Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Celebrating LGBT Pride Month: Stonewall Riots Start Gay RIghts Movement

Just after 3 a.m., a police raid of the Stonewall Inn–a gay club located on New York City’s Christopher Street–turns violent as patrons and local sympathizers begin rioting against the police. 

Although the police were legally justified in raiding the club, which was serving liquor without a license among other violations, New York’s gay community had grown weary of the police department targeting gay clubs, a majority of which had already been closed. 

The crowd on the street watched quietly as Stonewall’s employees were arrested, but when three drag queens and a lesbian were forced into the paddy wagon, the crowd began throwing bottles at the police. The officers were forced to take shelter inside the establishment, and two policemen were slightly injured before reinforcements arrived to disperse the mob. The protestspilled over into the neighboring streets, and order was not restored until deployment of New York’s riot police. 

The so-called Stonewall Riot was followed by several days of demonstrations in New York and was the impetus for the formation of the Gay Liberation Front as well as other gay, lesbian, and bisexual civil rights organizations. It is also regarded by many as history’s first major protest on behalf of equal rights for homosexuals. 

Text is from This Day in History.

Photo of Stonewall Inn in 1969 is By Diana Davies, copyright owned by New York Public Library - Wikipedia:Contact us/Photo submission, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4547643

Celebrating LGBT Pride Month: Stonewall Inn Designated National Monument

Photo Source: Yahoo News
On Friday, June 24, President Barack Obama named Stonewall and the area of the Stonewall riots as the first national monument to gay rights. In a video, the president said “Stonewall will be our first national monument to tell the story of the struggle for LGBT rights.”

The Stonewall National Monument includes Stonewall Inn and Christopher Park located across the street. The site covers 7.7 acres in Greenwich Village where the riots took place. The designation comes during the month of June, which is LGBT Pride Month, and only four days before the anniversary of the Stonewall Riots (see next post for the history of the event).

On Sunday, N.Y. Governor Cuomo announced that Stonewall would also be designated a state historic site. In addition, he announced that N.Y. would be the future home to an LGBT monument dedicated to the victims of the Orlando massacre and the victims of hate crimes everywhere.

Some of the information in this article is from CBS New York

Monday, June 27, 2016

Family History Tips - Part 3

Part 3: Index Searching Secrets: Understanding Variations of Given Names
 by Brenna J. Corbit and Mary Ellen G. Heckman 

Just when you are beginning to understand surnames, you have to consider variations of given names. For example, when you are searching for a Pennsylvania German ancestor Sarah Smith, you not only have to consider the German Schmidt, but also have to search for the diminutives Sara, Sallie or Sally. 

Our ancestors often used these variations when giving recorders information or when filling out forms. This may not be a problem with common names, such as Patrick being Pat. But it can be bit confusing when Mary becomes Polly, Margaret becomes Peg, or Martha becomes Patty. But the variations become more complex.

I have also seen different variations for Southern U.S. African American names. For example, Amanda can be Minder and Matilda can be Tlithia or Tea. And then there are Anglicized versions for immigrants’ names. Franz Wagner and Giuseppe Vitale coming off the boat from Europe in 1910 are most likely going to be Frank and Joseph in a 1930 census record. But then what do you do with given names that have no English variants?

The Polish names Bolesław, Czezława, and Szczepan have no English equivalents but for some reason usually become William, Celia and Steven, respectively. Also keep in mind Latin uses of names when searching baptismal registers. For example, the Polish immigrant Jan Gil was baptized in the Catholic Church register in Austrian occupied Poland as Johannes Gil, and when he settled in Berks County he became John Gil.

Also keep in mind the uses of middle initials and middle names. Mary R. Kendig in one record may be Rebecca Kendig in the next, or in some cases R. M. Kendig or Rebecca M. Kendig. I know, it gets confusing, just keep comparing record to record. 

Also, names change over different periods. For example, Jennifer doesn’t really start to be used in England or the U.S. until the 1930s, so when you see “Jenny” in 1940 or earlier documents, it almost always is a nickname for Jane. Moreover, be aware of earlier abbreviations of names; for example, Jas and Wm are James and William.

Also, look at the name carefully. One such example I have found was the diminutive for the Spanish name Soledad, which may have been Solly, but recorded phonetically as the English Sally. I have also seen the male given Jewish name Sol become Sally in a census record, which caused the census taker to incorrectly mark the gender as female. 

Lastly, sometimes records will have nicknames, which have nothing to do with the given name. In these cases, it is best to compare records, such as comparing a family of names from census to census. Sometimes, age and gender is a clue to who is bearing the nickname.

You may also want to try truncation (*) and wildcard (?) searches. H*ry will search for Henry and Harry, or H*nr* will search for Heinrich or Henry. Refer to the previous article “Index Searching Secrets: Using Truncation and Wildcards to Search for Your Ancestors.” 

To gain a better understanding of names among different groups, refer to ethnic genealogy guides in The Yocum Library, such as Polish Roots or Italian Genealogical Records. You may also Google a name to see the various diminutives or refer to online guides. 

