Coming up in this edition of the Voices of the Past Netcast, we’ll meet Lisa Louise Cooke. Lisa created and maintains Genealogy Gems–one of the world’s most popular genealogy websites. She’ll tell us about the learning curve involved in using online media, and how she uses the web to create a deeper connection to her audience.
Thanks for joining us. I’m Jeff Guin. We’ll have that interview in a moment. First, here are a couple of briefs about heritage in the online world.
Expedia is partnering with the National Park Foundation on a new Web site to help travelers enjoy their trips to U.S. national parks a little more.
The site at includes downloadable park maps and other content from the National Park Foundation, as well as information about lodging options outside the parks.
The content also includes suggestions for long weekend itineraries with stops at national park sites in Colorado, Texas and Michigan, and a series of stories called “Can’t-Miss National Parks.” The first five parks featured in the “Can’t-Miss” series are the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, Glacier, Olympic and Yosemite.
The timing of the Web site launch was designed to coincide with the airing of Ken Burns’ new documentary on public television, “The National Parks: America’s Best Idea.”
Italy is putting the Baghdad museum online.
The Virtual Museum of Iraq is designed to make some of the world’s most important artifacts accessible to everyone. The site offers visitors the chance to walk through eight virtual halls and admire works from the prehistoric to the Islamic period, while videoclips reconstruct the history of the country’s main cities.
The site is available in Arabic, English and Italian. Visitors can rotate some objects in the virtual museum to get an almost 360 degree view. Italy contributed one million euros and provided expert staff to help restore the museum, creating a restoration laboratory in Baghdad and overhauling the museum’s Assyrian and Islamic galleries.
Present-day Iraq lies on the site of ancient Mesopotamia between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers and the Baghdad museum boasts one of the best collections of ancient artfacts in the world.
Around 15,000 of the museum’s relics were carried off during a 48-hour looting spree in 2003 in the wake of the US invasion. While around 6,000 works have been returned, many other pieces are still missing.
The Baghdad Museum Project is looking for international partners to help with its four-part plan to help save the museum. The program hopes to establish an online catalog to help locate the artifacts from the Baghdad museum.
It would also like to create collaborative workspace within the virtual Baghdad Museum, to allow international teams to work together.
Featured Voice of the Past: Lisa Louise Cooke
October is family history month in the U.S. And to celebrate, we’re featuring one of genealogy’s most prolific and beloved web personalities.
Lisa Louise Cooke has been passionate about family history since she was a child, looking at old family scrapbooks with her grandmother. Since then, she’s turned that passion into a career.
She is the producer and host of the popular Genealogy Gems Podcast, an audio and video genealogy show available in iTunes.
Additionally, she hosts the monthly Family Tree Magazine Podcast and videocasts for Family History Expos. I spoke to Lisa Louise Cooke recently, and here’s what she had to say about how she learned to use social media tools to promote genealogy.
And our shownotes site is also the place to find out more about all of the stories we’ve told you about today. That’s all for this edition of the netcast. In the meantime, we’ll see you online.