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Dee Burris Blakley ([personal profile] dee_burris) wrote2011-03-05 03:15 pm

Musing on a rainy Saturday...

It started off in spectacular fashion about 3 a.m.

Complete with lightning and thunder, and the tell-tale clacking noise of the tops of very tall pine trees crashing together in the wind. Think mega-supersized bamboo wind chimes.

I got up, looked out at the storm, filled cats' food bowl, and went back to bed. I noticed as I walked down the hall that my next door neighbor was up, with several lights on. She gets nervous when it storms.

If it's my time, then it will be my time whether I am conscious or not.

But I did have on decent underwear.


Got up again about 6:30 a.m. I was meeting my cousin at the Arkansas History Commission to look for obituaries for several of her family members on her dad's side.

I always do a little research before those trips in their online catalog. I hate wasting time trying to figure out which reels of microfilm I need while I am there.

And I hate wanting "this" newspaper for "that" time period and finding out that those are the issues that were missing when the newspaper was filmed decades ago.

I *really* wish Arkansas would come into the digital historic document preservation age.


The Arkansas History Commission has scads of microfilm. And back-up copies. On more microfilm, of course.

Some of it is really, really bad. I told one of the staff that as I returned four reels of completely unreadable film.

Yes... he sighed. I know.

Not only do we not digitize our own shit our own selves, we don't want anyone else doing it either.

There are explanations at just about every historic newspaper website, including the subscription and free ones, about why selected states have so few newspapers online.

The states won't grant access to the folks making the digital copies.

So far, it looks to me like Arkansas will grant limited access to its newspapers, if the newspaper was a flash-in-the-pan, and just a few issues were published.

Or if it stopped publishing a century ago.


So I do what I can to help out.

As I do find old newspaper articles about my family history, I also copy interesting stuff from the same issue.

And little by little, I am digitizing all that stuff in this blog in entries I call bits and pieces.

I know - it's a mere pittance.

But more than we had before.


The journey is good.

Namaste.

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