Many archivists find admirable ways to serve their professional or local communities by offering their time on committees, at their local library or family history center, or speaking at workshops. One way I have decided to give back since graduating is by helping to index documents for FamilySearch.org
Most genealogists know that millions of records have been microfilmed by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and are stored in a granite mountain vault up Little Cottonwood Canyon, Utah. They can be accessed by visiting any Family History Center in the world. Copies are made of the microfilm and sent to your location. I, myself, have studied French Canadian parish records on microfilm trying to recover names from my dad’s side. But a new effort is underway to make the names on these microfilmed records searchable online.
Anyone with an interest can go to the Worldwide Records Indexing volunteer page and register. From here you can create a user name, read all about this massive effort, practice on sample documents, and get started. I have indexed 600 names since January 1st. Let me tell you, that is nothing. Some indexers do that much in a week!
In the above picture, I am indexing passenger names from a New Zealand ship manifest. Below is a screenshot of what indexing looks like up close.
So, if you like doing family research and you believe like I do, that we are all in this together, and want to help make it easier for everyone to do their own research, you might want to join forces with volunteers all over the world by becoming an indexer!
Other news on the blog front is that I have joined the Twitter world. If you would like to receive notification of when Archiventures is updated, click on the Twitter icon to the right. You can also click on the RSS icon to add Archiventures to your news feed. I hope this will be just a fun way to spread a positive message about the importance of preserving records and learning about our history.