Friday, December 28, 2012

Learn How to Use the Bilingual Search Engine for IGRA's Database

The Israel Genealogy Research Association (IGRA) has an All Israel Database (AID) section of its site with information from the Ottoman, British, and Israeli administrations.  Most databases are in Hebrew, some are in English, and a few are in other languages.  Records are presented in their original languages.

In July, at the IAJGS International Conference in Paris, IGRA was awarded a Stern Grant to develop a bilingual search engine for its Web site to improve access to the databases.  The new search engine was announced on December 15.  The search engine can understand both English and Hebrew and will show matches in both languages even if you enter the name in only one language.  All material has been transliterated so that the search engine can identify results.  There is even a virtual keyboard if you do not have a Hebrew keyboard.

The search has several filter options, including record type, database, source, repository, and administration era.  The default language for the page is Hebrew, but you can click on the "English" button at the top right and it is immediately translated.  Different databases have different permission levels.  Some are available to everyone, while some are only for paid IGRA members.  More records are still being digitized and added to the databases.

Obviously, there's a lot to learn here.  Luckily, IGRA is offering a free Webinar, "Navigating the All Israel Database Search Engine", in English (which is good for me, because I don't understand Hebrew!).  The Webinar will be broadcast January 13, 2013 at 10:00 a.m. PST/1:00 p.m. EST/8:00 p.m. Israel.  Register at

My thanks to Garri Regev, IGRA president, for posting this information.

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