Saturday, July 19, 2014

Indexing (Transcribing, Really), British Maps, Scots, and Australians

Will you be participating in the FamilySearch Worldwide Indexing Project?  (Even though it's actually transcribing, not indexing, as any true indexer will be happy to explain to you.)

All of the searchable databases for the genealogy records available on are thanks to volunteers who transcribe information from digitized microfilm.  In 2012, FamilySearch had a 24-hour marathon session where 49,025 volunteers participated by transcribing or verifying records.  This year, on July 20 and 21, FamilySearch is trying to beat the record number of volunteers that was set in 2012.  They hope to have 50,000 people participate this time, which actually shouldn't be that difficult, since they were so close last time.

How about getting a bunch of people together and making a party of it?  That's what we're doing here in Oakland!  Several staff members from the Oakland FamilySearch Library are having an indexing party on Monday.  We're getting together for brunch and transcribing.  And we'll probably have lots of chocolate to munch on while we're working.

It's really easy to get started.  Everything you need to know is right here.  To be counted in the official total, all you need to do is submit one batch of records.  Of course, if you want to do more, no one's going to complain ....

-- >< -- >< -- >< -- >< --

Similar to the New York Public Library appeal to crowdsourcing to identify details in 19th-century atlases that have been digitized and placed online, the British Library has uploaded more than 3,000 maps from 17th-, 18th-, and 19th-century references to Flickr and is now asking volunteers to help identify locations on the maps.

-- >< -- >< -- >< -- >< --

The Gordon Highlanders' Museum has photographs of unidentified Gordon Highlanders from World War I.  As an experiment, the museum has teamed up with ScotlandsPeople to see if they can find anyone who can identify the men in a small number of photos.

They have created a Web page that showcases six photographs of the 7th Battalion (the Deeside Battalion) of the Gordon Highlanders.  The photos depict the 7th Battalion in the UK:  in Scotland, leaving for Bedford in August 1914, or training there until May 1915.  None of them depicts the 7th Gordons in France.

If you think you can identify anyone in the photos, please send a message to the e-mail address listed on the Web page.

-- >< -- >< -- >< -- >< --

A research project at the Jewish Holocaust Centre in Melbourne is focused on Alfred Bergel (1902–1944), an artist and art teacher from Vienna.  He was one of the important figures in the cultural life of Terezín.  He was used by the Nazis to forge famous works of art.  He also worked as a painter and taught children and young people drawing, art history, and art appreciation.  He died in Auschwitz.  Today, his name and works are mostly forgotten.  If you have any information to contribute to this project, or want more information about it, please contact Mareike Montgomery at

-- >< -- >< -- >< -- >< --

The Destination:  Australia Web site, a project of the Australian National Archives, wants to draw on the stories of the people and family members featured in the photographs showcased on the site to create an in-depth history of Australia’s postwar immigration.  They are looking for people to share immigration stories related to the more than 21,000 photographs from a promotional series taken by the Department of Immigration since 1945.  You can tag people you know, tag where they came from and went to, add descriptions and comments, and comment on others’ contributions.

1 comment:

  1. Did you participate in the Worldwide Indexing Event? As I predicted, there was no problem beating the number of participants from 2012. According to the Facebook page for the event, an estimated 66,417 volunteers transcribed at least one batch during the 24 hours of the event. (I transcribed five and had one hang up because I couldn't get through to submit it.) Maybe next time they'll shoot for 75,000 people?


All comments on this blog will be previewed by the author to prevent spammers and unkind visitors to the site. The blog is open to everyone, particularly those interested in family history and genealogy.