Here are several we have found: 

Behind the Name: http://www.behindthename.com/

English diminutives of male given names: https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Category:English_diminutives_of_male_given_names

English diminutives of female given names: https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Category:English_female_given_names

Polish given names:

Abbreviations for English given names: https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Appendix:Abbreviations_for_English_given_names

Africanisms in African American names in the United States:

Thursday, June 23, 2016

History of National Caribbean American Heritage Month

In June 2005, the House of Representatives unanimously adopted H. Con. Res. 71, sponsored by Congresswoman Barbara Lee, recognizing the significance of Caribbean people and their descendants in the history and culture of the United States. On February 14, 2006, the resolution similarly passed the Senate, culminating a two-year, bipartisan and bicameral effort. The Proclamation was issued by President George Bush on June 6, 2006.

Since the declaration, the White House has issued an annual proclamation recognizing June as Caribbean-American Heritage Month. This year marks the eighth anniversary of June as National Caribbean American Heritage Month.

The campaign to designate June as National Caribbean American Heritage Month, was spearheaded by Dr. Claire Nelson, Founder and President of the Institute of Caribbean Studies. Through the commemoration of this month, we hope to ensure that America is reminded that its greatness lies in its diversity, with Caribbean immigrants from founding father Alexander Hamilton, to journalist Malcolm Gladwell, who have shaped the American dream.

Source: Official Site of National Caribbean American Heritage Month

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Yocum's Online Database of the Week: The New York Times

The Yocum Library has an institutional subscription to The New York Times through its NYTimes Pass, which gives you complimentary access to NYTimes.com and eligible NYT apps for one year.

The pass does not include e-reader editions, Premium Crosswords or The New York Times Crosswords apps. NYTimes apps are not supported on all devices. Access to archived articles within the date range 1923-1980 is limited. Other restrictions may apply.

Create an account using your RACC email address. You can find the link to this database in the All Subjects section of the Yocum Library online databases.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Libraries of the World: The Bibliothèque nationale de France

The Bibliothèque nationale de France collects, preserves and makes known the national documentary heritage.

The BnF’s collections are unique in the world: 14 million books and printed documents, manuscripts, prints, photographs, maps and plans, scores, coins, medals, sound documents, video and multimedia documents, scenery elements...All disciplines, whether intellectual, artistic or scientific, are represented in a comprehensive way. About 150 000 documents are added to the collections each year thanks to legal deposit, acquisitions and donations.

The above information is from the The Bibliothèque nationale de France's home page at http://www.bnf.fr/en/tools/a.welcome_to_the_bnf.html.

The photo is from Wikimedia via Flickr by Vincent Desjardins.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Magazine Monday: Review of Mother Jones

Review of Mother Jones
by Steven Mathews, Library Assistant
The Yocum Library subscribes to the print edition of Mother Jones magazine (est. 1976), a bimonthly non-profit news periodical eponymous for Mary Harris Jones (1837 - 1930). As a community and union organizer, Jones marched against child labor and, in 1905, co-founded the Industrial Workers of the World. The magazine is primarily reader-supported and published by the non-profit Foundation for National Progress of San Francisco.
Mother Jones takes pride in its extensive independent journalism by focusing on a variety of popular progressive issues often bypassed by the mainstream corporate media. A few of the recent cover stories, for example, feature the following: Senator Bernie Sanders and his quest to “change politics for good,” an investigation into the real source and impact of Sheldon Adelson’s casino money, a person’s “right to die” with assistance and dignity, and the potential human health risks of factory farms.

In addition to the four featured articles in each issue, several shorter articles inhabit three “Departments.” The “OutFront” section opens each issue with news briefs on a variety of topics to watch. “Mixed Media” features excerpts and reviews of new books, movies, podcasts, and television. “Food + Health” focuses on a cornucopia of environmental issues. 

Despite publishing only six issues each year, Mother Jones has a large web (MotherJones.com) and social media (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Tumblr). I find these social-media posts quite pithy, however, and prefer the long-form print (or web) articles. 

In addition to providing captivating titles and narratives, the latter presents loads of data for readers to chew on, such as the amount of miles between abortion clinics in Texas, the large increase in gun sales during Barack Obama’s presidency, and the persistent debate on the cause(s) of the dramatic decline in teen pregnancy over the past twenty-five years.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Looking for a DVD? Browse The Yocum Library's DVD Collection!

View of a portion of Yocum Library's DVD collection

The Yocum Library has a collection of more than 8,000 DVDs. Up to 3 DVDs can be checked out at a time for one week at no cost. All you need is a library card from RACC or any of the libraries in the Berks County Public Library system.

You do not have to be a RACC student, staff, or faculty member. Community members are welcome to check out DVDs (and other holdings) as well. If RACC doesn’t have it and another library does, you can place a request for it and it can be delivered to RACC for your pick-up.

Our collection includes just about every genre: drama, comedy, family, musical, war, science fiction, horror, LGBT, cooking, westerns, religious, and action. In addition, there is a large selection of documentaries, special director collections (Alfred Hitchcock, Woody Allen, Spike Lee, etc.), a Shakespeare collection, and multiple seasons of numerous TV series, the latter quickly becoming the largest part of our DVD collection.

Come in and browse our DVDs. If you’re not sure what you want, make sure you read our blog for regular “reviews” of some of our newest additions.