EurekAlert: Study uses AI to estimate unexploded bombs from Vietnam War. “Researchers have used artificial intelligence to detect Vietnam War-era bomb craters in Cambodia from satellite images – with the hope that it can help find unexploded bombs. The new method increased true bomb crater detection by more than 160 percent over standard methods.”
NARA: Confederate Slave Payrolls Shed Light on Lives of 19th Century African American Families. “They are single lines, often with no last name, on paper yellowed but legible after 155 years, among thousands scrawled in loping letters that make up nearly 6,000 Confederate Slave Payroll records, a trove of Civil War documents digitized for the first time by National Archives staff in a multiyear project that concluded in January. For years, the Confederate Army required owners to loan their slaves to the military. From Virginia to Florida, the enslaved conscripts were forced to dig trenches and work at ordnance factories and arsenals, mine potassium nitrate to create gunpowder, or shore up forts.”
State Archives of North Carolina: World War II Digital Collection Additions. “The Digital Services Section of the State Archives of North Carolina is pleased to announce new additions to the World War II digital collection online. Since Fall 2018, DSS has been digitizing a large addition of items related to World War II from a variety of collections. These items were selected to commemorate the 75th anniversary of World War II and to increase their usage through online access. The items relate to home front activities in North Carolina, North Carolina military installations, and North Carolina soldiers serving in the war.
Africa Times: Airwars site launch tracks U.S. in Somalia, amid claims of another civilian death. “There’s a new online database from Airwars, a not-for-profit project based at the University of London that tracks international military actions and assesses harm to civilian populations in Libya, Iraq, Yemen and Syria. The organization is now tracking incidents in Somalia, with an emphasis on how United States drone strikes used in the fight against al-Shabaab may be responsible for civilian deaths and injuries.”
Jewish News: Telling the stories of Jews who fought in Bomber Command. “A non-Jewish archivist researching Jews who fought and died in Bomber Command from 1939 to 1945 has set up a self-funded website to share their stories, using Christmas and birthday money to pay for it. Cathie Hewitt left her job last year at the International Bomber Command Centre in Lincoln to focus on the project full-time, creating hundreds of family trees and travelling the world to uncover life stories.”
Air Force Museum of New Zealand: Air Force Museum Photo Archives Go Online. “Although at this stage only approximately 5,000 images are available, an estimated 0.5% of the total collection, more are coming online every day. Usually these are photos that researchers have requested and because there’s only me working in the Photo Archive, generally these are all I have time to digitise and make available. As time permits, I’ll be working through many thousands of files which simply need only a small amount of work before they can be made available. The initial focus will be on named course groups, starting with wartime pilots’ courses and aircraft pictures.”
The Washington Post: This map helped George Washington win the Revolutionary War. Now it’s on display at Mount Vernon.. “In the summer of 1781, Gen. George Washington and his French engineers probed the British defenses of New York, looking for a way to attack. While the British responded with heavy gunfire, Washington observed, and the engineers prepared a map of the enemy positions… Now the historic French map, along with more than 1,000 other rare maps and images, have been donated to the Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington at Mount Vernon by a noted New York collector….It will eventually be available to scholars, in person, and later some of the items will go on public display, library officials said. Most of the pieces have already been digitized and are online.”