May Edition, The Life of a Project

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ancestry | January 2011
Feature Article:
The Life of a Project
World Memory Project
Tips & Tricks
Collections Update
We’re Listening to You
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The Life of a Project
How do we decide what projects to key? Can we key that project? Why are we keying only those fields? When will that project be released on We often hear these and similar questions from contributors curious about the processes behind the scenes at the World Archives Project so I thought we should take you on a tour.
We have a content acquisition team that researches record collections and then seeks out the appropriate parties to see if we can acquire the content. During the acquisition process decisions are made regarding what information will be keyed—this is decided based on what we want to be able to search and what the owner of the records would like. It is also during this time that there may be discussions regarding timelines for completing the index and if the index could be free on the site, hence whether it would be available to be keyed through the World Archives Project. Once we have acquired the content it starts its journey through the digitization process, then on to indexing, followed by post-production work and eventually the index and images will be available on
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Keyers’ Perspectives on New Collections BY ANNE MERRILL
At the end of this month, two new World Memory Project collections will be searchable for free via
USHMM — Poland, Jews Displaced from Biała Podlaska
USHMM — Palestine, Illegal Immigration
These collections include details about thousands of Holocaust victims and survivors. In gratitude for your help in making their information searchable, and to encourage you to continue with this important work, we have spotlighted below three keyers’ perspectives on indexing these records.
“On my father's side of the family, all but one half-brother who was in Palestine disappeared in the Shoah. On my mother's side, just a handful survived. As more and more people are looking for their roots, it is great to have access to as much material as possible online. Traveling to search archives on site and visit cemeteries is not always possible and can be very costly. Only one success story of reuniting families would be enough to justify the huge amount of work done, and there is always more than one reunion story!” —Eddy, Brussels, Belgium
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Tips & Tricks
Keying Tool How-tos
In the Additional Help articles, there is an article titled Keying tool how-tos. This article is an assortment of answers to questions we are asked about using the keying tool—as we encounter new questions we add a new section to the article. Below are a few of the questions, and their answers, that we have been asked recently.
How do I change the form type for the record I am keying? How do I know which form to use?
For projects where the large majority of image sets belong to a single form type (such as most naturalization projects), we have selected a “default” form type for you. This will help you to jump right into keying without setting the same form type over and over. You can always click the button above the field help to change the default form type if you find it is necessary.
Use the information, and example images, on the project page to determine the form type that best fits the record. If you cannot determine what form type to use send a screen shot to our support team,
Projects that have multiple form types will prompt you to select the form type prior to keying. The “Select Form Type” drop-down menu now has more room for larger and better descriptions of form types, links to the online examples of each form, and a list of the fields that the form has.
How do I enter the data from the record I see?
Entering record data simply involves typing the information you see written on the image into the corresponding data cell in the bottom of the application window. As you type, you can move to the next field by pressing either Tab or Enter, whichever is more comfortable for you.
What if I am not able to see the data entry area?
If you are not able to see the data entry area click on the dotted lines and drag your mouse up. This will enlarge the area of the keying tool beneath the image and you will be able to see the data entry fields.
Once you have completed entering the data from the first image click on the Next: Begin Next Image button to move on to the next image.
We’re Listening to You
Question: Why do we mark an entire name as illegible when we can read part of the name? Should we key the letters we can see?
Resolution: We are updating the Keying Standards to accommodate partial entries. If one or more characters within a particular word are illegible, key all of the characters that are legible. Use double question marks (??) to represent the missing character or characters. When using ?? to replace a character(s) you will need to accept the entry as correct by clicking on F7. If a word is entirely illegible, mark the field as illegible, using Ctrl+I or using the ? button.
Example 1: If the page is ripped but I can still see, “elson” I would enter “??elson” in the appropriate field.
Example 2:
Collections Update —
New Projects and Coming Soon
New Projects:
Tennessee, Early Tax List Records
Coming Soon:
Montgomery County, Indiana Index to Birth Records, 1882-1920
Bartholomew County, Indiana Index to Birth Records, 1883-1920
Marriage Records of Scioto County, Ohio, 1803-1860
Applications for ID Cards for Jews in Krakow, Part 2
Citizenship Case Files of the U.S. Court in Indian Territory
New South Wales, Government Gazettes
Ireland—Lord Viscount Morpeth’s Testimonial Roll
World Archives Project Milestones
Registered Contributors: 112,000+ from over 100 different countries
Records Keyed: 83+ million
Completed Projects: 105
View all of the projects that are searchable on the dashboard.
© 2012

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