Comments on: Meeting with the nation’s archivists The official blog of Ancestry Tue, 30 Jun 2015 04:34:36 +0000 hourly 1 By: Mitch Mitch Tue, 06 Jan 2009 04:14:00 +0000 Hi Al –

What about preserving overseas records? My family has records over in the Ukraine that I can’t afford to go get copies of.

Take a look at these painful photos: It kills me that this just happened a few years ago, after these documents have sat there for over 120 years. It’s likely my family records are in several of the fonds destroyed in the fire, as the small village they came from showed up in the index the RTR foundation made.

Is there anyway to request getting these records digitized? I know they’re not domestic US….

Thanks in advance for the feebback Al!

- Mitch

By: keven G keven G Mon, 08 Dec 2008 20:00:52 +0000 AL I’m curious???

Did u attend UCSB starting in 1973 (Santa Rosa Dorm) ?????

(across the hall from Jody)
and on EL NIDO St too !!!!

By: deborah rae harley caparoon deborah rae harley caparoon Wed, 27 Aug 2008 03:21:19 +0000 My ancestory is all wrong on your web site. How can I correct it and update it?

By: Skip Strovel Skip Strovel Tue, 05 Aug 2008 17:06:00 +0000 Your World Archives project may be an undertaking that we can complement you. We are located approximately 5 miles from the National Archives (9 offices) and our area of expertise is preservation and electronic imaging. I would appreciate an opportunity to speak with someone. 301-837-0197 x1546
Thanks, Skip Strovel

By: Skip Strovel Skip Strovel Tue, 05 Aug 2008 17:02:51 +0000 Type your comment here.

By: RickK RickK Tue, 05 Aug 2008 04:00:21 +0000 Where can I find a list of archival projects that is working on or has funded?

By: Nancy Rogers Nancy Rogers Fri, 01 Aug 2008 15:53:02 +0000 I really appreciate the fact that and are collaborating instead of arguing with each other. I am hopeful that this will mean that many records that have not been available will become available. I am also hopeful that in the long run this might mean that the state of New York will devise some way to work with this group so that birth, marriage and death records for the state (not NY city) will eventually move into the public domain with certain restrictions such as no access or application only access to family members for documents less than 50 years old.

By: Jade Jade Thu, 31 Jul 2008 21:10:28 +0000 Al, Quinton and Brian,

I am glad to know of your continuing contact with State and local archivists.

I hope that you are listening to their concerns.

The concerns of experienced researchers merge with those of the archivists in the mutual desire for survival of the records in situ or at least in context. Too many County officials have been disposing of original records; the most justifiable reasons involve lack of funds for expansion of storage space, but there are other reasons as well.

The State of New York monitors and regulates activities regarding County Court, Town and other records, but few others do. In a sense it is a race against time to ensure that what is still intact remains so. In many locations integrity of records has already been lost, whether by activity under auspices of the Historical Records Survey, or by much more recent activity (however well-intentioned).

The concerns of experienced genealogists do not always, however, mesh with some archivists’ view of how best to conduct digitization projects. In one instance I know of a County Historian in NY who took apart Court Case Files and put the documents in what s/he believed to be alphabetical order. The method of choice of defendant or plaintiff, or of how to handle such items as summons returns regarding witnesses, receipts for payments or affidavits was not at all thought out in advance. Then the documents were put through an automated microfilming device that inevitably destroyed some of the papers. Thus now for this County the earliest Court records’ case files are all but impossible to reconstruct, the automatic microfilmer did not capture full document images in many instances, and it is now impossible to know what was destroyed in the process.

The Historian then made up a card file from the documents, but even assuming that one could locate one of the involved persons in the card file, it is impossible to recapture the role of that person in the case aside from plaintiff and defendant.

Just from viewing certain databases on Ancestry, such as so-called DE vital records and so-called vital records from Fayette Co, PA, it is obvious that the contracts involved in generating these databases did not specify that records integrity be maintained and nature of the record specified for every entry.

These problems remind me of a story told me by a former military intelligence officer. He was tasked with destroying a body of records, most of which were classified, but was also required to keep a record of what was destroyed. The recording method he devised was to make a list of the *initials of the title of each record* since the very title of many documents disclosed some information that he deemed not fit for public consumption.

Thus I urge you to take Records Integrity very seriously, as against some digitization methods that would at first glance seem feasibly to facilitate indexing.

There is much more to be said regarding Endangered Records, but in my humble opinion the matter of preservation of context is Number One.