Showing posts from February, 2012

the iceman Oetzi reveals more about himself

The remains of an early man from 5,300 years ago found in the Alps in 1991 have proved fascinating. Analysis of his clothing, weapons, basic fire making tools, and medicinal equipment led to changes in our ideas about and an increase knowledge of how early humans  survived and traveled. At first people thought he had died there of natural causes or froze to death. Then it was discovered that he had been murdered. Now new tests of his nuclear genome offers additional information. Now scientists know he had brown eyes, "o" blood type, and some health issues. He is the first known case of Lyme disease infection. He was lactose intolerant and genetically predisposed for heart disease.  His DNA shows he wasn't a local man at all, but closer related to Italians. His DNA also show he was descended from Middle Eastern ancestors.  Aren't genes amazing? You can't escape them even after 5300 years. I think it is phenomenal that his remains have survived and that we can lear…

Your last 2 years of Tweets available to businesses

Suddenly instead of just your last month's worth of tweets being made available to businesses for marketing purposes, now they can access your Tweets back to Jan. 2010. You don't like that? Too bad. For more read the BBCNews article at  Sometime they are going to announce that all your Tweets are available to different groups for various purposes. Wait and see.

Clarke's old desk provenance discovered

Finally, while Tressa Graves was processing Dr. Maybee's papers, she found a letter and photographs proving that the carved black walnut desk in our stacks is not Mr. C.T. Grawn's but actually was the property of Mr. Charles F.R.Bellows. Bellows was the Principal of Central Michigan Normal School and Business Institute, which later became CMU, 1892-1896. By 1966 the desk was the property of Mr. Harris McKinney of Worton, MD. He wrote to Mrs. Shoup of Alma, Michigan, who in turn contacted Professor Rolland Maybee. With the 75th anniversary of CMU approaching, the desk came  to CMU and has been in the Clarke for at least the last 17 years.

Internet privacy rights- your "private" e-information rights

Something we should all care about is in the news now on a regular basis. All our "private" e-information really isn't private at all. In fact it is available to a lot of people for the right price. The White House has outlined a new "bill of rights" for Internet firms to follow. Check out the language and what it does and doesn't say. "Internet users should have the right to limit the context in which information was collected, should be allowed to correct information, and should have the right to transparency in privacy policies." It doesn't limit the types or amount of information already or to be collected. It does not make your information inaccessible or prevent your information from being collected. It doesn't describe what kinds of personal information are being harvested for other reasons beyond targeted consumer sales, such as anti-terrorism measures or other crime stopping or monitoring measures.  It doesn't say how long inf…

Fun things in the Clarke

Here is a GAR hat and below a Civil War eraser. Besides lots of Civil War and post-Civil War (would that be Reconstruction era) manuscript collections and images, we have some 3-D objects. Besides these and the Civil War writing kit I previously featured in my blog, we also have examples of Civil War money and a plate stolen by a Yankee from a Rebel home.

First image of Thomas A Edison

A soon to be famous person in an early daguerreotype. Read this interesting blog from the Henry Ford and my friend and another archivist, Cynthia!

Twitter has downloaded your address book and saved it without telling you-why?

If you Tweet on your Smartphone and have an address book on Twitter, chances are it was completely copied without your knowledge and stored on Twitter's servers. How long is it saved and for what purpose? The time period may be 18 months. Why is it stored? So the company or government knows more about you and your contacts? Isn't that your information? Apparently it is not. This is like phones keeping track of where you go. It makes you wonder if the government anti-terrorism units had an agreement with Twitter and maybe they have one with other companies like Facebook to keep track of potentially unhappy citizens who may be a threat to the rest of us. Is this Big Brother in action? The more I read about info and how it is used without our knowledge the more I believe that anything we do, connect with, write, tweet, see or post will be documented for a long, long time and this is not a good thing for any of us. Talk about an invasion of privacy. For more read this BBCNews arti…

Fascinating Tel Aviv exhibit documents tools and information the Mossad used to capture Eichmann

From the Archives of the Mossad, the original equipment, including cameras, photos, notes, and equipment to change license plates used to find and document Eichmann in S. America, and the bullet-proof area in which Eichmann sat during his trial are now on exhibit in Tel Aviv. The curator, an active Mossad agent, remains unidentified. Eichmann was located, interrogated, drugged, taken to Israel, tried, condemned for being the brains behind mass genocide, and hung. His 1961 trial broadcast the details of the Holocaust and the lives of its survivors throughout the world at a time when many wished to forget it, and made it clear what survivors had suffered and what Israel was prepared to do about it. Very James Bond-ish, but better because it is real. Did I mention, from the Mossad Archives?? How cool is that? The paper clips on some of the papers look original. Too bad they haven't been removed to improve preservation. I bet they are rusty now. Check it out at…

