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Video: Matanuska, Alaska, 1937?

Click on the photo above to watch an hour and fifteen minute video of silent film from the Matanuska Colony in Alaska from the 1930s. According to the National Archives record for this item:

On the town of Matanuska. Reel 1, a train arrives and passengers detrain. Reel 2 shows a house under construction, a farmer plowing, and views of cafes, a store, and the post office. Reel 3 shows views of the post office and a grocery store. Reel 4 shows the Matanuska Valley Pioneer office. Twin babies are weighed and measured in a hospital. Reel 5, people dance at a community hall. The volunteer fire department fights a fire. Reel 6, horses and mules are unloaded from box cars and auctioned. Reel 7 shows a pioneer family in and around its log cabin. Reel 8, baseball is played before a large crowd. A man dives and swims. Includes shots of puppies.

The puppies and a cute kitty can be found around the 1:05:00 mark.

This video is in the public domain and so can be reused and remixed freely. The video can be downloaded in wmv format for import into editing programs.

The National Archives version of this film does not support embedding. If you find a version that does, leave the URL in comments and I’ll put an embeddable version here.

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Video: North Carolina Hospital Vacation

This is my first xtranormal video. I was inspired to learn about this site by this article in the journal Computers in Libraries:

Ekart, Donna F. 2012. “tech tips for every librarian: Extensibility.” Computers In Libraries 32, no. 2: 38-39. Academic Search Premier, EBSCOhost (accessed March 24, 2012).*

One line in the article that especially spoke to me was:

“Librarianship is the ultimate extensible profession,” wrote Fiona Bradley in a recent Semantic Library post. “We have been given the knowledge and tools to learn for ourselves throughout our career.”

I feel this is true and think most of my professional colleagues know it as well.

It was in the spirit of extensibility that Donna Ekart learned how to do xtranormal videos and write up a tutorial for the rest of us. She also plans to learn at least one new thing a month and share that knowledge with her readers. I’m looking forward to what else she has to say.

If you’re wondering “Why North Carolina?” It’s because I thought this learning experience could double as a promo for the State Agency Databases Across the Fifty States project I work with.

If you just happen to like this video and an Alaska database enough that you’d like to see it get the xtranormal treatment, leave me a comment and an odd situation where someone might need to use that database.

*If you live in Alaska, you ought to be able to read this article online through the Digital Pipeline. If not, fill out the form at http://alaskalibrarynetwork.org/get-help/.

A Message of Hope

Eventually we will learn to get along and move out into the cosmos. Whether it’s centuries or millennia, I believe we will get there. If you can spare three minutes, I think you will be inspired.

US Army Air Corps Recruiting Film: Observations

This video is a compilation of several newsreel recruitment commercials shown in movie theaters during World War II. It comes to us courtesy of the FedFlix project.

Watching these commercials, I noticed four things. Half of these surprised me:

  1. Combat flying was portrayed as perfectly safe. In the recruitment films, it’s always day, the skies are clear and there is never any antiaircraft fire.
  2. Flying for the Army Air Corps was a man’s job.
  3. Teenagers as young as 17 were being actively recruited, although the 17 year olds had to join a special cadet corps and couldn’t be formally trained till after their 18th birthday.
  4. Movie box offices doubled as recruitment centers.

1&2 were no surprise to me. Recruitment films are supposed to put the best face on service. And in the 1940s, women weren’t supposed to be in combat. At least not as military combatants.

I was surprised to see 17 year olds recruited. I wonder how long the Army Air Corps worried WWII could last.

While logical, the newsreel’s instruction to “see the box office on your way out for complete information” was perfectly logical during the preTV years of our country, I was still surprised.

If you watch the videos, I’d be interested in what you notice about the 1940s from it.

A Minute of Amchitka – 1943

The National Archives recently posted a video titled U.S. Bombs Japanese from Base in the Aleutians-1943 to their YouTube channel. Here’s the video:

The “base in the Aleutians” was Amchitka Island, but this story was only one of the warmups for the actual subject of the newsreel which was the allied campaign in North Africa. Despite the fact that the Alaska related content only lasts a minute or two, the whole 10 minute video is worth watching. Take special note that this newsreel for US audiences went out of its way to say that allied forces provided medical care to Nazi prisoners. Compassion to our enemies was a value we held up during an actual struggle for our survival. We should be upholding that today. It’s what made us special.

Shadows of the Night (Video)

Shadows Of The Night – Pat Benatar

And now for something completely non-serious. I grew up in the 80s, but somehow missed this video. Listening to the song never made me think of Nazis. Ever.

Census Explained: 1940

The above video is titled “The 1940 Census: Introduction” was produced by the US Census Bureau and preserved and posted by the National Archives.

For a nearly 70 year old film, it does a good job of explaining why you should fill out your census form that holds up well today. Many of the basic facts about American demographics, number and kinds of American business and so on are from the Census Bureau. Those numbers are only accurate if people participate in the Census.

If you hesitate when you get your Census 2010 form next April, go back and watch this film.

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