Muckrock: Social Security Death Master File. “We are interested in obtaining publishing the ‘open access’ Social Security Death Master File (aka Death Index) — i.e. the one not covering people who died w/in the last 3 years. It is extremely useful for genealogical and medical research, preventing fraud, etc.” This is a crowdfunding effort to pay for the Death Index; if it succeeds Muckrock will make the database publicly available for free. The effort is trying to raise just under $6000.
Genealogy’s Star: The Ultimate Digital Preservation Guide, Part Five — What is worth preserving?. “Digital preservation has two main challenges that are not shared with paper books: device obsolescence and file format obsolescence. Unlike a book sitting on a shelf, a file on a storage media such as a hard drive can become unreadable merely because of the passage of time. This occurs as the devices used to store the information become inaccessible (think floppy disks) or because the operating systems and programs change over very short periods of time (think of an old computer program you can no longer use on any present-day computer). To preserve the information in a digital file, it must be periodically migrated to newer hardware, programs, operating systems, and file formats as those change over time.”
National Archives: NARA Digitizes More than 500 Volumes of U.S. Navy Muster Rolls. “The National Archives partnered with the Joint Institute for the Study of the Atmosphere and Ocean (JISAO), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the University of Washington to digitize more than 500 volumes of U.S. Navy muster rolls, making them accessible to the public through the National Archives Catalog.”
Digital Library of Georgia: Thomasville History Center’s Cutler Collection now freely available online. “The digitized items from this collection consist primarily of diaries, letters, and family papers dating from 1800-1980 belonging to Hazel Beamer Cutler, a dancer on Broadway who performed in the Ziegfeld Follies in the 1920s, and who resided in Thomasville, Georgia throughout much of her life. Included in the materials is genealogical research on the Quarterman and Baker families, pioneers of South Georgia; correspondence with visual artists Dora Wheeler Keith and Ben Ali Haggin, III, and Vermont banker Henry Miles Cutler. There is also some information about Candace Wheeler, founder of the American Decorative Arts movement.”
New York Times: Hacking, Glitches, Disinformation: Why Experts Are Worried About the 2020 Census. “Most concerns about the census have been focused on the Trump administration’s effort to include a question about citizenship status. On Wednesday, the Justice Department, under pressure from President Trump, vowed to continue fighting to add the question, despite legal and logistical barriers, a day after saying time had run out. But far less attention has been paid to other issues that could threaten the census’s accuracy.”
Genealogy’s Star: The Ultimate Digital Preservation Guide, Part Four — What is digital preservation?. “Before going much further with this series on digital preservation, it is important to understand the concept of digitization and what is meant by digital preservation.”
State Archives of North Carolina: Digital Collection now Complete: The General Assembly Session Records. “After three years, The General Assembly Session Records digital collection is now online! This digital collection covers the session records from 1709 to 1814, located in the State Archives of North Carolina.”