Top Tips For New Keyers

Since our announcement on Tuesday of the partnership between the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and to create the World Memory Project, hundreds of you have joined our community. Welcome! We are so glad you are here. We are so pleased to be part of a community dedicated to bringing these significant records online for free.Some of you may be feeling a little overwhelmed. Most of these records are not in English. Some of these records have faint handwriting and are on worn paper. This is important and we know you want to do a good job.

To help you we’ve collected a few tips from our some of our most active community members.


From Elizabeth – Breathe!

From Becky – Keep the Wiki open! I go back and forth many times in a night.

(Note: Every project has a project page in the wiki with detailed instructions, image samples, project specific tips and tricks, and, in some cases, video showing you how to key. Go to the Ancestry World Archives Project Wiki, then scroll down and click on the name of the project you are working on.)

From Paul – One thing that helps me after working projects with many names per image is to finish the keying. but don’t submit yet. Then take a break, clear my head, and then review what I wrote. It helps.

From Ann – Enlarge the image. Doing so helps to see if the letter is an a, e or s, etc. I enlarge almost everything that I key to 119%. It is a lot easier to read.

From Gail – Don’t be afraid to ask questions…Most of us actually enjoy helping new keyers.

(Note: Every project page on the wiki has a discussion tab where you can ask your questions. More experienced keyers and members of the AWAP staff respond to those questions.)


What other general tips do you have for new keyers?

Until next time – Happy Keying!

P.S. – Do you have project specific tips? Please visit the project page on the wiki and add that tip to the discussion tab where all can readily find it.

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Reader Comments

During the Battle of Bastogne Belgium I lost my dear US American army friend Robert G Anderson #39609223 and have not been able to find his records.
Can you help me?? with kind regards Carel

If you have not already searched the draft or enlistment records for WWII, I would suggest searching in the following two databases to begin:
1. U.S. World War II Army Enlistment Records, 1938-1946
2. U.S. World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942
I wish I could help more; best of luck on your search! Kristin

How much timeshould I allow for keying?

Carel, A good place to start is doing a Card Catalog search on, maybe start with military records.

Ed, an average image set can take about 20 minutes to key. You can key as much or as little as you like, any contribution you provide helps and is appreciated!

Happy Keying.

[…] week we posted some of our top tips for new keyers. Be sure to read those here. Today we have a few more for you. I’ll get things […]

So, I just keyed in my first image and I think I am so far out of my league right now, ha-ha!

It was hard for me to figure out what I should be doing or not (since this is still new to me), so I will have to read up on this more before doing another one…

If you happen to get the one I did, and its totally wrong, Im sorry!