If You Scan It, They Will Come

If You Scan It, They Will Come

It’s December, and the records are piling up like snowdrifts in my office. As one who digitizes records for me, my family, and for Kindex, I’ve experienced the cyclical nature of scanning. Like laundry, scanning is never really done. With new records being created or found every day, the waves of scanning will continue. For December in particular, the wave of scanning is more like a tsunami (the photo above representing some of my ongoing scanning projects).

November and December are times of gratitude and gift-giving. Such times generate a need for both a remembrance of our past and view toward a future where nothing will be lost. It is with these emotions that records find a way to my door. How it happens is a phenomenon worthy of another post on the interplay of dumb luck and divine intervention. Like the cars that stretch for miles in the closing scene of the movie Field of Dreams, the records find their way here.

 

The other day I was musing about all the records I’ve scanned, and while I’m determined to learn exactly how many records I’ve digitized, my top-of-the-head estimate is at least 60,000. I say this not to boast, but rather as a consolation for the times I wonder if all my efforts will make a difference—to Kindex, to my family, and to history. Surely on one of those 60,000 pages is the face of one otherwise doomed to be lost, the words of an ancestor that will be read for the first time. Surely this hope is enough to get me through this next batch, and then the next one. 

Maybe when I die my children can create a baseball card of sorts, with a nod to my final numbers. I know, they are just papers. But to me, they have life. The rustlings are the breath of my ancestors; the ink and paper were in their hands. They bent over them, writing by lamplight. They laughed and wept, holding them. They carried them in their pockets, and hid them in their secret places. Like Norman McLean in A River Runs Through It, I am likewise haunted by the words of the past:

“Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it. The river was cut by the world’s great flood and runs over rocks from the basement of time. On some of the rocks are timeless raindrops. Under the rocks are the words, and some of the words are theirs. I am haunted by waters.” 

 


Archive your Life: 10 Ideas for your Kindex Archive

Archive your Life: 10 Ideas for your Kindex Archive

You don’t need to have a stack of old family records to need a Kindex archive. Just today I was staring at a pile of my daughter’s artwork from school and thought, “I’m archiving this on Kindex!”

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1. Gather

We started with a set of pictures my daughter drew for a book. First, we created a free, private archive on Kindex.org in her name. Then, we scanned the pictures and added them to her very first Collection: Charlotte’s Book.

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2. Index

We opened each drawing and she told me a little about each one. As she talked, I typed in a description (she’s six, so not quite skilled enough on the keyboard). She loved telling me about each drawing!

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3. Search & Share

Because of Kindex’s built-in transcription and metadata tools, finding each record will be so easy. No longer will we be searching through endless piles of art projects; we can simply search Kindex and it will be there.

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Share

20170609_163007Every Kindex archive has a “Share” page where you can share your archive with someone new. She is so thrilled with the idea that she can have her own archive! In fact, by the time I finished this post, she drew another picture for me to “Kindex”:

Getting to this point took about 15 minutes, start to finish,  I’m so excited scan the rest of her artwork. It will sure help us simplify, get rid of clutter, and feel better about discarding many of the papers she has accumulated.

My next project is to help my older children scan the all the school projects and papers they have saved for the past 18 years. I can be hard to throw away that book report you spent so much time on, but knowing it will be archived and searchable on Kindex certainly helps all of us feel better about getting rid of a few things.

AW, SO CUTE! CREATE MY ARCHIVE

Expanding the Idea

Now that you’ve seen how easy it is to create a Kindex archive, what will you put in your archive? Here are some ideas to get you thinking:

  1. Create a living family archive with collections for each child. Scan & preserve school papers, awards, art, report cards, letters, and other special documents.
  2. Create an online cookbook and collaborate with family members near and far.
  3. Scan, save, and organize receipts, bills, and other important papers for your home or business.
  4. Scan your family trust papers on a private archive and invite board members to the archive.
  5. Start your own personal archive and add special records like letters, diaries, and photos.
  6. Use Kindex for research projects. Organize, transcribe, and search primary sources in a private archive and invite other researchers to collaborate.
  7. Use Kindex to teach your students about historical records. Invite each student to transcribe a record and share what they learned.
  8. Start a private collaborative archive for your genealogy or historical society and add the Kindex CSV data download to your database.
  9. Set up a public transcription project for your private collection.
  10. Create archives for families who donate collections to your society. This allows them to have access to their records and collaborate in transcribing records.

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Why Kindex?

