Do you ever wonder where to find the answers to your questions?

I know that many people read the help articles and reference the project pages for new projects that are released but I wonder how many people review the articles from time to time or notice when the field helps are updated, or know that we have help articles…

We recently audited and updated our help articles so I wanted to draw your attention to a few of these changes.  One minor change we made was changing the title of the Keying Guidelines to the Keying Standards – because that is what they are, general standards for keying all projects.   Within this article we also added a section on how to key maiden names.   If there is something you are wondering about and you can’t find the answer please send us an email,   Keep in mind that the individual project field helps and articles are indivualized for each project so the instructions there “trump” the general standards. 

Each project, or series of projects, has its own help article.  In the help article we outline the fields that are keyed,  where to find this information on the records, and specific scenarios you might encounter.   Due to the large number of record types in the projects we may not be able to anticipate each scenario so the articles will be updated as questions arise.   You can locate the help article through the link in the project instructions, or by visiting our online help and selecting Ancestry World Archives Project under the Online Services topic. 

Additional resources are…

  • Project pages: All of the Field Helps are listed here so you can read them all in sequence.  The project pages are accessible from your online dashboard and the Help menu in the tool.  We recently fixed a bug that was affecting our example images – you should now see the correct images in relation to each field and when you click on the “See example” link in the Field Help .
  • Message boards:  interact with other contributors who are keying the same project.  For example, in the New York Originals project arbitrators have posted about instances where keyers are selecting the wrong form types.  The effect of selecting the incorrect form type is that many image sets have to be rejected and returned to the community to be rekeyed.  A great feature of the message boards is the ability to post an attachment so others can see and discuss the specific record you are working on.
  • Mailing List: If you want to receive email updates including blog posts and notifications of project changes you can join our mailing list.
  • Webinars: We’ve hosted a few webinars in the past year that cover some keying helps, the most recent webinar we hosted was about the New Features in the keying tool. 
  • Email our Support Team

As you are keying if you run into a record you aren’t quite sure about you now have a toolbox full of tools to assist you with finding the answers to your questions.  If you have feedback regarding our current tools, or additional tools you would like to see please email our support team,

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Reader Comments


Why don’t you use the Project News to notify us of changes? It would take a lot of the guess work out on our part.

It would certainly help if changes to field helps as a result of a change in policy were flagged in some way.

“The trickiest part of this project will be capturing the names of businesses from around the page margins because the highlights won’t be able to jump around to those correctly”

This instruction regarding the business adverts still appears in the project information for directories – adverts are NOT to be keyed so will this misleading info be removed from the projects?

It would also be helpful if you left a link to this page (“Do You Ever Wonder Where To Find the Answers?”) on your main page. Then,months from now, people who were just starting to key or those who were just looking for a refresher would be able to find it very easily.

How about having unique message boards for each project? It is horribly time-consuming to locate what I need in the midst of hundreds of messages. I work two jobs and do this in my “spare” time, so I don’t always have the time to hunt things down. Any changes in policy or field helps could be flagged, which would contribute to improved quality.

I do notice when the field help changes
There are some excellent help articles in the forums. However these can be really difficult to locate

I wish the bes of these were kept in a more prominent place

In reguards to #5 (Susan Renzo) “How about having unique message boards for each project?”

There already are. See here:

I find the tips which appear when your downloading new image sets really helpful, they have answered several of my little problems about what to key.

Is there any European-Czech-Bohemia data on The “Titles” & “Keywords” haven’t returned anything?