Tuesday, September 13, 2011

19.40 and Some Change

Ransom Love addresses the 2011 BYU Family History Conference
File photo: Ransom Love conference presentation
“What if we took the 1940 census and made it a community project? Really!” said Ransom Love of FamilySearch. “We believe we can do that, pull these resources together, and have a full index within six months. Do you realize what that would mean?”

Love, Senior Vice President of Strategic Relations at FamilySearch International, made the remarks in a luncheon at the 2011 annual conference of the Federation of Genealogical Societies underway this week in Springfield, Illinois.

Love’s topic was “Creating Change Together” and he spoke of several opportunities to do so, including a community effort to index the 1940 census.

Archives are facing deep challenges and need a change for the better. FamilySearch is offering its technologies so that, together, they are better positioned to deal with the challenges. (See “FamilySearch Embracing the World” for more information.) Among other projects was Italian Civil Registration.

The other day I came across what appears to be another collaboration between FamilySearch (doing business as the Genealogical Society of Utah) and the National Archive of Peru. A webpage on their site states, “El Archivo General de la Nación a través del convenio suscrito con la Sociedad Genealógica de Utah pone a disposición de los usuarios el índice e imágenes digitalizadas de los Registros Civiles de Lima y Callao (1887-1918).”

That’s all Greek to me… or in this case, Greek Spanish… but you can see the results of the project at http://www.agn.gob.pe/portal/instrumentos-descriptivos/dar/registros-civiles-1887-1918.html. Scroll down the page and click one of the “ver” links.

But I digress…

FamilySearch is exploring another collaboration concept: regional digitization centers. FamilySearch is currently working with Fold3.com (formerly Footnote.com) to digitize the Civil War widows pension files. With 2 or 3 cameras, the project will extend over a hundred years. “Now that’s a little depressing,” said Love. If NARA and partners were to establish a regional digitization center equipped with hundreds of cameras, it could cut the time to 6 to 8 years.

For those of you keeping score, it is
   FamilySearch presentations attended: 3
   FamilySearch presentations suggesting participation in indexing the 1940 census: 3

FamilySearch and its many volunteers and partners are creating change.

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