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.
The St. Augustine Record: New digital archive to put worldwide focus on the state’s early history. “The names, occupations, ages and origins of many colonial Floridians, including St. Augustinians, will be a key part of a new online archive and database slated to launch this fall. ‘The overall goal here is to create a biographical dictionary of anyone who ever set foot in Spanish Florida between Ponce de Leon in 1513 and 1821 (when Spanish rule ended),’ said J. Michael Francis, Ph.D., of The University of South Florida. ‘That could quite easily be 20,000 to 25,000 people when it is done,’ he said.”
Now available: a digital archive of Czech artist Petr Brandl. This article is in Czech, but translates decently enough. This quote is also translated: “The approaching 350th anniversary of the birth of the Baroque painter Petra Brandla National Gallery purchased a complete online database of artwork and also publishes two-volume monograph by art historian Jaromíra Neumanna, who after his death remained in manuscript.”
A digital archive of shipwreck journals is now online. “The Western Australian Museum and the Netherlands National Archives is creating a digital archive of journals and documents relating to the ships and shipwrecks associated with the Dutch East India Company (Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie or VOC) in Australia.” Looks like there are three online so far, 2 from 1727 and one from 1658.