Lucky Letter

Coming up on the day when “Everybody is Irish”, we couldn’t help but share this heartfelt story from The Huffington Post about a letter answered almost 3 decades after being sent.

Such is the tale of Megan Smolenyak, described as “an incurable genealogist who wears many hats in the family history world and does all she can to get the g-word out there and inspire others in their quest for roots.” Among many other genealogical mysteries that she has tried to solve was one of her own family history and Irish heritage. Please read the story about the letter and the answer received from the son of the addressee.

If you are on the path of discoveries of your own, you might be interested in the variety of books on Genealogy available from University Products. For example, the new edition of Tracing Your Irish Ancestors retains the familiar structure of previous editions but is now more useful than ever. Combining the key features of a textbook and a reference book, it describes the various steps in the research process while at the same time providing an indispensable body of source materials for immediate use.

“Erin Go Bragh!”

Memory of the World

UNESCO’s biennial Jikji Memory of the World Prize, established in 2004 and designed to promote preservation and accessibility of documentary heritage around the world is named after Jikji, the oldest existing book made with movable metal print.
The Prize consists of a biennial award of US$ 30,000 to individuals or institutions that have made significant contributions to the preservation and accessibility of documentary heritage. The award itself and the operating costs of the Prize as well as all costs related to the award ceremony are funded by the Republic of Korea. The Prize is open to the governments of Member States and international non-governmental organizations (NGOs) maintaining formal relations with UNESCO.

2011 winner was National Archives of Australia, which plan on spending the prize (and matching it’s monetary value) on training the next generation of conservators, more specifically, to fund a six-months internship for conservation student Carolyn Milne who had started work in the conservation laboratory.

Here’s a long list of current nominants for 2012 award.

Traveling Exhibition Memory of the World

American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month

National American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month is celebrated in November to recognize Native cultures and to educate the public about the heritage, history, art, and traditions of the American Indian and Alaska Native people.

Native American Heritage Month Website, which is a collaboration of 8 major museums and institutions has a comprehensive list of various events, exhibits, demonstrations, and online resources available for a better understanding of the rich history and amazing traditions of the indigenous peoples of America.

• National Park Services has Tribal Preservation Programs & Grants designed to help repair some of the damage done in the last 500 years to the tribes and aid in restoring language, tradition, religion, objects, and sites.

• National Archives website has an entire section dedicated to the Native American Records, in which you can research records for a specific person (arranged by tribe), as well as other available online resources, hundreds of scanned rare photos and historical records pertaining to Native Americans.

Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI) has a state-of-the-art museum conservation facility, which includes separate laboratories for working on textiles and objects, a technical library, a photography studio, a scientific analytical lab, and mount-making spaces. The conservators participate in outreach, training and research projects conducted by the NMAI, collaborate with other institutions on special programs and, of course, take an important part in restoring, preserving and preparing artifacts for being displayed in the museum. The recently opened five-year exhibition called Circle of Dance presents Native dance as a vibrant, meaningful, and diverse form of cultural expression. The museum uses costume displays and a large-screen video to illuminate 10 Native American dances. Both Washington, DC and New York locations of NMAI are ready to celebrate the Heritage Month with a calendar full of events.