But why would I choose Kindex over other media storage options like Google Photos, Dropbox, and similar products? Ask yourself the following:

  • Does it offer unlimited records?
    Kindex’s current special offers unlimited records for about $8/month*
  • Does it have built-in tools for metadata, transcriptions, and tags?
    Kindex is a rare web software tools that offers all these features.
  • Can I assign metadata to multiple records at a time?
    Kindex allows batch record uploads and metadata editing.
  • Can I choose between a private and public archive?
    Kindex offers the option of private or public archive*
  • Is it collaborative?
    Kindex allows you to invite unlimited people to add, transcribe, search, and share records in your archive*
  • Can I download all my archive data at any time?
    Kindex allows archive owners to download all archive data as a CSV file.
  • Is it fully searchable?
    Kindex allows full searchability on titles, descriptions, transcriptions and other metadata.

*upgraded archives only

Archive Your Life on Kindex

Now that we’ve got you thinking, it’s time to head over to Kindex.org and get started. If you already have a free Kindex archive, now is the time to upgrade for only $99.

LET’S DO THIS!

Announcing new batch & collections features for your Kindex archive

Announcing new batch & collections features for your Kindex archive

Kindex is excited to announce the release of two major software updates that enable Kindex users to customize and grow their archives in powerful new ways.

1. Add & Organize Records into Collections

Archive owners can now create Collections within their archives to organize their records. With collections, you can organize your records any way you wish. For example, your collections can be named as family names, record types, dates, or subjects.

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2. Add Multiple Records & Assign Record Info (Metadata) to a Batch

You may now add multiple records to your archive quickly and easily, with the added benefit of designating Record Info (metadata) to a batch of records. This feature allows users to apply common metadata to an entire batch of records, instead of applying metadata individually.  Metadata may include Record Info such as descriptions, provenance, dates, places, and keywords. Metadata can also be added and edited in batch form from  your archive’s Gather page.

Step 1: To add multiple records, click “Add Records”, and select “Upload from my computer”.

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Step 2: Select your records. If you don’t know how to select multiple files at once from your computer, hover atop the link “How to Batch Upload”.

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Step 3: Assign your batch of records to a collection, or add a new collection for them to be placed, and review your upload progress. At this point, you may opt to add Record Info (metadata) as a batch now, or individually later.

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Step 4: Add Record Info to your records.

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What’s Next?

The following enhancements are currently in development and will be released soon:

  • Manually order your Collections
  • Nest a Collection within a Collection

Upgrade Now

If you don’t already have an Unlimited + Collaborative Kindex Archive, now is the time to upgrade and take advantage of these amazing tools. Please contact us with an questions you may have, and happy batching!

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Find What is Lost: Introducing found.kindex.org

Find What is Lost: Introducing found.kindex.org

A few weeks ago I was browsing in an antique shop when a stack of old photos caught my eye. As I examined these portraits and family poses one by one, I discovered names written on the back:  David A. Page. Teddy O. Keefer. Ester Olson. How did they get lost?

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Photo 0020 on found.kindex.org is David Alonzo Page with wife Gilheld “Nellie” Qualseth and children Gladys and Elmer, c1900.

As a self-proclaimed hoarder of my own family records, I couldn’t imagine letting go photos like these. And yet it happens every day. Parents pass away, downsize, or move, and family records are lost or thrown away. Records that do remain are often sold in estate sales, eventually finding their way to antique stores or flea markets where they sold as mere commodities.

Kindex wants to change that. While we are doing all we can to rescue records before they are lost, we created the Kindex Lost & Found Archive as a home for records without families to claim them. Found.kindex.org is a destination where collectors, volunteers, researchers, and family members can work together to rescue our histories by preserving, indexing, and discovering lost family records. There are many ways you can be a rescuer—and you don’t have to own any records to get started.

Rescue by Indexing

Rescue history by transcribing photos, postcards, and other records rich with information. Indexing on found.kindex.org creates a new repository of names, dates, and locations that make thousands of records searchable for the first time. All you need to get started is a free Kindex account and a generous heart.

How to index records Kindex Lost & Found Archive.

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Postcard 0016 on found.kindex.org

Rescue by Collaborating

Become a collaborator on found.kindex.org and you can add your own collections of “lost” records to be crowdsource indexed. To become a collaborator, contact us for an invite or go to found.kindex.org and click Add a Record.

