Fall 2011 World Record Challenge

It’s time for another World Record Challenge. Join us for the next six and half weeks as we put our hands together to key 4 million records from September 15th through October 31st. As a community, we typically key about 80,000 records a day. But, I think we can do better than that. What do you think?

You can track our progress towards 4 million records on our Facebook page. We will update it as often as possible with the current record count. And remember, both record keying and record arbitration and review count towards the total.

Your involvement in this challenge also gives you an opportunity to vote on what projects we publish for keying in the last two months of the year (and in what order). For every 100 records you key or arbitrate/review, you get a vote! Are you interested in records from England, New York, or California? Do you like keying naturalizations or biographies? Do you want more records from the 1900s or the 1800s? Check out this list of projects for one that sparks your interest. Then start indexing to earn votes.

  • American Biography & Genealogy, California Edition, 1912-1913
  • Dutchess County, New York Naturalization Books, 1932-1989
  • London Poor Law Settlement Registers, 1834-1940
  • Dorset Quarter Session Books, 1625-1951
  • Naturalization Originals, Maine and Massachusetts, 1906-1929
  • Philadelphia INS Records of Special Boards of Inquiry, 1893-1909

You will find the voting feature as a tab in the bottom half of the Select Image Set screen in the Keying Tool. Here you can cast your vote and track which collections are in the lead. Vote after every 100 records submitted or accumulate votes and cast them all for one collection. (NOTE: This feature will not appear until 12:01 am MST, Sep 15th.)

In addition to the fun challenge and the opportunity to vote on the next keying projects, we will also continue to run periodic Project of the Day Mini-Challenges with fun prizes and giveaways. So, watch this space or our Facebook page for those announcements.

Do you think we can index 4 million records between now and October 31st? Can you hear the Eye of the Tiger music playing in my head?

I hope you will join us!

Until next time – Happy Keying!

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Reader Comments

I’ve keyed 100 Cartes Electorales records so far today plus a few of the Georgia Civil War records, and arbed a few Eure et Loir, but the voting tab hasn’t appeared.

MST is GMT – 6 hours, and we are on BST at the moment, which is 1 hour ahead of BST, so I think that means MST is 7 hours behind us in the UK at the moment. Meaning that the voting tab feature should have started to work at 7 a.m. in the UK, and I certainly didn’t start keying before then this morning!

Hoping it appears later.

The voting tab is showing for me. Try logging out and back in.

I do not see the see projects above listed as available to key. Can we key any of the projects that are listed to qualify? Two of them on the above list pique my interest.

“can we key any of the projects listed….” meaning the ones that I can see in the keying tool, not the ones listed on the blog.

Thanks, Anna, it’s there now!

I cannot find the voting tab – i have just keyed and submitted an image for NZ directories- therefore must be at least 300 records – and I have tried the logging out and starting again but still the voting tab only shows the votes cast – where am I going wrong please?

I believe that there is something wrong with the voting process. I have reviewed hundreds of CA RR records this morning and have only been able to vote twice.
I followed Anna’s suggestion to log off and back in twice now. If I don’t log off and on after EACH vote, the numbers are not calculating again for the next vote.
I hope that I am being clear hear and not more confusing.
Ann H

The voting choices look great. However, will we ever be offered projects like Naturalization Originals from the central states of the U.S?

Are you sure credits are being given for records arbitrated as well as keyed?
I have jus arbitrated over 100 and did not get a credit.
On the tool itself it only mentions records keyed.

I have three comments.
First, I hope the voting is merely for the order in which these projects will be posted. Obviously, they ALL need to be done.
Secondly, based on recent performance, it will take Ancestry’s in-house staff 2 years to prepare and release four million records for search, so what’s the hurry?
Third, I agree with Fischer, especially now that Ancestry owns Footnotes (I will NOT refer to it by that stupid name it now has). I would think it should be fairly simple to copy their already indexed records.

Hello Everyone,
I wanted to clarify a few of your questions regarding the Fall World Record Challenge:
1. All records keyed/arbitrated/reviewed will count towards your votes.
2. You can work on any of the available projects in the keying tool to earn the votes.
3. Some of you have mentioned that the tool may not be calculating the votes correctly. I’m looking into this. Don’t let that stop you in your efforts because I’m certain if there is a problem the fix will ensure all past work for the time frame of the challenge will be included.

Thanks for bringing my attention to the matter and I’ll be in touch with you as soon as possible.
In the mean time, have fun and Happy Keying!

@kate. I think this may have to do with how arbitration is calculated.

In arbitration (2 indexers), the arbitrator’s count goes up only if he has to intervene in a particular record.

So in the case of a city directory page, ther may be several hundred records that the arbitrator has seen. But he only makes changes to a few. So his record count will not increase my large amounts.

In Reviewing (One indexer), the reviewer is credited for all records seen, not just the changes made.

@jeff. Last time there was a vote, it was just for the order of appearance. All projects were keyed.

Don’t think so Paul. I reviewed over 200 records and didn’t get a vote. I therefore assumed that only keying counted but I see this is not the case.

Been reviewing as well and didn’t receive any votes. I only received votes after I started to key a project.

So happy were finally getting some Massachusetts records! I was wondering why this year there are only six collections, as opposed to last years ten projects?

My connection with the World Archives Project crashed on Sept 15 while keying. Got advice from “contact us” at Ancestry, who refered me to your online link. Info provided did not work on my laptop. Got help locally today, deleted and reopened. Did this happen to anyone else? Was it due to everyone getting busy keying for this Challenge? I’ll be happy to get back to business for you.

I have finally been given a vote but only on an image set downloaded after the challenge started – all the one s before in either arbitration or keying have not registered votes- is this because the ‘votes’ are attached to the set when downloaded?

It Shouldn’t matter.

You should get one vote for every 100 records submitted during the challenge period.

Hi all,
We are working on an issue with how arbitration and review records are counted. We appreciate your patience as we work on this.

Any news on how many records have been keyed so far? I can’t see anything on Facebook?


While the number of votes cast isnt an exact indicator, it does give you the lower boundary.

As of the time of this post 4069 votes cast. Which would represent at least 406,900 records.

You mentioned that a written version of the USHMM’s talk at the Conference would be available. Can you let me have a copy?


Just wanted to report that I have finally earned votes through review/arbitration. Thanks for the hard work on the fix!

I have been arbitrating over 2000 records this week-end and have not been able to vote once.

I have not had the votes for the initial work -this was promised in comment 11