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Americas Collections Blog

Americas Collections Blog
As a historian I get very excited about old letters, diaries, account books and inventories – but once in a while there are other ‘records’ that trump almost everything else. I had one of those moments this week when I returned to George Washington’s Mount Vernon. Over the past six years I have been many times to Washington’s estate in Virginia (just south of Washington DC) – first to research my book Founding Gardeners and then to give talks about the book. By now I go there to see the changes in the gardens (of which there are many, such as the fabulous restoration of the Upper Garden) and to meet my friend Dean Norton who is the Director of Horticulture there. Dean always makes a huge effort to entertain me – for example, by taking me out on the Potomac in a boat or letting me drive around the estate with a gator [A John Deere utility vehicle, not a reptile - ed.]. Last Wednesday’s visit, however, was one of the most memorable. It took four days to take the giant down – with a crane. Related:  Americas Collections in the BL

Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States The Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States contains material that was compiled and published by the Office of the Federal Register, National Archives and Records Administration. It includes volumes covering the administrations of Presidents Hoover, Roosevelt, Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush, and Clinton. As subsequent volumes are published, they will be added online. Each Public Papers volume contains the papers and speeches of the President of the United States that were issued by the Office of the Press Secretary during the specified time period.

Other Canadian Collections According to a Statistics Canada survey of Internet use in 2005, Canada is one of the world’s most “plugged-in” countries, with nearly 70% of adult Canadians using the Internet daily in 2005, most through high-speed web-connections. As a consequence, the Canadian Internet environment is both wide-ranging and highly sophisticated. In keeping with the “transnational” nature of the internet, online connectivity and accessibility is generally just as highly valued among Canadians abroad as those back home. With the launch of the Canadian Government Online (GOL) initiative in October 1999, the GoC aimed to become “the world’s most connected country to its citizens”. For Canadian citizens in the UK, this means that all of the most commonly used federal services while overseas (eg., citizenship, passport renewal, document replacement, electoral registration, pension claims), as well as emergency contingency-planning, repatriation, and other consular activities, are at least partly online.

Americas Collections Blog: Caribbean Ernest Hemingway relaxing in Cuba in the 1940s, sans Martha. Photo: Wikimedia Commons/JFK Library, Boston. I wonder whether Ernest Hemingway, as he chewed his meal of moose after marriage to Martha Gellhorn in November 1940, hadn’t quite understood his new wife's taste for war. Both Ernest and Martha had been war correspondents during the Spanish Civil War from 1937-39. Martha’s return to peaceful Cuba appeared a difficult transition. As Ernest kept up the home front, and Martha finally found a job reporting on the European theatre of war from London, the marriage foundered. Though for a time Martha was heartsick about the separation from Hemingway, what is remarkable in her letters is war’s totally energizing effect on her. Ernest wondered, after their divorce, whether Martha wasn’t a little ‘war-crazy’. Naomi Wood is one of the 2012 Eccles Centre Writers in Residence at the British Library.

The National Security Archive Quebec 400 Online Gallery In 2008 Quebec City celebrated the 400th anniversary of its foundation. This web feature marks the occasion. Dr Dorian Hayes, curator of Canadian and Caribbean Collections at the British Library, has put together a selection of treasures illustrating the city's eventful history, drawn from the British Library's collections of maps, manuscripts and printed books. Chateau Frontenac (foreground), and the Image Mill, Quebec City, 2008, by Robert Lepage / Ex Machina (photograph reproduced by kind permission of Christie / Francis Vachon) The 2008 celebrations saw the ultimate hi-tech re-staging of the very human-scale pageants that took place in the city on the occasion of the Tercentenary in 1908. A programme of spectacular events commemorated the 400th anniversary throughout 2008. Lepage's production company Ex Machina operates out of the iconic Caserne Dalhousie building, on the site of the city's first stock exchange in Lower Town.

India Office Records On the abolition of slavery in the early 19th century, owners of plantations in the British and French colonies of the Caribbean began to search for a new supply of labour. They found it in India. Workers were recruited, mainly from the Bengal and Madras areas, to work on the plantations for fixed periods. The Government of India became responsible for regulating the emigration and for safeguarding workers' welfare during their stay, under a scheme that became known as the indentured labour system. In the extensive India Office Records collection, there are a number of records that show how the indentured labour system was run and that reveal the political and social problems it provoked. What are these documents about? A 1914 Government of India report gives detailed information on the housing, wages, health and diet of Indian immigrants in Trinidad. An outline of the main record classes, with lists of some individual files, is contained in Timothy N.

UNREDACTED Sheffield Scholarship: Canadian Slave Narratives The British Library Scholarships arise from the special relationship the University has with the British Library. They are intended to support projects that draw significantly on both the holdings and expertise of the British Library. As a consequence, successful students will be jointly supervised by staff at the University of Sheffield and at the British Library (with the Sheffield academic acting as the lead supervisor). Projects for 2014-15 entry A Comparative Analysis of Visual Propaganda in France and Britain during the First World War Supervisors: Dr Timothy Baycroft (Department of History) and Ms Teresa Vernon (British Library) Closing date: Friday 2 May 2014 at 5pm A History of the Printed Image 1750-1850: Applying Data Science Techniques to Printed Book Illustration Supervisors: Dr Karen Harvey (Department of History) and Dr James Baker (British Library) Closing date: Friday 2 May 2014 at 5pm Award details Eligibility Further Information

Francophone Caribbean Collections France was at the forefront of the "Scramble for Africa" and accounts of the exploration and colonisation by France can be found in the Library's collections. The first French flag raised at Loango, Republic of Congo (Brazzaville) Congo français. Loango. Cahiers d'enseignement no. 71. An early voyage around Africa is described by Jean Alfonce, the pseudonym of Jean Fonteneau, from Saintonge, who died fighting the Spanish in 1544. Jean Baptiste Léonard Durand (1742-1812) became a director of the Compagnie de Sénégal, and held a monopoly of the rubber trade. Books from Africa are still collected. Haiti Haiti was the first French colony to gain its independence, in 1804 after a slave revolt. Four issues of the Gazette royale d'Hayti (1816 - 1818) issued by Henri Christophe, who founded a republic in the north of the island and declared himself its king in 1811, are at shelfmark C.186.f.18, and can be consulted in the Rare Books and Music Reading Room. Martinique Guadeloupe (or Guadaloupe)

Declassified Government Documents Declassified Government Documents About Declassified Documents | Security Classification | Guides | FOIA Information | Collections at UC Berkeley | Internet Collections and Indexes | Presidential Libraries About Declassified Documents Documents may be classified for many reasons - issues of national security or privacy. A popular misconception is that when a document is declassified, it is somehow systematically made available to the public, for example, distributed to depository libraries. This is most often not the case. a highly-publicized document is published as a part of an investigation. As there are no clear patterns of publication for most declassified documents, it falls to the researcher interested in a document that is declassified to research which agency created the document, who may have researched the document originally, and where it might be now. Security Classification The government has had many reviews of security classification. Guides Watson, Cynthia Ann. FBI Files