State Archives of North Carolina: New Digital Collection: Secretary of State Wills. “The State Archives of North Carolina would like to announce the creation of the new digital collection, North Carolina Secretary of State Wills. The digital collection contains wills from 1663 to 1789. These are loose original wills probated in the province. After 1760 most original wills were kept by the clerk in the county in which they were probated, though there are some wills after 1760 in the collection.”
The Royal Society: Our new archive is live and free to use. “Like most publishers, our content didn’t publish online first until 1997, so we have been busy updating the earlier content to make it easier to search, find and explore. In previous blog posts about the project the team have talked about the digitisation process, how we have made decisions about metadata, and the importance of language. For us this has been a massive undertaking as our content dates back to 1665!” This massive new collection is free to use until January 24th. So get some use out of your holiday break. Right?
Harvard: Scroll through Colonial life. “n a few weeks, the Harvard Library will release a new website for its ongoing, multiyear digitization ‘Colonial North American Project at Harvard University.’ Approximately 450,000 digitized pages of all the known archival and manuscript materials in the Library relating to 17th- and 18th-century North America will be available to the public.”
History for All the People, from the State Archives of North Carolina, is doing a series on how to interpret handwriting. “Since beginning my work with digitizing the General Assembly Session Records collection at the State Archives, I have had to do a bit of research on how to effectively interpret 18th century manuscripts in order create the appropriate metadata for the records and improve discoverability of these records in our digital collection. The following sections include a brief history of writing during this time period, characteristics of 17th and 18th century British-American handwriting, and some tips on deciphering the text found within these records. This is the first blog post of a series on how to read handwritten colonial documents.”
Euromaidan Press: Huge genealogical database of Ukrainians born in 1650–1920 opens online. “The database includes 2.56 mn people and is expected to reach 4 to 5 mn in 2019. The access to its contents is and will remain free of charge. The sources of data are manifold: birth registers, fiscal and parish censuses, lists of nobility, voters, the military, and victims of repressions, address directories, and other documents produced under the Tsardom of Muscovy, Russian and Habsburg Empires, Poland and the Soviet Union. A Roman-letter version of the data index is reportedly to be enabled in the coming months.” The home page was in Ukrainian, but Google Translate handled it okay.
From The Newberry: Announcing “Religious Change, 1450 – 1700”. “The Newberry announces the public launch of Religious Change, 1450 – 1700, a multidisciplinary project drawing on the full range of the library’s programs, services, and staff expertise. Coinciding with the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s 95 Theses, Religious Change will explore how challenges to religious authority ushered in an age of hope, fear, and anxiety that continues to shape religion, politics, culture, and every other facet of human life. We will pursue this theme through an array of public programs and digital resources, as well as an exhibition opening in September. “
Los Angeles Times: Shakespeare died 401 years ago, but original scripts from his era live on in a new digital archive. “Christopher Marlowe, Thomas Middleton and Thomas Nashe — despite the best efforts of high school and college English teachers — remain also-rans compared with William Shakespeare, whose fame keeps growing…. On Sunday, the Folger Shakespeare Library — the august institution based in Washington, D.C., that includes a research institute as well as a celebrated theater — will try again to change this. Last year, on the widely celebrated 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, the library offered a digital archive of the playwright’s work. This year, on the 401st, the Folger will open a Digital Anthology of Early English Drama, which makes original scripts and visual images from 40 plays available to anyone with Internet access.” The site is live now.