Resources, Projects, and More from the ALA Conference

I’m a librarian. I may not sit behind a reference desk, but I still put my library degree to good use. (As Drew Smith of the Genealogy Guys Podcast has described me, I’m a free-range librarian.) I recently hung out with 16,000 of my library peeps at the American Library Association annual conference. While I was there, I picked up some good genealogy stuff. 


Some of these are new and others are new-to-me (or reminded-to-me).

  • United States Digital Map Library. This USGenWeb project posts public-domain historical maps as well as maps that volunteers have created. Coverage varies by location.
  • Teenie Harris Archive. Teenie Harris was a photographer of Pittsburgh’s African-American community from the mid-1930s through the mid-1970s. This online archive of 80,000 photos is a unique look at Pittsburgh and the African-American community.
  • Florida Memory, sponsored by the State Library & Archives of Florida is a “must see” for anyone researching Floridians. They were among the first states to put Confederate Pension Applications online. They have everything from audio files to Early Auto Registrations, 1905-1917.


I asked a representative at the Internet Archive booth about the issue of searching from the image pages. (You often don’t get the same results — sometimes no results! — as you do when you search from the full-text display.) She said they were aware of the problem and plan to have a fix “sometime this fall.”

FamilySearch and the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) have partnered to make FamilySearch’s digitized family histories discoverable through DPLA. This won’t add to the number of histories that are being digitized, but it will make them more discoverable to more people.

DPLA also announced that its partnership with HistoryPin and the Our Story project won the Knight News Challenge on Libraries. The Our Story project “will collaborate with more than a dozen rural libraries in New Mexico, North Carolina, and Louisiana to host lively events to gather and preserve community memory, and to measure the impact of these events on local communities.”

This is just a small portion of the ALA exhibit hall. I was sad that I forgot to wear my FitBit two days while I was there.
This is just a small portion of the ALA exhibit hall. I was sad that I forgot to wear my FitBit two days while I was there.
Posted: June 30, 2016.

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