Interesting "mermaid" provenance of early showman item

As part of my ongoing interest in circus and carnival history, I bring to your notice this BBCNews bit on 19th century "mermaids." Apparently one of these concocted hoax mermaids that were exhibited by people like P.T. Barnum in large cities along with other oddities like freaks and "historical" items of dubious provenance is now in the news. These hoax items generated a lot of income and press for the showmen. This mermaid is being investigated as to what it is actually made of, where it likely originated, and its provenance in general are being researched. Is this one Barnum ever exhibited? Barnum was known for his Fiji mermaid, which was partially made from a monkey's remains. To read this interesting article and see the x-ray of the "mermaid" click here  To read about the Fiji monkey click here  What is really fascinating to me is that people paid to see these …

CIA website hacked again

For the second time since June 2011, the CIA's website was hacked, this time by Anonymous. Why? Probably because of Megaupload being shut down. The BBCNews article notes that the computer system of the CIA has probably not been compromised. One wonders though if this is true or not. If our government sites can be shut down by Anonymous perhaps we should invest in ongoing increasingly secure sites that can't be shut down, as well as a thoughtful re-engineering of copyright.They want access, truth, transparency and do not believe these goals have been achieved. I do not see these shut downs stopping until communication has occurred. How do you shut down people you cannot find? It's terrorism in the computer, not on land. And hacking is happening on an international, us versus them basis. This is affecting all of us in the security of our sites and our national information and secrets, trade or governmental. For more read the article…

stolen Afghanistan artifact returned

Through efforts of Interpol and ambassadors, a 200 AD sculpture, one of thousands stolen from the National Museum of Afghanistan and identified in Germany, has been returned. Stolen collection pieces that are surfacing in the US, Japan, and Europe. For more on this BBCNews bit, and to see this gorgeous piece, click here The destruction of museums, archives, historic centers, religious centers, and the resulting lost of culture and history of nations is one of the horrors of war. Many other collection pieces and exhibit spaces have damaged. What an effort to reclaim their history!

CMU Museum exhibit opening tonight Fri 2/10 4-6

Yesterday, I visited the CMU Museum. The new exhibit looks fabulous, particularly the completed trees. The trees are in thirds so you can see plant and animal like on the bottom, middle, and top of trees in a jungle. It's beautiful and amazing. Quite a transformation from prior exhibits. There are all kinds of animals, plants, insects, and reptiles on the floor, walls, trees, etc. The kids hands on room is excellent.  I highly recommend it to all ages. Food and drink tonight 4-6. Some of the museum students are my students and/or Clarke students.  Good job all around everyone!  Particularly those who painstakingly attached all that netting to the ceiling to give us the canopy effect! To see some of the initial work and students working on projects click here

Megaupload's shutdown having a ripple effect

Last month's shut down of Megaupload due to people ignoring copyright laws is now causing other sites to follow copyright laws more closely and shut flagrant abusers down. Will this have some long-term effects on the industry and on copyright? It's interesting to me that most of these sites are not based in the US. For more read CNN's article today at

wax recording of Otto von Bismark's voice released

Wax recordings are an early, now obsolete, sound recording formats. Wire was also used before reel-to-reel recording, records, or CDs were invented. To hear Otto von Bismark, the great 19th c. German statesman voice, of course speaking German!,  click here for the BBCNews link

new VA slave database

CNN reports that through a grant, the Historical Society of Virginia has created a new database of slave information from many sources in its collections. Virginia was a major center of slavery. Most people with American slave background will find a link somewhere in the VA slave database. For more info, and to check out the database, click here   These are examples of records generated for sales, profit, estates, census, recovery of lost property or runaway slaves. But now they are genealogical records of ancestry.

Louisiana Archives job posting

I hope that this helps someone looking for a job.

The LSU Libraries invites applications for an ASSISTANT LIBRARIAN (Head of Manuscripts Processing/Tenure-track)
Duties and Responsibilities:
Working under the general supervision of the Curator of Manuscripts/Interim Head of Special Collections, the Head of Manuscripts Processing oversees all aspects of processing, arranging, and describing manuscript holdings to make them accessible and support public service and outreach. The incumbent uses advanced technical knowledge and skills and independent judgment to analyze incoming acquisitions, accession collections, create essential management data, and determine how and to what level materials will be processed. The incumbent arranges and describes manuscript collections and creates DACS-compliant finding aids and original MARC records for those collections; he/she also hires, supervises, trains, and assigns work to 2 FTE support staff and 1-3 graduate assistants who carry out processing tas…

a newer, younger looking Mona Lisa

During restoration work, a different painting of the Mona Lisa, created in Leonardo's workshop by one of his students, has been found. It encompasses more of her body than the image we know and adore. She looks younger and brighter in color, less grime helps. To check out this fascinating lady in the BBCNews today click here

previously unrealeased parts of JFK tapes now available to public from NA

Parts of tape recordings of conversations aboard the plane bearing the president's body, widow, and President Johnson out of Texas have finally been released to the public by the National Archives. To read the article and hear part of the tape click here  This is an excellent example of some material, not all, being made available to researchers and the public at one point, and later full release being allowed.