Thanks Jack!!

Recently I was speaking with a friend and colleague of mine, Jack Preston, and one of the subjects that came up during our conversation was the digitizing of newspaper microfilm.  Although we didn't specifically discuss the best way to display the images we did talk about various file formats and the ease with which they can be worked with.  Jack and I both agreed on the value of maintaining the original images as a TIF (Tagged Image Format) file format, we just had differing opinions on how best to display the images online.  While I was accustomed to utilizing the JPG or JPEG (Joint Photographic Experts Group) file format, Jack felt most comfortable with PDF (Portable Document Format) files.  It wasn't until after we were done with our conversation that I realized that Jack may have just helped me solve a little dilemma I was having about one of our projects and I really should look more closely at the PDF file format and the efforts it would take to convert some of our current files to PDF.

To further help you understand why I am so appreciative of the conversation Jack and I had I need to explain a little further.  As a reader of this newsletter you have no doubt heard about the Minatare History Book Committee and their desire to publish their book in March 2017.  The Minatare History Book Committee commissioned me to digitize all the Minatare newspapers and post them somewhere online so all their committee members could have access to them at their convenience.  The microfilms were rented, an outside firm was contracted to scan the films and deliver TIF images to me to work with.  My plan was to convert the images to a JPG format and post them on our website.  The problem arose when my way of looking at the organization of the images and the page by page way of displaying the images and the speed with which I was posting the images was not quite what the Minatare History Book Committee had in mind.  I understood what they needed and desired but I just wasn't wrapping my mind around a solution and so the project stalled.  As mentioned early, several hours after I hung up with Jack, it dawned on me that I could create one PDF file for each newspaper issue as it was published, that way a reader could open one file and view the entire newspaper from a given date in time instead of opening one image per newspaper page which was quite time consuming.  I already had the software in place to proceed with a test to make sure this was going to work the way I envisioned it would and sure enough it worked perfectly.  So as of late I have processed just under 30 years of the Minatare Free Press newspaper which amounts to nearly 9500 images!  My goal is finish processing all the remaining newspaper images by the end of the this month and then move on to some other projects that need attention.

Now I am certain Jack has no idea how much he inspired and motivated me to get back to work on the Minatare newspapers or any of the other various unfinished digitization projects I have started but after he reads this, he will.  So again I say Thanks Jack!...................Floyd

p.s. As a way to show off the Minatare newspaper project's new progress we are temporarily unlocking its password protected status so readers of this newsletter can view the images and get a better understanding of what we are striving for.  The newspaper files will once again be password protected effective Nov. 1st.

Click on the image to go to the Minatare Free Press page on our website.

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Genealogy Roundtable Forum: Oct 2016

The West Nebraska Family Research & History Center conducts a monthly Genealogy Roundtable Forum on the third Saturday of each month at 1:30 pm. Topics vary in subject matter and length of presentation but are always followed up by a question & answer period. The programs are free and open to the public.

In honor of National Family History Month we will once again participate in the National Archives and Records Administration's Virtual Genealogy Fair which will be held on October 26th & 27th.  As we have done in the past, the digital projector will be set up and live streaming for each presentation will be established and utilized.

Although its true that anyone can view these presentations from their home using their own computer, we have elected to host the sessions here at the Center as a way for local genealogists and family historians to get together and discuss the topics being presented on a local level while enjoying company with other like minded individuals.

Please check our website and/or the Virtual Genealogy Fair website for session schedules and downloads of presentation materials and documents.

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dna

Robert Zemanek:
DNA basics for the Genealogist

A big thank you goes to Robert Zemanek for making the trip to Scottsbluff from Laramie to share his knowledge of DNA testing for genealogical purposes.  Robert explained the basics of DNA, what it is, how DNA is used for genealogical kinship proof and what some of the common misconceptions about testing and subsequent results are.  Robert also talked about how and if you should explore specific surname projects or perhaps contribute to regional projects.

Robert spoke about the various DNA testing agencies, some of the advances in the DNA testing field and he also provided a list of reputable places for attendees to further their research on the subject of DNA testing for genealogical research.  This was in no way meant to be the only means for you to receive information on DNA and genealogy, however it was meant to help you understand the basics about the subject while giving you the tools to explore the topic in a more informed manner.

The program was so well received that we are exploring the option of having Robert come back and present the program again, possibly in the spring or maybe in August of each year.

Again, THANK YOU Robert!!!

