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Community Forums › General › General Discussion Groups › The World Archives Project

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The World Archives Project
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Joined: Jul 10, 2007
Posts: 4360
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Sat Oct 04, 2008 12:52 am    Post subject: The World Archives Project Reply with quote

Fortunately, government agencies are finding hope in partnering with experienced commercial entities. In May of 2008, The Generations Network signed an agreement with the National Archives that will help speed up the digitization of some of the records mentioned in that “New York Times” article.

With scanners already onsite at NARA, Ancestry is now looking to harness the power of volunteers to create indexes through its new initiative, the World Archives Project.

The indexes created through the World Archives Project will be free to everyone. Images will remain behind the paid subscription wall to cover the costs of digitization, but active contributors to the project who key 900 records or more per quarter will have access to all of the images that are part of the World Archives Project--not just those that they have helped index. In addition to that, they will receive a 10 percent discount on the renewal of their Ancestry.com U.S. Deluxe membership and 15 percent on the renewal of their World Deluxe membership.

In addition, active contributors will also have a vote in what collections are indexed next. Here’s your chance to promote that collection from your ancestor’s hometown!

Partnership with Societies
Last week at the Federation of Genealogical Societies’ conference in Philadelphia, Ancestry announced its new World Archives Project would be partnering with FGS in a way that will be beneficial to societies. Partnering organizations will be able to suggest collections to be digitized and members can work together to index the records. The society would receive digitized copies of the indexes and images to use to as they see fit, perhaps using them in publications or making them available to members to help increase membership and revenue.

Ancestry is also hoping that the partnership will give societies more exposure to potential members. The World Archives Project will display the logos and a link to all of the partnering organizations’ websites. The participating society will also be visible on all of that society’s project databases at Ancestry. Since Ancestry users working in that organization’s database will likely have a research interest in the society’s area, this kind of targeted exposure will likely help the organization grow.

Ancestry is also supplying each organization with materials to help spread the word about their project to members and to the community at large.

A Win-Win-Win Situation
Projects like the World Archives Project and FamilySearch Indexing will undoubtedly help millions of family historians by preserving the fragile records of our ancestors and making them available online. Ancestry and FamilySearch are coordinating efforts to avoid duplication, which means that with both parties working to make records available, the speed at which records are being preserved is doubled.

The society focus and the ability to choose indexing projects from relevant areas of interest means that people who have experience working in an area will be creating the index. Since they are more likely to be familiar with the names and locations in that particular area, they will probably do a better job at indexing than someone who is unfamiliar with the area. The indexes will also be double-keyed (keyed by two separate individuals and then compared, with differences in the entries to be sent to a third party for arbitration). These two factors mean a higher quality index is available to all researchers—indexes that might otherwise be waiting in a queue for a long time before they make it online--or worse, overlooked completely.

On the self-serving side, I’ve found through my experience during this initial beta stage that I’m sharpening my detective skills when it comes to reading old handwriting. I’m doing a better job of comparing characters on the page to decipher names and locations and am finding it is coming easier to me as I go along. Since I know I will be encountering these same problems in my own family’s records, the experience is helping me to become a better researcher.

If you’ve been looking for a way to give back to a society that has helped you in your research, this is a great way to say thank you. See if they plan on sponsoring a project somewhere and volunteer to help index for them. Or just do it to build up some genealogical karma points. It’s easy to do, and there are no strings attached. You’ll be contributing to the preservation of records—something all family historians will appreciate—now and in the future.

The project is still in beta mode, and Ancestry is eager to hear about your experience with the keying tool, so if you take it for a test drive, be sure to share your feedback with them. We’ll be talking more about the World Archives Project in upcoming newsletters, with tips for indexers and updates on the status of the project. But if you’d like to learn more now, or try your hand at indexing, you can learn more here.

Society leaders can contact Suzanne Russo Adams for more information on partnering with Ancestry at sadams @ tgn.com.

