a family in Mississippi. The family is descended from the American ambassador to France at the time, William Crawford. It's for sale for $325,000. Read more about it here http://www.cnn.com/2016/07/06/politics/thomas-jefferson-rare-letter-for-sale-discovered-attic/index.html

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

database of financial crime exposed online

Last week CNN reported that an outdated version of a  restricted database with information about terrorists and terrorist organizations, organized crime, and money laundering was "exposed" online. The information was then removed. It had over 2 million records. The version that was exposed by a third party was two years old. The database is  World-Check Risk Screening and it amasses  data from the public domain about financial crime and criminals to help banks screen possible criminals. European privacy laws require that personal information on the database is to be kept secure. The database was created by Thomson Reuters. Who the third party was or why they exposed the information online without any required passwords or codes was not reported.  Read more about it here http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-36662612

Thursday, June 30, 2016

US WWII bomber finally found

In honor oi July 4th, here's a patriotic news blip. My next blog entry will be on Tues.

A WW II bomber in Pacific just found. The plane, a TBM-1C Avenger, went down in 1944 near Palau. It was found by Project RECOVER, a group that uses archival research, beginning at the National Archives, and sonar tech to find Americans MIAs. Remains, if found, will be identified from DNA and dog tags so families can have closure. Read more about it here http://www.cnn.com/2016/05/25/us/downed-wwii-plane-pacific-ocean-trnd/index.html