Saturday, July 16, 2016
Cook County, Illinois, Births 1923 - 1939
It's been a month since I last tried my hand at indexing records at FamilySearch.org. To give you an idea of how large the collection was that I indexed last month, there are still dates available to work on within that collection.
Happily, the collection I worked on this month was so easy to complete, I did two in one sitting. No more blurry-eyed angst over reading faint entries wrong—my accuracy rating was a deplorable 85% with my attempts last month. This batch was easy to move through and, for the most part, straightforward to read and interpret, even for the handwritten entries.
A lot has happened since I last joined in on the indexing project. Apparently, I missed out on some updates to the program, itself, and had to wait for the download.
That, however, is not the major news. What is happening now is that we are right in the middle of a seventy two hour Worldwide Indexing Event 2016. By the time the marathon is over at the end of July 17, FamilySearch hopes to gather 72,000 indexers to slam dunk a whole pile of records. If you don't have anything going on right now and haven't helped out with indexing in a while—or have ever done it at all—consider jumping in and donating a spare half hour to the cause. It's quite easy to get started. And who knows? You may find you like it so much, you'll come back to help some more.
What is interesting about the indexing process is that, despite having well over one hundred thousand volunteers worldwide helping with the process, there is a vast backlog of material yet to do. If you doubt that, just take a look at all the record collections which have been digitized, but not yet rescued from "browse" prison. (Scroll down here to view a listing of "image only" collections—and this list shows just such instances for the United States only. Multiple other countries' collections are also in this browse-only state of limbo, for lack of willing indexers. Gives you an idea of the work yet to be done.)
The sad part of this situation is that there is no room left to move any of these additional collections into the queue to be indexed, until those already in line are cleared out. Our local genealogical society, which has helped in the past by adopting collections specific to our region and dispatching the indexing duties post haste, has recently requested FamilySearch to allow us to spearhead another project to index targeted collections, but we have been turned down in our request, for this specific reason. These are collections already digitized, but until they can make it to the to-do list for indexing, will be no more useful than paging through old fashioned microfilm reels.
Hopefully, by the end of tomorrow, the 72 hour indexing marathon will help move a good number of those collections off the worldwide to-do list, and we can see some other files advance to take their place. If you become a part of that army of 72,000 volunteers this weekend, hats off to you for your contribution to the effort!
Above: "A Race Meeting at Jacksonville, Alabama," 1841 oil on canvas by the virtually unknown W. S. Hedges; courtesy Wikipedia; in the public domain.