Friday, February 5, 2016

Point Form

As I am keen to hit the sack the report on my activities today at Rootstech will be in point form.

6:30 Leap out of bed and get dressed. I had bathed last night to save time.

7:15 Tour of Rootstech Expo Hall with Paul Nauta from Familysearch. 

The Expo Hall before the crowds swarm in.
8:00 Seated ready for the Opening session.

A photo with Ruby, 15 year old Ambassador.
8:30 Opening Session: Steve Rockwood, Stan Ellsworth, Paula Williams Madison, Shipley Munson (I wonder if he is still Tenor Number 13?), Bruce Feiler.
Paula Williams Madison
Steve Rockwood
Stan Ellsworth
Shipley Munson
Bruce Feiler
10:20 Move to Media Center and set up computer.

I got a spot between Kirsty Gray and Sharn White
10:40 Photo opportunity with Stan Ellsworth

11:45 Audio interview - Stan Ellsworth.

12:00 Video Interview - Judy G Russell - a gracious  lady who will be visiting Australia soon - watch ourt for her lectures in your capital city. Will post when available.

12:20 Video Interview - Kirsty Gray. Will post when available.

13:00 Lunch - Voucher kindly supplied by Familysearch. 

13:30 Presentation - Michelle Goodrum - Introduction to Genetic Genealogy and DNA for the Non-Scientist. Very good presentation supported by clear graphics.

Michelle Goodrum 
 15:00 Wander around the Expo Hall and chat with vendors. The area is huge with lots of vendors but I didn't spend a cent -Mr GeniAus would be proud.

16:30  Presentation - D. Joshua Taylor. Can I Undo That? 25 Tech Mistakes You Should Avoid. Ended the day on a high note, josh consistently delivers an excellent, rich and practical talk.

17:30 as I was tired I passed on the Findmypast reception and the Rootstech Opening social

18:30 Dinner at the hotel with Australian genimates, Maureen, Fran and Sharn.

Early to bed so I can be rested for my presentation tomorrow and a MyHeritage party tomorrow evening.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Once a Librarian...

...always a librarian.

Church History Library
My first degree is in Library Science so I was in seventh heaven today when, as a Rootstech Ambassador, I was treated to a behind the scenes tour of The Church History Library in Salt Lake City. I didn't even realise that this institution existed until I arrived at The Church History Museum for the tour and was told I was in the wrong place. Luckily I was early so I made the tour at the building up around the corner just in the nick of time.

Our guide was a librarian who giggled with me about how we love putting things in alphabetical order.  We firstly descended in the lift to the bowels of the building where we saw the temperature controlled vaults where original documents are stored in compactus and then were treated to a talk by the chaps who work on conservation in the audiovisual area. We were able to see and hear a collection of sound recordings on all sorts of weird and wonderful media.

On ascending four or five floors we arrived at the area where conservation of printed and photographic materials takes place. This is a large airy room filled with natural light but which faces north to avoid damaging direct sunlight. One of the conservators showed us how various items are repaired.

Plays wire tapes
Recording Media

Print Conservtion Area

Item under conservation
This institution which is the archive and library of The Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-day Saints is open to  the public, you can consult the catalogue and access digitised resources online . About half of the visitors are people who are researching their family history.

The tour of this world class facility was informative and interesting. Thanks to the staff, conservators and our guide who made us so welcome.

Impressive entrance foyer
Library Resources

Sitting down to dinner

After a hectic day I enjoyed putting my feet under the table at The Rootstech Media Dinner tonight. I was seated on a table with DearMYRTLE, Gordon Erickson, Hope Tammany from Storyworth, Eric Jelle from Genedocs, Bernice Bennett, Wendy Maunsell Smedley from Familysearch, Byron Holdiman from Quincy University  and another gentleman whose name I did not catch.

As we ate our lovely meal we were welcomed by Paul Nauta from Familysearch. I was surprised when I was one of the Ambassadors named in his welcome then I turned around and saw that I and four other Ambassadors were featured on the big screen. Now I know why Paul recently asked me to urgently send him a high resolution image of myself.

After Stephen Rockwood, CEO of Familysearch gave us some news on the organisation's future directions. David Pugmire revealed the names of the six finalists for the Rootstech Innovator Challenge. Take a look and see which appeal to you. 


After dinner was over we were treated to a special showing of Paula Williams Madison's Film "Finding Samuel Lowe". I just had to buy a copy of Paula's book of the same title which she kindly autographed for me.

As we watched the movie I could hear lots of sniffles in the room, the film certainly touched on our emotions. As I generally like the book more than the film I am sure that I will enjoy the book and that it might earn a Tearjerker tagwhen I catalogue it in Librarything. After the film Paula addressed us and stayed on to answer questions from the audience. She was a vivacious speaker who gave detailed and honest answers to the questions posed. 

I was a tired girl when I returned to my room but I am so pleased that I stayed for the film and author talk.

With Paula Williams Madison and her book. 

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Religious Beats

When we were in Mumbai recently we did a tour called Religious Beats which took us to the places of worship of several religions practised in the city. I chose that tour because I felt that it gave us an insight into the culture, beliefs and practices of the people in that city.

Daniel Horowitz from MyHeritage giving some directional advice
Today, as one of the Rootstech Ambassador perks, I was privileged to go on a tour of the new Provo CityCenter Temple before it is dedicated and becomes closed to the general public. It was worth getting up early and being driven through the snow in a Mormonmobile along the freeway to Provo, Utah. We Aussies in the van oohed and aahed all the way to Provo as we were treated to some spectacular scenery.

We moved quickly along the queue to enter the Temple. We were ushered into a studio where we were issued with disposable overshoes like one gets in a Russian Museum and were shown an introductory video. Then is was time to visit the Temple. I had expected the Temple to be like most churches but I was so wrong.

Spread over three levels the Temple or  House of the Lord  is made up of many small and several medium sized rooms where particular religious services such as baptism, marriage (sealing) and instruction are performed. On our trips up and down those flights of stairs our guide explained the use and significance of all these rooms  and patiently answered our questions. I now have a greater  understanding  of the Mormon Faith.

The craftsmanship and decor in the Temple is of the highest quality with many artworks, friezes and frescoes adorning the walls. The custom made cream embossed wallpaper is a replica of  a design from the 19th century and is just magnificent. The timberwork in the floors, doors and furntiture is of the highest quality. The architectural hardware is made to unique designs. The furnishings  are beautiful with fine embroidered silk and plush velvet coverings and fine timber. I have visited a few fine old European buildings in my travels and found the quality of the decor  in this Temple to be comparable. we were not able to take photos of the interior of the Temple but believe that some can be found online.

After our visit we had a photo taken in front of a picture of the exterior of the Temple, this was promptly emailed to us to share. We then had a short wander around the exterior grounds but didn't stay long as snow was falling and it was mighty cold.

Thank you to the people from Familysearch, Jim Ericson our driver and our guide whose name I forgot to record. As I enjoyed my Religious Beats tour in Mumbai so I did the Provo Temple tour. 


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