Family letters: Opening the door to our ancestor’s lives

Family letters: Opening the door to our ancestor’s lives

If a photo is a window into a family’s life, then a letter is the door. This 1904 portrait of the Emma Woolley and Charles Rich Clark family is beautiful, but offers few clues about the challenges, personalities and relationships between these family members.

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Today, we transcribed a letter written by Emma Woolley to her husband Charles Rich Clark while he was away serving a church mission in 1892.  In this letter we learn that Emma had a migraine, and that the oldest child, Marion, was the serious one who concerned himself with his mother’s help and offered a little prayer on her behalf. We learn that Vernon, the next oldest, was the silly one and said funny things that made his mother and neighbors laugh. We learned how devoted Emma is as a wife, managing the family accounts, nurturing sick children, doing laundry,  and settling debts. She closes the letter saying,

“I guess this is not what would be called a love letter but it is written in love all the same, and I am proud of the man I love, and hope to keep ever fresh and alive that affection that exists between us”

To read the full transcription, go to the Ezra T. Clark Family Archive.

Make insights like this possible with your own family records and start your own family archive.

woolley

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

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  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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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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photopage5

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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!

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