Solving Archival Challenges for the Mormon Battalion Association

Kindex co-founder Kimball Clark and Laura Anderson, Senior Historian at the Church History Library, will present “Crowdsourcing Your History: Collaborative Archives for Families, Groups, and Societies”  at the RootsTech Demo Theater on Thursday, March 1 at 10:20 a.m. We recently asked Laura Anderson, Senior Historian at the Church History Library, to share how she uses Kindex to make Mormon Battalion Association records more accessible and engaging. We thank her for sharing her thoughts with us below.


Two days before volunteers left to serve in the Mormon Battalion, LDS Church President Brigham Young said their “lives should be spared and [their] expedition result in great good, and [their] names be handed down in honorable remembrance to all generations.”1

In order for that to happen, we need to know all about their stories. We needed to tell not only their stories, but the stories of their families. With 500 men and about 2,000 people total, that’s a lot of research. I knew that researching one at a time would not work, so we needed to create a searchable archive from the thousands of records we have related to the Mormon Battalion. I’ve had people transcribe for me in the past, but it was very time-consuming to keep track of it all, and difficult to avoid the duplication of work.  I wanted a way to transcribe and search al the documents on a central platform. 

At Rootstech 2017 I found Kindex, and it was just the solution I needed: a collaborative indexing platform where I could gather and organize the Mormon Battalion records. I began adding records, transcribing, and inviting others to help. As we progressed in transcribing the archive, Kindex listened to my feedback and were even willing to prioritize software features that I needed.  With Kindex I can track our collaborators and the progress we make on indexing. 

In addition to solving the transcription challenges, Kindex also makes it easy for anyone to access and search the archive. Before Kindex, the records scattered in various places so they were difficult for the average person to discover. Now, we have all the records accessible in a central archive that is getting more searchable every day. Through this archive, Kindex is helping me keep that promise to keep their lives in “honorable remembrance”.

To search the Mormon Battalion Archive, or to become a volunteer indexer on this project, go to https://mormonbattalion.kindex.org and click Request Access. 


 

  1. William Hyde, The Private Journal of William Hyde (privately published, 1962), 19; spelling standardized.
  2. Cover art located in the Pioneer Memorial Museum in Salt Lake City, Utah. No additional info available at time of publication.

Hoarder to Order: Join us for the Record Rescue

Hoarder to Order: Join us for the Record Rescue

You don’t need to be a hoarder to need a family record rescue. The backbone of our family history, family records like letters, journals, and photos are at risk of being lost, damaged, or thrown away.  In my presentation “Hoarder to Order: A step-by-step family record rescue” , we’ll walk through the essential steps transforming your family records into an archive that is preserved, accessible, and searchable.  Here’s a sneak peek of what we’ll be covering in a presentation packed with tips, comparisons, collaborative ideas, and access to organizational templates.

  • When: Thursday, March 1st at 1:30 p.m.
  • Difficulty: Beginner
  • Where: Ballroom J
  • Session Number: RT9825

Intro: Family Records at Risk

Step 1: Prepare

  1. Find your “Why”
  2. Set the Scope
  3. Rescue Team Assemble!

Step 2: Gather

  1. Inventory
  2. Records

Step 3: Digitize

  1. Scan
  2. Process
  3. Add Data

Step 4: Preserve

  1. Physical
  2. Digital

Step 5: Transform

  • Index
  • Print
  • Connect

ROOTSTECH CLASS SCHEDULE

Stop by our “Open House” and say hello!

Along with exhibitors Shotbox and Flip-Pal, Kindex will be part of a larger exhibit focused on family record preservation and archiving. This will be a fun, collaborative effort where you can wander through our “home” and discover how to rescue your family records. Kindex will be in booths 1303, 1402, 1404 adjacent to the Heirloom Show & Tell. 

CHECK OUT THE EXPO HALL

RootsTech Sneak Peek

RootsTech Sneak Peek

Wow, has it been a year since Kindex won the People’s Choice Award at the RootsTech Innovator Showdown?  What a fantastic year we’ve had helping families and organizations create searchable archives. With RootsTech 2018 just around the corner, here’s a sneak peek of what we’ll be up to.

Expo Hall: Preserve & Archive With Us

Along with exhibitors Shotbox and Flip-Pal, Kindex will be part of a larger exhibit focused on family record preservation and archiving. This will be a fun, collaborative effort where you can wander through our “home” and discover how to rescue your family records. Kindex will be in booths 1303, 1402, 1404 adjacent to the Heirloom Show & Tell. 

CHECK OUT THE EXPO HALL

New Kindex Archive Plans to be Announced at RootsTech

We can’t tell you all the details now, but trust us, this is going to be great. If you want more affordable (or even free!) options for your family archive, and need some motivation to keep adding and transcribing family records, you’ll want to stay tuned for this announcement.

CHECK OUT OUR NEWEST FEATURES

Class: Hoarder to Order: A Step-by-Step Family Record Rescue

Kindex Co-Founder Cathy Gilmore will be presenting “Hoarder to Order: A step-by-step family record rescue”. Are you the family record-keeper? We’ll cover every step of a family record rescue, including record inventory,  digital gathering, publicity, and digital archive options, and more. Don’t let your family records be scattered and lost—be the hero of your family archive and unite your records so they can be preserved and accessible to everyone.  Difficulty: Beginner  |  Room: Ballroom J  |  Session Number: RT9825

ROOTSTECH CLASS SCHEDULE

Demo Theater: Collaborative Archives for Families, Groups, and Societies

Kindex Co-Founder Kimball Clark and Mormon Battalion member Laura Anderson will present: “Crowdsourcing Your History: Collaborative Archives for Families, Groups, and Societies”. Learn how Laura created a searchable archive for her historical society and how Kindex can help make your collections accessible and searchable to your members. This is a must-see if you are the record-keeper for a large family organization, group, or historical society. Day & Time: Thursday, 1 March, at 10:20-10:35 am

ROOTSTECH DEMO THEATER SCHEDULE

Genealogy Business Alliance Scavenger Hunt

As part of the Genealogy Business Alliance (GBA), Kindex, along with fifteen other businesses, will offer exclusive savings and prizes to booth visitors. GBA.BUZZ is an online scavenger hunt that allows you to answer questions and win instant coupons and prizes. We’re so excited to be part of this fun event.

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE GBA BUZZ

New Kindex Feature Release Today

New Kindex Feature Release Today

We are excited to announce the release of a major update to Kindex archival software, with several new features that will make creating your searchable family archive faster and easier.  We’ve maximized space, improved archive organization, and enhanced record navigation and transcription. Check out the updates below or watch our Kindex Feature Update video.

Organize & Browse Your Archive

  • Enjoy an expanded viewing area for your records
  • Access tools to add, filter, move, and delete records
  • Click a record to view or edit (add a transcription, description, or metadata). Note removal of “Transcribe” on record thumbnail. Purple checkmarks indicate indexing is complete.
  • View All Records or Indexed Records
  • View your archive record total and indexing progress

Manage Your Collections

  • View Collection record totals
  • Organize your Collections by using Sub-Collections
  • Use collections to filter your record views or search
  • Hover over record number to edit or move Collections

View & Transcribe Records

Navigate your Archive

  • When a record is open, you can view and edit records consecutively with new new navigation buttons above the record
  • The same navigation buttons appear below,  along with a Save button
  • A button under the transcription shows indexing progress as Complete or In Progress. When a transcription is done, click the “Read it!” link to read the completed transcription

We hope you enjoy this update. Let us know what you think!

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