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What's New:

The following items have been added to our collection and are located in the Carole Tucker Reading Room:

• Portrait and Biographical Album of Johnson and Pawnee Counties, Nebraska
                 - c1889 - by Chapman Bros : reprint by Unigraphic, Inc. - 630p

• Benjamin F. & Cora J. Gentry : A Paradigm for Prairie Western Settlers
                 - c2016 - by Willard Gentry - 23p

• George Aldrich Genealogy : Descendants of George Aldrich of Mendon, Mass
                 - c1971 - by A. James Aldrich - 303p

• Marion Memories : images of Our People & Places, Marion, Kansas
                 - c2007 - by the Hillsboro Free Press - 112p

• Cordova, Nebraska : 1887-1987
                 - c1987 - by the Cordova History Book Committee - 99p

• Wyoming Wife : A woman's discovery of her husband's outdoor world
                 - c1969 - by Rodello Hunter - 330p

• Oregon Trail, Voyage of Discovery : The story behind the scenery
                 - c1992 - by Dan Murphy - 64p

• Ellsworth Genealogy : Male descendants of Moses Ellsworth of North Carolina and Virginia
                 - c1955 - by Harriet Ellsworth Siebert and Willard Ellsworth, M.D.

• Marshall County, Oklahoma : One hundred years of celebration
                 - c2007 - by the Marshall County Genealogical & Historical Society - 492p

• From the River Valleys to the Rising Bluff : A pictorial history of Vermillion, South Dakota
                 - c2009 - by Thomas R. Thaden - 304p

• 1990 Lyman Wildcat : Remember
                 - c1990 - Blanca Rios [editor] - 67p

• Night Comes to the Cumberland : A biography of a depressed area
                 - c1963 - by Harry M. Caudill - 394p

• 1938 Wildcat : Banner County School annual
                 - c1938 - Dorothy Loughman [editor] - 100p

• Heart Bags & Hand Shakes : The Story of the Cook Collection
                 - c1994 - by Dorothy Cook Meade - 60p

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Contributions & Donations:

We wish to gratefully and publicly acknowledge the recent research material donations and/or financial contributions by the following individuals and/or organizations.  Their contributions and support is paramount to our success and we truly appreciate their generosity.

• Jeanie Knudtson

• Dr. Don Gentry

• Dr. & Mrs. Becky Simpson

• Ann Herbel

• Minatare History Book Committee

• Donna Bowman

• Al & Ruth Vance

• Jolene Kaufman

• Jane Sherrod

 **The West Nebraska Family Research & History Center was incorporated in the state of Nebraska in 2003 as a not-for-profit, public genealogy and local history research library.  Funding provided primarily through donations**

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WebLinks:

WebLinks is a way for us to share links to websites which contain FREE historical and/or genealogical research material and information.

• Nebraska Newspaper Project
                A collaborative digitization project and effort by the University of Nebraska and
                the Nebraska State Historical Society (381,267+ newspaper pages)

• Creighton Digital Archives, Creighton, NE
               Creighton Public Library newspaper digitization project (64,000+ newspaper pages)

• Stanton Digital Archives, Stanton, NE
                Stanton Public Library newspaper digitization project ( 54,000+ newspaper pages)

• Wayne Newspapers Online
                A collaborative digitization project and effort by the Wayne Public Library and the
                Wayne Herald newspaper both of Wayne, NE

** If you run across a website that you would like to share with everyone please contact us and we'll include in the next edition of A Matter Of Fact **

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R E M I N D E R !

Minatare History Book Committee (MHBC)

The MHBC meets every Monday at the West Nebraska Family Research & History Center at 10:00am.
The have set a goal to publish their book on the history of the town of Minatare on March 1, 2017.  Any and all assistance is welcome and appreciated.  Please contact one of the members below if you have stories, information or are willing to help with this endeavor.

• Juanita Baker - racoon@scottsbluff.net

• Jolene (Webber) Kaufman - (308) 436-9715

• Betty (Kelso) Kenyon - betty.kenyon1@gmail.com

• Sharon (Curtis) Johns - shrn_johns@yahoo.com

• Wanda (Steffensmeir) Mowery - jwmowry@vistabeam.com

• Alice (Jessup) Reuter - areuter@embarqmail.com

• Linda Judd - (254) 239-7050

 

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R E M I N D E R !

Rebecca Winters Genealogical Society (RWGS)

The RWGS meets the second Wednesday of each month usually at the Lied Scottsbluff Public Library.  Newsletter items can be e-mail directly to newsletter editor and society secretary, Jeanie Knudtson at jeaniekingknud@yahoo.com.