Showing posts from July, 2011

Kishinev Pogram of 1903 documented in rare collection in Israel's Nat'l Library

The terrible Pogrom of 1903 in Kishinev, tsarist Russia, was documented in photographs, international newspaper articles, posters, and other materials. Jews were attacked, wounded, killed, and property damaged in April and again, later, in October. About 70 people died and over 500 were wounded.  The community, later under Soviet rule, sent the collection to Israel for long-term preservation. The international community was outraged and protests were received by the tsar's government both from other nations and from Russian poets and writers.  To learn more click on the following url. Note: There are some graphic images of the dead, destruction, and desecrated Torah rolls.  You can also Google the Kishinev Pogrom.   This is an example of what Archives do and how important Archives are: we document the good and the bad to prove they both existed to future generations.

Facebook anonymity to end? What will the impact be to online debate?

An article in HuffPo today notes that Facebook administrators want to eliminate anonymity online. They hope this will end things like cyberbullying, stalking, etc. How are they going to enforce this? They can delete spam accounts, but how can they tell that you aren't who you say you are when there are multiple cases of criminals using dead people's identities to cash their government checks after death, or stealing their identities for other nefarious uses. What about all the pets and babies with their own FB accounts? How will Spot and Rex react when told they can no longer FB anyone? Will they bite someone? (That's a joke, people!)  While forcing people to use their real identities could theoretically stop some abuses and crimes, it will also impact free debate, especially on sensitive issues and in nations or communities which do not support free debate, discussions, and/or dissenting opinions.  What will you need to produce to prove who you are? Who will check the dat…

theft probe now looking at National Archives

Jason Savedoff who supposed stole 60 historical documents from Maryland Historical Society  with an estimated value of $6 million, may have also stolen documents from other institutions including the National Archives. A search of his home located a letter from Benjamin Franklin from the New York Historical Society. In 2010, Savedoff sold a FDR Library document to a dealer for $35,000. People who steal historical document from historical institutions in effect steal our history from all of us because they stop our access to it. For more see the July 26, 2011 article in the Washington Post at

Boyce's extensive property in England well documented

My wonderful processing intern students found an insurance manuscript yesterday detailing properties Boyce owned and insured in 1891 in Grove Farm, Tivetshall, Saint Margaret, Norfolk. The farm, barn, 5 tenant houses, barns, numerous carriage and farm animal buildings, were insured in 1891-1892 for 2,000 British pounds. That is A LOT of money at that time.

Today more related documents surfaced.  Boyce purchased Grove Farm,  which was a hereditament, an inherited property, from John Aldous "plantation". He paid 790 British pounds on deposit toward the total cost of 3,900 pounds on Oct. 7, 1890. His nephew, John Aldous, junior signed that he had received the funds.  The property description includes the Grove Farm and barns, outbuildings, cottages, woods, plantations, parcels of lands situate in the parishes of Tivetshall, St. Margaret Tivetshall, Saint Mary, and Gissing in Norfolk.  Also, in the document, Boyce purchased a public house called The Swan, in Tivetshall Saint Mar…

10,000 Photos of pre-statehood Israel digitized by Library of Congress

The Library of Congress (LC) has digitized 10,000 images of Israel before it became a nation. The images were taken by a Christian group from the U.S., called The American Colony. The Colony lived and worked in Israel until the 1940s, when the group returned to the US and donated the images to LC.  Well documented in the images is the struggle over the land in World War I, especially.  Britain and Germany fought over Israel and supremacy and control of canals.  Troops from multiple nations were involved,  German led Turkish, Austrian, and German troops, and British led British, Australians, and Indian troops.  Camels, trains, and feet were then then main means of transportation. For more information in the Jerusalem Post which displays several images daily, click here

Gorgeous church music manuscripts

The BBCNews reports that late 16th c.Scottish music books written by a man who was once a monk are being reunited for the first time for an exhibit. Beautiful images. Gorgeous handwritten manuscript music.  Check it out at The man is credited with preserving this type of music soon mostly lost in the church of England reformation.

Will Robert F. Kennedy's papers remain at the JFK Presidential Library?

63 boxes of RFK's papers are soon to be declassified and made available to researchers at the JFK Presidential Library. This has brought other unhappy issues to light. Apparently Robert's descendents and widow do not think he and his papers (all 2,3063 boxes covering VietNam, Cuba, Civil Rights, etc.) have received sufficient respect. The family is considering moving the papers to other major libraries because there is no separate building dedicated to RFK. NARA agrees, at this point, that RFK's family owns his papers. This could be disputed under the Presidential Records Act, but NARA is not adding fuel to the flames now. The family has asked Sotheby's to appraise the papers. Apparently there has been unhappiness about the situation for a number of years which increased in 1991 when a new meeting facility was named for Stephen Smith, husband of Jean K. Smith. Robert's family was offered a hall. The RFK family would like more. A lot more. A new 30,000 square foot w…

Feds arrest members of Anonymous

After disrupting websites and effectively closing others down, 14 members of the computer hacking group Anonymous have been arrested in the US and abroad. More are supposed to be arrested soon. What will they be charged with? Cyberattack on PenPal, exceeding authorized access to AT&T's servers and accessing thousands of documents, intentional damage to a protected computer for "Critical infrastructure protection." Anonymous is known to have attacked PenPal, Church of Scientology, Motion Picture Assn of America, Recording Industry Assn of America, Master Card, Visa, PayPal, and suspected of cyberattacks against Sony, Fox News, AZ Dept. of Corrections, and Booz Allen Hamilton, among others. They function by denial-of-service attacks, overloading websites and effectively shutting them down. Where will this lead? Are they going to be convicted? Is this going to spawn more groups fighting for Julian Assange and his net distribution of "secure" info?  To see the …

Maryland Historical Society hit by thief

Two thieves were caught stealing items from Maryland Historical Society. Estimates of some materials are individually estimated to be worth $100,000. Glad they were caught. For more information read on.,0,7602985.story  Thievery happens to historical museums and archives and libraries, both with outside thieves and inside thieves behind the scenes. We had an alleged thief going around MI historical museums and archives in 2001 who stole a lot of items and shipped them to a place in CA. What a mess that was. He and a partner visited the Clarke and set up photographs for quick pick up later in the week, but one of our staff noticed things were not in order and alerted me and we realized that we were being set up for a hit. It happens in the best of places, even the National Archives. When I worked in Penn. staff at the PHMC State Archives were alerted to a thief after a rare books dealer …

antiquities smuggling ring nabbed.

