Friday, May 9, 2014

Maps, World War I Heroes, Jewish Sperm Donors, and a Synagogue

I've recently come across some interesting opportunities to help with genealogy projects.  Maybe you can assist with one of them!

The New York Public Library is looking to crowdsourcing from "citizen cartographers" to identify details on digitized 19th-century New York City atlases.  The Building Inspector project allows you to use a desktop computer, tablet, or smartphone.  If you know New York City well, you'll be a valuable addition to the team.  The library plans to use the information to make the maps interactive and link them to other historical digitized documents.

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In conjunction with the UK's commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the beginning of World War I, the British newspaper The Sun has launched a campaign to create a photo database of the gravesites of Victoria Cross (VC) servicemen, and to bring attention to the sites that are most in need of restoration.  Some of the VC honorees date back to the Crimean War and the 1857 Indian Mutiny.  A list of 544 VC burials is included on the Web page.

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A memorial plaque for Second Lieutenant John Douglas Lightbody of the Royal Air Force, who died November 4, 1918, just days before the end of World War I, will be unveiled in Scheldewindeke, Belgium on November 10, 2014.  The organizers of this year's ceremony are looking for any living relatives of Lt. Lightbody, both to share information about him and possibly to attend in person.  An online article has more information about Lightbody and the search for relatives, including the e-mail address of a person to contact.

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Attention Jewish Men:  Did you donate sperm during the 1980's?  Seeking light-featured Jewish men who acted as anonymous sperm donors in the Los Angeles/UCLA area, between (but not limited to) 1981–1985.  Your offspring are seeking medical information.  Please contact 1980donor@gmail.com (for anonymous communication, create a new Gmail account).

Please feel free to share this with *everyone* you know, repost, attach to mailing lists, etc.  The more people who see this, the more likely it is that 1980donor@gmail.com will find the person he is searching for.

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I never post about fundraising efforts, but this is a little different.  A film raising money via crowdfunding is pledging half of the money to help restore the subject of the film.  The synagogue of Sabbioneta, Italy is a UNESCO World Heritage site but has suffered damage due to recent earthquakes.  The film, an independent comedy, is about a tombstone found in the town's Jewish cemetery.  Read more about the film and the synagogue here.

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