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More Useful Websites for Genealogy and History Researchers
Posted 06 September 2008
Compiled By: Fawne Stratford-Devai   Biography & Archived Articles

Portrait Gallery of Canada [Macromedia Flash Player]
From Newfoundland to Vancouver Island, there are many faces that represent the nation of Canada and its diverse heritage. The goal of the National Portrait Collection is document those "historical personalities important to Canada's development." Their work is designed to have a broad appeal, and it contains over 4 million paintings, prints, drawings, sculptures, photographs, films, and caricatures. First-time visitors can make their way through the sections of the site which include "Collection", "Exhibitions", "Learning" and "News & Events". Clicking over to the "Exhibitions" area is a good way to start a peripatetic journey through the site, and visitors can view eclectic offerings such as "Portraits in the Street: Quebec 400" and "Portraits in the Courtyards", which features images of Canadians who are both "known and unknown in downtown Ottawa." The exhibition area also includes "Talking Portraits", which contains video interviews with Canada's first female official war artist and the artist Jin-me Yoon. Heading back over to the "Collection" area, visitors can view a few highlights, take in their recent acquisitions, and also learn about their portrait commissioning program.

source: Scout Report September 5, 2008

The Erie Railroad Glass Plate Negative Collection [USA]
Throughout the 19th and the first half of the 20th centuries, the railroad reigned supreme over the American transportation landscape. This intriguing digital collection from Syracuse University Digital Projects brings together over 700 images from The Erie Railroad Company collection of glass plate negatives in a way that will delight railroad enthusiasts. Visitors can look at shots of individual train stations, mile posts, new track construction, and social organizations such as the East Buffalo Car Shop Basketball Team. The collection serves as a very fine source of information for those with a penchant for early 20th century industrial landscapes, railroad construction, and the lives of railroad workers. It is worth noting that visitors can also browse the collection by Library of Congress subject headings, or they may also wish to search these materials by entering various keywords.

source: Scout Report August29, 2008

Internet Mission Photography Archive
The movement of Christian missionaries across the world in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries is perhaps one of the most studied aspects of religious history in recent times. This very engrossing online digital collection brings together over 10,000 photographs culled from various missionary photographers. The Internet Mission Photography Archive (IMPA) is based at the University of Southern California and includes photographs from the collections of the Moravian Church, the Leipzig Mission, the Norwegian Missionary Society, and three other organizations. In this collection, visitors can view churches, school buildings, mission teachings, religious practices, and a constellation of subjects and themes. Users can browse around at their leisure, create their own dedicated collection, and also search the archive by words, contributing organization, and country. Religious historians, photographers, and others will certainly want to visit this collection several times.

source: Scout Report August 8, 2008

Grand Army of the Republic Civil War Portraits [USA]
Shortly after the conclusion of the Civil War, Union veterans formed the Grand Army of the Republic, or the G.A.R. Through the Reconstruction era and the Gilded Age, the G.A.R. was a powerful organization that lobbied the federal government for federal and state Soldiers Homes for invalids, advocated for the creation of Memorial Day, and also provided support for soldier reunions. This digital collection created by the University of Washington Libraries peers into the faces of some of these veterans by offering up this photograph album originally created by the Stevens Post #1 of the G.A.R., based in Seattle. The album contains over 100 portraits, and visitors can browse through them at their leisure. Visitors can zoom in and out on each photograph and they can also use a number of other tools to get the best view of each photograph for their own purposes. Also, while many of the photographs have complete provenance information, some do not, and visitors are welcome to write in with any insights they might have.

source: Scout Report August 1, 2008

The Winterton College of East African Photographs: 1860-1960
The website of the Melville J. Herskovits Library of African Studies at Northwestern University offers visitors to its site a digital feast of images of East Africa from 1860-1960. A portion of the Winterton Collection of East African photographs, acquired by the library at the end of 2002, has already been digitized, and the entire collection of photographs has been inventoried and is available in a PDF document, under the Inventory tab. The photographs currently available on the website are divided into album views and individual sample images from the collection. The sample images are a mixture of landscapes and portraits, both formal and informal. By clicking on a photograph, a visitor can see a larger image of the photograph, as well as a caption that includes a date, location, and description, if known. The album view, with its black background and white text, extremely high quality image scans, and excellent organization makes it easy to navigate and enjoy. The photographs were scanned directly from the albums' pages, so a visitor almost feels as if they are paging through the physical albums. The photographs' original captions are legible in the albums when the photograph is magnified, but are also reprinted underneath the albums, with no zooming required.

source: Scout Report August 1, 2008

About Fawne Stratford-Devai
Fawne Stratford-Devai's work on Land Records and early Ontario records is well known in the genealogy community. A published author of several Canadian and UK research books, she has also contributed articles to the Ontario Genealogical Society's newsletter "Families" as well as writing for the online family history newsletter the "Global Gazette". Biography

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