Source: Ancestry Weekly Journal

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Joined: Aug 21, 2008
Posts: 27

PostPosted: Sun Oct 05, 2008 4:51 pm    Post subject: Re: The World Archives Project Reply with quote

I just looked at the Tutorial for the Project. The preliminary setup steps seem complicated to me - are they or is it just that it would make sense when I had the actual image set in front of me?
Thanks, qnana
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Posts: 959
Location: New York

PostPosted: Sun Oct 05, 2008 9:11 pm    Post subject: Re: The World Archives Project Reply with quote

While reading the article nuccia posted in the other thread about the fhl indexing..I happened to read the blog there. Some of the people did indexing for ancestry and found it more difficult to use their software than it is to use that of the FHL..which I can say from experience, the FHL software is so easy to use, a child can do it.

There is one thing I dont understand about this article here. It says they are partnering with the national archives? They only have american records and doesnt ancestry have a lot of that already?

As far as indexing for our own uses (as they are claiming), I see no real benefit, if you are volunteering for them and the best they can do is offer you a discount to view the images which YOU indexed for them.

I would rather type my fingers to the bone for the fhl..who are offering their records..image and all..to anyone, free...rather than for ancestry..who is making money from this.

Dont get me wrong..they are providing a service that I paid for twice..when I needed it..and if they ever got my italian towns..I would pay ANY price for access. I would just rather do it now, for the fhl so people dont have to pay for it.

Oh..and good thing they are double and triple checking these things. I have used both ancestry and fhl indexes while doing my own research..and man are they a mess. In some instances to find something, I went page by page. I understand why, now. I have indexed over 32, 000 records for the fhl and at least a couple thousand people..will never find their ancesters according to what I typed. Some census takers really scribbled and in order to type nothing..I had to take my best guess...while I silently apologize to this poor person.
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 05, 2008 10:38 pm    Post subject: Re: The World Archives Project Reply with quote

I was nosey so I went to ancestry and clicked on the tour of how you enter their data. Although, it is similar..the FHL software sets up faster and easier (or so it looks to me), you dont have to add a header, like you do on the ancestry indexing..and it looks to me like even entering the data on the fhl software is easier.

Both seem to give you an indication if a name isnt on their master list. On the fhl software, you will get a squiggly underline..but, you continue to type..on this ancestry software..if they dont have the name on their master list..you have to click..then and there for it to accept what you are typing. Using the Fhl slftware..they explain to you that the squiggly line does NOT mean what you typed is wrong..it just means that particular name isnt on their list. When you are done indexing a page..you get a proof reading..thats when all of your squiggle names come up and you accept them as correct or you fix them if one happened to be a typo. With ancestry..the way they explained it..makes you feel like they have every name in the world on their list, so if the one you typed doesnt appear..it must be your mistake..and I dont believe thats so. I know the I have typed many names..that were written clear as a bell and not on their list.

Anyway..for those who want to volunteer..and like this idea of getting a percentage off your acct..I suggest you try the fhl first. It will make you better understand what to do on ancestry. I wouldnt have been able to understand half of this tour if I didnt have the fhl indexing experience.

Just one other thing. I didnt see them offer any list anywhere there of what they are working on. For fhl you can get the list of what was done already, what they are working on now..and a list of whats coming next.
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2008 8:07 pm    Post subject: Re: The World Archives Project Reply with quote

It seems the FHL got into the act of rewarding their volunteers, also. This was posted on their indexing page last week, but I just found it now.

October 2, 2008: Access to Indexes and Images

All indexes created by FamilySearch volunteers will be available free to the general public through FamilySearch.org. Access to any images with a “convenience fee” provided under FamilySearch affiliate agreements (e.g., with Ancestry.com, Findmypast.com, and Footnote.com) will be available for free through any family history center worldwide, to LDS Church members, and qualified FamilySearch indexers (a volunteer who indexes 900 names in a 90 day period will have 90 days of free image access).

FamilySearch is testing a validation system that will enable it to authenticate qualified FamilySearch members. It will be implemented in 2009.

To search indexes and images freely now at FamilySearch's pilot site, click here.
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