Providing feedback during our beta phase

It has been a week since we announced the Public Beta testing for the Ancestry World Archives Project and we have seen a large increase in participants and also in feedback!

During this stage of the project we appreciate the time you are taking to use the tool and provide your feedback. The project is still very new and we’re excited to continue to make improvements based on your feedback – both overcoming bugs and making enhancements to the keying tool.

You are not only family history experts, but are also our partners in making this project a great experience and a success. We all want to increase the number of records that are preserved and accessible online and we can do that by working together.

As you continue to use the keying tool please make sure to tell us what you think we could do better and what would make things easier for you. If you have feedback regarding the overall project, the keying tool, or any specific keying projects we’re working on, please use one of the following methods to get it to us:

  • Use the “Provide Feedback” link in the upper right hand corner of the tool. You will also find the “Provide Feedback” option in the Help menu in the tool.
  • Contact us through the online Help section under “Feedback” or by clicking here.
  • Send an email to worldarchivesproject at

Not only can you talk to us, we also have the News blog and Message Board where you can communicate with other members of the community to share tips and tricks and other helpful advice.

Thanks again for being our partners in this beta phase so that we can build a great experience to help us all preserve more of the world’s records.

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Reader Comments

Do we type the school names when the form is total count of students?

I just transcribed my first images (1855 Tuscaloosa, Alabama State census).
# 1 the image would jump back to the top instead of keeping steady so I could see it- prolonged the entry process and sure didn’t help accuracy.
# 2 I completed the 2nd section of 2nd page and then it diappeared and when I started re-entry I couldn’t get the highlight to stay to the left so I could see what I was doing. I accidentally Hit send (I guess) and it said I completed 87 records- should have been more like 108 records.
# 3 I definitely think the year should be indexed. It is frustrating to come upon an incomplete index of year, state and county. Let’s make this as useful to researchers as possible.


I’d suggest more detailed instructions available (or easier to find); similar to the Family History transcribing. For example in the Andrew’s collection I had a death record but it also listed a lady’s entire family with the death record. It wasn’t ever clear to me whether I should put everybody’s name (which I did by adding records), of if I only should have entered the person’s name who the record was associated.

The name changes appear to be listed on the reverse of the “name with age” and “name with birthdate” cards. However, the record number is not listed with the name change (since it appears on the face of the card.) Should the number be brought forward to the name change record? Conversely, the alias is not known until the reverse of the card appears. Should the keyers return to the name card to show the alias there?

I just stated today – 108 entries from the the Alabama State Census. It would be helpful if there were a style guideline on how to enter names. Such as:

1)complex names, such as those with O or Mc or Mac or St at the beginning. Do we space, not space, include a hyphen (not a good idea in my book)?

2) Do we write out abbreviated names, such as Wm for William? (I assume not, but it would be good to state that somewhere.

Some name changes are noted on the Generic name cards. The form doesn’t allow for these to be collected, but it doesn’t seem right to use a Name Change form, because that’s not really what the card is. I hope these name changes don’t get lost. Most seem to be merely Americanizing the first name (i.e., Philip for Fillipo) but at least one was changing the spelling of the surname. Also, it is very hard to navigate the site. Could a panel or whatever be created that facilitates queries, etc. from the key entry page?

There are many Generic cards that refer (inconsistently) to name changes. It might be worthwhile to expand the form in order to capture these name changes. I assume they are also reflected elsewhere, but I would hate to see any of them lost.

In regards to the Southern Cafifornia Naturalization Records. I have entered many records (with age or birth date, name changes, admissions, etc.) and about 95% of them have one thing in common. They all have a Petition Number. It is a unique number for each petition. For cards that include the Admission Number, they also have the original Petition Number. I was wondering why the Petition Number isn’t keyed in each of the forms which would incorporate the names with the admission records.