Tuesday, March 31, 2009

FamilySearch indexing Projects

I received news today that might liven things up for the Belgian indexing project started by FamilySearch indexing a couple of years ago.

Jean Huysmans is the Belgian project manager. Every month he sends the indexers a report on the project's progress.
Up to now, the project has only released images of towns in Flanders and, even though there is work for both Dutch and French speakers, that has hindered a more active participation from many who might otherwise have added their efforts to the current indexers'.

The wonderful news came this morning that 2 test-case projects are about to be added:
one for Belgie, Kalmhout - Overlijdens Registers 1851-1900
one for Belgique, Charleroi - Deces 1851-1900

Similar projects have been released in the past and they usually get done faster than the current general projects. If this happens with the two above mentioned projects, FamilySearch will consider releasing more such smaller projects.

If anyone is interested in participating, they should contact Jean Huysman right away at HuysmansJ@familysearch.org
Then download the indexing software from http://www.familysearchindexing.org/

A fluency in Dutch or French is not required to work on these records but it definitely helps as the highlighter available for projects like the census, will not be available as the information is found by reading the text of the record.
There is an added difficulty with the handwriting which may make reading the record impossible for those who are not acquainted with the language.

I hope this reaches someone and maybe lots of someones who will sign up and help us get these records indexed and the images available through FamilySearch (free access to qualified indexers, FHCs and members of the church in an intranet type setting)

For a quick idea at how these records will be accessible, go to
http://www.familysearchlabs.org/ and click on "Record Search"
or directly from the FamilySearch homepage at http://www.familysearch.org/
Click on "Search" and pick 'Record Search" from the pulldown menu.

I am really looking forward to working on this!
I hope many others will too!