Today in CNN a report on the dismantling of an international antiquities smuggling ring, one of whom operated in MI. The thievery of antiquities, a gift to the world, is as bad as the theft of information of archival value, in my opinion. I'm glad the police caught these thieves, who also were into money laundering. For more info click here  Smuggling of antiquities is the third most profitable crime after narcotics and weapons. What a shame.

Have archaeologists found the city of David?

You know I love archaeology. Here's a recent article and video in CNN today about an excavation that some say may be the city of David. If so, it will prove the kingdom of David existed. So far, excavations show a lack of pig bones, so this may be a Jewish site. However, excavations are far from over and the point has not yet been proven. How interesting. They have a lot of people working on this site. Interesting video. For more info, click here:

Another cyber attack of an American defense company

Don't you wonder what the hackers  are really doing? The BBC just reported that Anonymous attacked US defense consultant Booz Allen Hamilton and has released more than 90,000 email addresses, passwords and other similar information onto The Pirate Bay file-sharing site. Clearly the company, which should be very red in the face, needs to upgrade its security. More importantly, what will be the impact because this information is out there? Is someone going to go after Ms. X's info and try to get into the system? By the time I type this will Booz Allen Hamilton have changed all the passwords? Is this going to affect our security as a nation if they are national defense consultants? Anonymous has proved that it and similar organizations can hack just about any organization's website it desires. I can think of some nations and organizations that would like this information. Interestingly it doesn't say how long it took Anonymous to hack the site, nor exactly when it hacked …

British Library will partner with Google

The national library of Britain will have 250,000 books up to 1870 digitized by Google. Google is digitizing the contents of the big ones. How exciting! Smaller libraries will be left to do only a few home publications at this rate. For more read here.

Flag preservation

Ok, I'm going to give the museum curators a freebie here. There is a very nice article entitled Rally 'round: Preservation project salvages history - one flag at a time" from Sunday July 3,  on flag preservation at the State Historical Museum in Des Moines, Iowa. They offer lab tours showing how they are stablizing a Civil War flag of the 28th Iowa Infantry. The photos are interesting. Clearly this flag endured battle damage. There is additional information on other historic flags and how they are stored and exhibited re: preservation standards. Good job Iowa!

Interesting bits about Google and Facebook internationally

I read two articles about e-info on Google and Facebook that have implications for records management and e-records concerns in the future that I found interesting. One on Huffpo noted that Google recently took down 11 million sites, bulk subdomain sites, used to distribute malware and for phishing attacks. 11 million! No wonder there's so much junk online. Imagine what there will be in the future.  Sites continue to become more sophisticated and the rest of us will have to deal with them.  To read the article click here:

Another article of interest was this one at
about the Arabic language overtaking English within a year as the language of choice on Facebook in the Middle East. We all have read how FB'g has contributed towards the Arab Spring.  Here's a fascination quote from the article. "According to their study, Arabic Facebook has grown ab…

N. Korea or its sympathizers are Blamed for US cyberattack

More on electronic warfare in the internet. NK cyberattacked SK this year to see how quickly it could recover from the attack. The 2009 US government internet attack were routed through the same machines. The attacks used layers of encyption and were sophisticated in nature, consistng of huge numbers of webpage requests. NK's internet (I wonder how many there actually have access to it? Not many I'd bet...) runs through China or Japan, so it is hard to trace.  Isn't that interesting. I wonder if NK is behind it or the stool pigeon for China. For more on this see HuffPO article  of July 5 at
I also read somewhere that NK's university students except seniors and foreign students were sent out to build buildings for a year because they are so far behind their master building plan to create housing. Those poor students.I wonder if they get internet access.

Vatican to exhibit some of its Secret Archives!

According to HuffPo the Vatican will show 100 documents next year form its secret archives, Feb-Sept at Rome's Capitoline Museums. This will be a first. Its in honor of the Archives' 400th anniversary. How cool is that?! Wish I could go. The article notes that documents will be included about POpe Pius XII who is up for sainthood although he is thought to have done little to save Jews from the Holocaust. For more there is a brief article at

Another Boyce body surfaces

In the lumber camps men got hurt. A letter dated Aug. 8 1899 from George H. Stocking of West Branch reported to Jonathan Boyce that Samuel Graboski was killed by a tree falling on him in one of Boyce's lumber camps. The letter notes that "Dr Winslow & Haumam ordered the body taken care of..."  Stocking ordered a "suit of undercloths & shroud." and reported Graboski had a "good burial". Samuel's body was shipped to his home in Carrollton, MI. The total charges were $22. We will probably find more letters documenting the deaths of other lumber camp men. gives us a little information on Samuel's family. The 1900 federal census for Saginaw County, Carrollton, District 30 enumerated in June 1900 lists Samuel's widow, Catherine, age 60, and their son, Samuel, age 30, single, both born in Poland-Germany and both emigrated in 1888. Samuel was a naturalized citizen, Catherine was not. Neither were listed as employed. Sh…