Friday, January 22, 2010

Louisiana Digital Library - Citizens Invited to Participate

Genealogists are always happy to hear about new document collections being digitized and made available online, especially those we can access without charge. A recent article on, "Digitization project aiming to preserve Louisiana's history," highlights the Louisiana Digital Library (LDL) collection, some "84,000 digital materials about Louisiana's history, people and places." Anyone can view items by visiting the LDL website.

What's unique about this project is that northeastern Louisiana citizens (and probably others with something to contribute) are invited to participate. The article states, 

"The equipment used in this project is also available to scan and save digital images of photographs and manuscripts belonging to northeastern Louisiana citizens.

What the project is interested in are items from the late 1800s and early 1900s that depict the following, home and family life, agriculture such as farming, ranching and timber, schools, churches and baptisms, sporting events, work and leisure activities, libraries, architecture and landmarks, transportation and natural disasters such as floods."

The scanning service is being made available through local libraries. The article provides information on who to contact, and assures participants that original materials will remain with the owner. "Your items will be scanned and handed back to you within moments," the article said.

Those with Louisiana ancestry, no doubt, will watch this collection with interest.

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Thursday, October 29, 2009

FamilySearch Indexing: Want Free Indexed Records Online? Become a Voluteer and Help Create Them

Everyone is delighted with digitizing of records going on at FamilySearch, and opportunity to access the FamilySearch Labs and browse the records as they are released. Rita Marshall, in her article "FamilySearch Indexing: Want Free Indexed Records Online? Become a Volunteer and Help Create Them," suggests taking that enthusiam one step further by participating in the indexing process, helping to move the work along and make even more records available sooner. As the saying goes, "Many hands make light work." And as the author points out, there are benefits to the researcher, opportunities to share your expertise and learn even more. This is an exciting time in genealogy and very rewarding to on the inside track.

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Saturday, September 12, 2009

Technology helps FamilySearch hit major milestone

FamilySearch volunteers expect to have transcribed more than 325 million names by the end of 2009, just three years after the organization began its online indexing program," according to an article in today's Deseret News, "Technology helps FamilySearch hit major milestone."

The milestone was a number once thought impossible to reach in such a short period of time. In 2006, a few thousand volunteers indexed only 11 million names. But thanks to continuing advances in technology and a growing number of volunteers -- more than 100,000 across five continents -- an estimated half million individual names are indexed each day. At that rate, Paul Nauta, FamilySearch public affairs manager, expects that 500 million names will be transcribed by the end of 2010.

The article goes on to explain the scope of the work and the technological innovation driven by the need of efficient methods. I was struck by two quotes, in particular:

"With the technological advances and the ever-increasing number of indexing volunteers, the Ellis Island historical records -- which a decade ago took 12,000 volunteers 12 years to complete -- would take three weeks to index today. "

"The records FamilySearch contains currently, when digitized, would equal 132 Libraries of Congress or 18 petabytes of data -- and that doesn't include our ongoing acquisition efforts."

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Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Digitzing in the Library World, Part 2

To genealogists, the promise of individual libraries digitizing their holdings is exciting to consider. This week, Larry Naukum continues his series, "Digitizing in the Library World, Part 2." The article provides the insider point of view on library digitizing decisions, and along the way, points to some useful resources.

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Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Digitizing the Library World, Part One

"There is a lot going on with digitizing records these days," writes Larry Naukum in, "Digitizing in the Library World, Part One," the first in a series. The series provides an insider's view, as the author heads the genealogy department of a major public library and is intimately involved in putting materials online. Understanding more about the challenges of putting digitized records online may give the individual researcher an extra pound of patience when accessing records; and if you have research in the Rochester, NY area, you may delighted to see what's online. For everyone else, the article may prompt you to check the web site of your local public library, state archive, and genealogical society to see what's available in the growing collection of records available.

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