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Rescue by Partnering

If you are an antique collector or dealer you can help rescue history by partnering with Kindex and sharing your records on found.kindex.org. We have partnered with some great local antique shops, including Longwood Antiques and Cobwebs Antiques & Collectibles, who have agreed to allow Kindex to scan photos, postcards, scrapbooks, and other indexable records. We, in turn, have agreed to host them in a crowdsourced indexing archive where the records can be searched for and found by their names, descriptions, keywords, and other metadata—all at no cost to them. Records are attributed to the store they came from, so when they are found, researchers can contact the store owner to inquire about the records.

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Who is the cute & mysterious gas station attendant my mother met on the road to Las Vegas in 1959? We’ll learn soon on found.kindex.org.

What’s the Catch?

There’s no catch—just do have a few guidelines:

  • Records added to this archive must have some sort of indexable text that would identify the record to an individual or group.
  • Collaborators who add records to Kindex archives retain copyright ownership. By adding records to Kindex, you are grant Kindex a license to host and create a derivative (i.e., an index) of your records.
  • Record owners may watermark their images so much as the watermark does not detract from or obscure any part of the record.
  • You must follow all Kindex Terms & Conditions. You have an opportunity to review them when you create a free Kindex account.
  • To index records as a guest, or to add records as an archive collaborator, you must have a Kindex account.

Please contact us with an questions you may have, and happy finding!

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Indexing on the Kindex Lost & Found Archive

Indexing on the Kindex Lost & Found Archive

Thanks for being amazing and  indexing on found.kindex.org! See the instructions below for indexing records on the Kindex Lost & Found Archive. For a general overview and instructions, see links below.

Getting Started on Lost & Found

SIGN UP

  1. If you haven’t already, sign up for a Kindex account.
  2. Note when you sign up on Kindex, you receive your own free archive (up to 50 records) with a custom subdomain.
  3. After you sign up, navigate to found.kindex.org and choose a record to index.
    Note: If you are a collaborator on this archive, you will see the “found” archive in your archives list.found
  4. A purple checkmark means the record has already been indexed, and “transcribe” means it’s ready to be indexed!

GO TO THE KINDEX LOST & FOUND ARCHIVE

Indexing photos

Transcribe & Describe

All photos in found.kindex.org should have some indexable text. Sometimes the text is written on or around the photo, and sometimes it is written on the back. If you need to add any of your own comments or clarification in the transcription, please include it within double brackets [[  ]].

  • Type what you see. As with any transcription project, type what you see. Don’t correct spelling, expand abbreviations, or add anything that’s not there (except when using brackets [[ ]] if needed).
  • Index a description of the photo. If there is no text on the photo itself, add a description that will help it be more searchable. Add an image description by clicking on the image tool above the transcription window. A numbered image box will appear where you can add your description.
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Add an image description by clicking on the image tool above the transcription window.

  • Photo captions or descriptions. Add the photo caption or description. If it’s on the next page, be sure to add a page break.

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  • Studio mark. If there is a studio mark, be sure to include it.

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  • If you are finished with your transcription, click Submit. Otherwise, click Save for Later.

Tagging & Adding Metadata

After you do the transcription you will go to the Tag step. Here you can additional information that can help this record be sorted and found.

Note: this step is optional. It is not necessary to fill out any or all of this information. To skip or complete this step, click Submit.

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GO TO THE KINDEX LOST & FOUND ARCHIVE

Indexing Postcards

The same guidelines apply when indexing postcards.

MKD-MR-056

Postcard 0016 on found.kindex.org

Note that postcards have additional areas of information, such as postmarks, and captions to images. Because Kindex does not yet have unique indexing fields for each type of data being transcribed, it is helpful to indicate within double brackets [[ ]] the type of information indexed, as shown below:

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GO TO THE KINDEX LOST & FOUND ARCHIVE

For Record Owners & Collaborators

If you have been invited to be a collaborator on an archive, you will be able to add records to that archive to be indexed. Please note the following:

  • Records added to this archive must have some sort of indexable text that would identify the record to an individual or group.
  • Collaborators who add records to Kindex archives retain copyright ownership. By adding records to Kindex, you are grant Kindex a license to host and create a derivative (i.e., an index) of your records.
  • Record owners may watermark their images so much as the watermark does not detract from or obscure any part of the record.
  • You must follow all Kindex Terms & Conditions. (You have an opportunity to review them when you create a free Kindex account.)
  • Kindex has the right to remove records that don’t comply with terms and conditions.

Important: As of 03.28.2017, you can only add one record at a time, but batch upload capabilities are set to be released by April 7th. This tool will also enable you to batch assign Record information such as descriptions and provenance.

Thank you for being a record rescuer!

GO TO THE KINDEX LOST & FOUND ARCHIVE

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