I recently accompanied my 5th-Grader on a field trip to the Utah State Capitol and Daughters of the Utah Pioneers (DUP) Museum. As we passed the capitol on the west side, we our school bus drove by the Capitol Hill Ward where my grandparents first met in 1932. At the DUP Museum next door, we had a scavenger hunt with the students. As we were checking items off our list, I walked past these photos.
They were part of a larger exhibit on pioneer Charles C. Rich and his family. I was immediately struck by the similarity between the lettering on the photo captions and our grandmother’s lettering. Could it be hers? I asked docents at the DUP if anything could be learned about the donor and date of donation, but unfortunately, there was no additional information.
But what evidence could I discover within our own family archive on Kindex? Even though the archive is only partially transcribed, I was certain I could find some clues. A quick search of “DUP” and “lettering” gave me answers in seconds. Let’s look at the connections.
Connection 1: Employment and Skill
Dorothy Smith did odd jobs hand-lettering for various local businesses. A quick search for “lettering” in her Kindex archive confirms this, revealing a list of lettering jobs she did in the early 1930’s.
Hobbies Dot JOBS Employment
3 Feb ’32 Clerked at “Everybody’s Store’ sale today (1.50) (script)
13 June ’32 – got show card order – Fred Bich[…]
Also job to tint 22 charts for NDA.
Jan 16 / 34 Kress Store clerk & Decorator 14.00 wk
Mar or Apr 33 thru Aug 34 Lettering signs after May 1/34 earn 17. – 20. wk
6 Dec 33 Hand-lettered some charts for Pres. B B Stringham
14-19 Dec 1931 – 7.65 earned from Christmas and orders from friends or kin.
Also 5.00 making 16 show cards for Realsilk Co. thru Chas. Jarman.
1.50 for business cards.
Connection 2: Physical Proximity and Record of Visit
In the same record as above, under the heading of “Church Work”, she mentions a visit the DUP Museum which was situated near her home.
going Wed DUP
Connection 3: Handwriting Comparison
In her archive are many examples of lettering she did for various family history projects. This connection compares Charles Rich photo captions with examples of Dorothy’s own lettering in her Book of Remembrance, also found in her Kindex archive.
Connection 4: Family Connection
A final connection is a family one. My own 2nd Great Grandfather, Charles Rich Clark, was acquainted with Charles C. Rich family, as they both had families in the same towns in Southern Idaho.
While Dorothy has some variance in her lettering style with the use of script and various embellishments, there is a strong similarity between the writing in the Charles C. Rich photos and the writing from her own Book of Remembrance. I see a strong resemblance especially in the numbering. Below is a selection of Dorothy’s writing pasted on to the Charles C. Rich photo image.
While there is not direct evidence to support that she indeed did the lettering, there is strong circumstantial evidence that she did. What do you think?
Dorothy’s lettering in center.
It’s fantastic that this type of research takes just a few minutes when you have a searchable arhchive. With our built-in indexing tools, your family records can be searched in seconds, making solving mysteries like this fast and easy. Haven’t tried Kindex yet? Head on over to kindex.org and start your free archive.
Many Kindex users have asked us, “What exactly do I get when I sign up for Kindex?” We’re glad you asked! Here’s a summary of all our key features.
Create Your Cloud or Closet Archive
- Kindex Cloud archive is a publicly accessible archive. Cloud owners may invite Collaborators to add or index records. Guests must have a free, “Kindexer” account to index records.
- Kindex Closet archive is a private, invite-only archive. Closet owners may invite Collaborators to add or index records. It is only accessible and searchable to the archive owner and invited Collaborators
- All archives receive a custom subdomain, can add unlimited records, and may invite unlimited collaborators
- Archive backed by Amazon Web Services.
Gather Your Records
- Add unlimited records (jpg, png, pdf up to 15MB each)
- Import Memories from FamilySearch.
- Individual or batch uploads
Collaborate with Others
- Invite unlimited friends and family to access the archive, free
- Collaborators can search, add, and index records
- Unite records scattered among various households or locations
- Create a crowdsourced indexing project (public archives only)
Share Your Records
Share records & transcriptions with anyone on a custom page
Add Data to Your Records
- Add searchable metadata (title, description, keywords, etc.) in single records or in batches
- Add a transcription with our built-in transcription tools
- Add tags for people, places, and events
Search Your Records
- Easily and quickly search every word of your archive
- Search includes metadata and transcriptions
- Download your archive data as a CSV or XLS file
- Download your archive records as a ZIP file
- Print individual transcriptions as QR-Coded PDFs
- View record totals and indexing stats
- Free customer support
- Free training
Kindex is excited to announce several updates to our archival web software that will make indexing your family records faster and easier.
1. View Record Progress at a Glance
See at a glance your record transcription status with our new “In Progress” label. Start a new transcription (click “Transcribe”), finish incomplete transcriptions (click “In Progress”), or read completed transcriptions (click records with a white checkmark).
2. Transcribe Records Back-to-Back
Get transcriptions done quickly and efficiently with our new “Save & Do Next” option. When you are done transcribing a record, click “Save & Do Next” and Kindex will automatically load the next record in the Collection for transcription.
Alternatively, you can click “Save & Read”, which opens a new page where you can review, edit, or tag your transcription.
3. Transcribe tables, forms, and other tabular text with new table tool
Our new table tool enables you to create tables in the transcription field to transcribe records that require some organization of text, such as official records, ledgers, or records with columns or tabulated text. With the table tool you can add a table, merge, edit rows and columns, add a table header, and customize vertical and horizontal text alignment.
