The Allen County Public Library Foundation has approved up to $240,000 for a capital improvement project to the downtown library’s genealogy center. As part of the project, two under-used areas will be converted into active, customer-centric areas. The eastern half of the library’s Microtext Reading room will become a discovery center, and the orientation area near the entrance of the genealogy center will be converted into an oral history area.

The following announcement was written by the Society of Genealogists:

Friday 26th June, 2015:

The Society of Genealogists & Pharos Teaching & Tutoring today announced a new joint programme of education, the distance learning Certificate of Family History Skills and Strategies (Advanced).

The Society of Genealogists, in conjunction with Pharos Teaching and Tutoring Ltd has been running its popular Intermediate distance learning programme since September 2010.

The two-time Emmy nominated series Who Do You Think You Are? returns this summer to share more stories of the real life family history of celebrities. The new season premieres Sunday, July 26 at 9pm Eastern/8pm Central time.

The contributors featured in the upcoming season include:

  • Tom Bergeron, who is aware of his French Canadian roots on his paternal side, but wants to know what brought his ancestors to North America.

State Senators Pearson and Picard introduced a bill into the Rhode Island General Assembly yesterday to restrict access to the state’s vital records for 100 years after the event. However, there appears to be an exception for “members of legally incorporated genealogical societies in the conduct of their official duties as defined in regulations shall have any access to, or be permitted to, examine the original or any copy of the birth certificate or birth record, of any person in the custody of any registrar of vital records or of the state department of health.

The “Finding Your Roots” television program hosted on PBS by Henry Louis Gates, Jr. has been postponed after a controversy involving guest Ben Affleck.

In April, a leaked Sony Pictures email published on WikiLeaks revealed the “Gone Girl” actor had asked the show’s host Henry Louis Gates, Jr. not to mention the fact that his distant relative owned slaves. Gate apparently agreed. After a lot of publicity about the leaked email, Sony boss Michael Lynton issued a statement that the series’ producers chose to focus on other parts of Affleck’s family history, but the actor later admitted he urged producers to exclude the story because he was “embarrassed” by the revelation.

If I may engage in a bit of shameless self-promotion, I will be one of the presenters on the second annual Genealogy Cruise to the sunny Caribbean aboard Celebrity’s Reflection, the newest ship in the fleet. I’d love to see you on board as well. If you are thinking of taking a cruise, or if you would like to do something “different” from the usual genealogy seminars and conferences, a cruise in the Caribbean with hosts Gary and Diana Smith, presenters Donna Moughty and myself, and accompanied by bunch of other genealogists might be exactly what you want.

The 84th Texas Legislature has increased the appropriation of the State Library and Archives Commission by $7.6M for the 2016-2017 biennium. The new funding includes resources to launch the Texas Digital Archive to preserve and make available electronic archives of state government as well as $6M to offer Texans greater access to online information via the popular TexShare and TexQuest programs. The Texas State Library and Archives Commission also gained funds in the new state budget to address salary needs and to implement a new automated accounting and payroll system.

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