Sunday, October 10, 2010

Genealogy Volunteer Opportunity

All those records in Granite Mountain near Salt Lake City are being digitalized and will eventually be available online free.

As you can imagine, there are millions of records which the LDS Church has collected over the years. They have the digitalizing down to a science and anticipate it will be completed in 10 years. That's the worldwide collection.

The indexing, which is necessary before you can search these records, is done by volunteers, checked and double checked, will take longer. There's just one problem. At the current rate the volunteers are working it will take 300 YEARS.

You don't have to be a member of the LDS Church to volunteer to index. You don't have to go to a Family History Center. You can do it from the comfort of your home. You need a computer and internet access. You don't have to have a fast internet access. You can chose to work offline but you will need the connection to download the software, download the projects and upload them when you are done.

There is a time limit for each project but if you can commit an hour over the week after you download a project you are fine. Some projects take less than than that but that's the time they suggest. And once the project is indexed and goes through the checking process it goes online.

To volunteer go to beta.familysearch.org. Sign up and download the software. I strongly suggest you view the training even if you find it simple. The main reason is there are a few instructions in there on the rules for handling specific situations such as when you can't read the handwriting [and obviously you will encounter this issue]. At the end you'll find you can actually download the training file and the "handout" for future reference.

If you need help there are FAQS and resources and a forum. The forums are a separate signup although you can use the same name as your indexing user name if you wish.

If you are reading this I assume you read English but if you read other languages remember this is a worldwide project and records come in all languages.

If every genealogist and historian volunteered for one project - one hour - a week it would have an impact on the timeline for completion. What are you waiting for?