Hint: If you are transcribing text from common record types that have repeated fields (i.e., postcards, marriage records, ledgers), create a table template that designates data fields. Then, copy and paste the table from your existing transcription window into the transcription of each new record so transcribers can input the text in the correct fields.
4. Download archive data as a CSV file
Our CSV archive download is a fantastic tool archive owners can use to access archive data, analyze archive status and needs, and backup archive data.
To download your archive as a CSV:
- Log in to your archive and go to Manage Archive (click the green cog in upper right corner ) and
- Select the Tools tab.
- Click “Download Archive as CSV”)
Open your downloaded CSV file to your archive data. Includes Archive Name, Archive Subdomain, File Name, Collection, Title, Person, Description, Keywords, Provenance, Date, Place, Contributor, Transcription, and Tags.
We hope you find these tools helpful when transcribing your family or historical society records! Is there a feature you would like to see? Contact us and tell us about it.
It’s time to be the record rescuer your family needs. Start or upgrade your family archive on Kindex.org today.
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Every family has at least one. No, not the crazy uncle. We’re talking about the record-keepers. You know, the ones that ended up with all the stuff: the family bible, the old photos, the diaries and letters. Some people spend a lifetime gathering records, hoarding photos, and hunting down lost items. Others come upon records by accident or inheritance. If you’re a record keeper, chances are you’ve thought a lot about what to do with your family records. You may not know it, but you’re an archivist.
What’s in Your Closet?
Like professional archivists, your goal is to collect, preserve, and share things—in your case, family records. Among the challenges professional archivists face when building a digital repository is making their collections discoverable, accessible, and searchable to their patrons. Family archives share these same challenges. For record-keepers of family photos, journals, letters, and other precious memorabilia, we should think like an archivist and ask ourselves the following three questions about our family records.
1. Are they discoverable?
Do your relatives and researchers know your family records exist? If not, how would they discover them? If your records are not “born digital” and are still in their original state as paper letters, journals, and other documents, it’s nearly impossible for others to discover your records. If your records are digitized, where are they stored? For example, the storage options below have varying levels of discoverability.
- Cloud storage, like Google Drive, One Drive, Dropbox
- Physical storage, like computers, external hard drives, USB, CDs, etc.
- Online family tree databases, like FamilySearch, MyHeritage, and Ancestry
- Historical or genealogical archives
While some may think “I don’t want my records to be discovered,” remember that discoverability does not preclude archive owners from establishing rules of access and usage. For example, record owners may wish to be selective with record sharing, charge for record access, or enable rules and limitations on the use of the record. No matter what rules we have in place, discoverability remains the fundamental first step in creating a family archive. Without it, our records are lost to the world.
2. Are they accessible?
Once records are discovered, can relatives and researchers access them? There are many instances where records may be discoverable, but not accessible. For example:
- You discover records online, but they are in a private family tree you can’t gain access to
- You discover that a record in an archive, but it can only be accessed by visiting the archive
- You discover a record in an archive, but learn that access is limited to certain people
- Everyone knows Aunt Sue has the family Bible, but she won’t show it to anyone
- Your relative has the family photo collection on his external hard drive, but you can’t get a copy
As a record-keeper and family archivist, an important role is to enable accessibility to family records. If you don’t do it, who will?
3. Are they searchable?
Are your family records currently searchable? How easily are they sorted, searched, and read? What elements of your records are searchable (file names, titles, descriptions, etc.)? How does your software, cloud storage, or family tree database facilitate searchability? As a companion question, can your records (and all of their associated data) connect with other databases, family trees, and archives? Furthermore, can your record data be downloaded, manipulated, and applied in other ways, like timelines, maps, and books? When choosing where to place your family records, remember that full searchability is key to an archive that is engaging, connectable, and readable.
A Kindex Solution
These are the kinds of questions we think about every day. We help family archivists rescue their records, bring them out of obscurity, and create archives that can be discovered, accessed and shared. With Kindex you can:
- Enable your archive to be discovered by potential collaborators and contributors
- Access your archive from any computer, anywhere.
- Unite scattered family records, make hard-to-find collections accessible to your members, and create public or private networks to collaborate on your archive
- Create searchable record data in three ways (metadata, full text transcription, and tags)
- Download your archive data (as CSV) any time.
In addition, we have some amazing features presently in development that will help your archive to connect and be shared with other people in various formats.
SAY NO MORE. LET’S DO THIS!
Still undecided? Here are some bonus questions:
Where is your Archive?
||On your computer
||In a digital family tree
|Do I control my archive access, scope, and content?
||Varies (private vs. wiki-based)
|Is my archive discoverable online?
||Varies (private vs. wiki-based)
|Is my archive accessible from any computer?
|Can others collaborate on my archive
||No or very limited
|Can my archive be private?
||Yes; Choose your privacy level
|Is my archive fully searchable?
|Can I add metadata?
|Can I add metadata in batch form?
|Does my archive have integrated transcription & record tagging tools?
||Varies; often separate from primary source
||Rare; Varies by platform
||Rare; Varies by platform
|Can I download all my archive data?
|Is my archive compatible with other databases?
||FamilySearch (others forthcoming)
*some metadata searchability in development
Archive Your Life on Kindex
Don’t you think it’s time you started thinking like an archivist? Kindex is free to try, so head over to Kindex.org and get started. Click “Try it Out” to start your free archive up to 50 records. Upgrade to unlimited records (and unlimited collaborators!) for about $12/month.
TRY IT OUT!