Kindex Software Update 26 March 2020

Over the past several months we’ve rolled out many new and improved features for our Kindex archive owners and Kindexers. Here’s a summary of what’s new.

1. Not Indexed  View

Now it’s easier for you and your indexers to find records that need to be indexed. Click on the Not Indexed button to see only records that have either 1) not been started, or 2) are in progress and not complete.

2. Searchable Record Info

 We expanded our searchable record info to include the Keyword and Provenance fields. The Title, Description, and Transcription fields were already included in search results.

Record Info

 

3. Increased Record Size Limit

In order to accommodate larger record sizes, we increased our file size limit from 15 MB to 25 MB.

Note: Uploading batches of records that include a high number of large files is not recommended. 

4. Expanded Archive Stats

In the Manage Archive tool, Overview tab, we’ve added a more detailed set of archive information that tells you how many records have been added and indexed in your billing period. You can also see your Reward Status to find out how close you are to earning a $5 indexing credit.

Archive Stats

5. Expanded accepted file types to accept MP3 Audio files

 

6. Expanded Text Editor Buttons

Text editor butons

Text editor button functions

 

    Record Info View and edit the record’s Title, Record  Type, Category, Person, Description, Keywords, Provenance, and Date
undo Undo Undo your last action
Redo Redo your last action
strikethru Strikethrough Format transcription to match strikethrough text in original. Highlight word or phrase and click the Strikethrough button.
underline Underline Format transcription to match underlined text in original. Highlight word or phrase and click the Strikethrough button.
inline note Inline note Use when record has text inserted within a line. Highlight the text above the line and click the inline note tool.
marginal note Marginal Note Use for notes written in the margin or otherwise not part of the flow of the document. Marginal notes appear as footnotes within the record. Highlight the text above the line and click the inline note tool.
image Image For records that contain images, or for records such as photos, use the image tool to add a description of the image within the transcription. Images are numbered in the case of multiple images on a page (as found in scrapbooks). You may also delete an image description box.
lllegible text Use when you are unable to transcribe a word or phrase. To mark an area that has illegible text, place your cursor where the text should be and click the illegible text button.
Table Add a table to organize your transcription data
Page Break To add a page break, click this button.
Bold New! Bold text.
Italic New! Italicize text.
Indent New! Indent paragraph.
outdent Outdent New! Outdent paragraph.
Align New! Change paragraph alignment.
bullet Bullet New! Make a bulleted list.
numbering Numbering New! Make a numbered list.
Help Click the Help button to get indexing helps and guidelines.

 

Bug Fixes

  1. Fixed bug that prevented admins from deleting files.
  2. Improved transcription field capacity to accommodate large transcription content.
  3. Fixed bug that prevented admins from deleting Collaborators.

Turning the family tree inside out: using family records in genealogy

Over the past few years we’ve observed the increasingly prominent role stories have played in helping people engage with family history. During 2016, Steve Rockwood, president and CEO of FamilySearch International, revealed how FamilySearch is changing the way they engage people in family history. Starting with stories—rather than names, dates, and charts—turns the traditional family tree model upside down and offers an inviting approach for users who crave a more emotional connection. Steve Rockwood, as quoted in the Ancestry Insider, said:

“We are concentrating on how everyone can experience and feel those emotions.” By giving them immediate, emotional experiences, FamilySearch hopes they then engage in family history. FamilySearch decided to concentrate on stories. “We are serious” [about this change]. Steve said. “We changed our logo, our entire branding.” The FamilySearch logo now looks like a set of picture frames. FamilySearch starts people with photos, audio recordings, anything that anyone can participate in. That makes it an exciting world of change. “Now, more and more people are getting involved in this thing called family history.” For example, FamilySearch has seen a 47% increase in young people involved in family history. [1]

Later in 2016, he repeated the emphasis on stories. Upon learning that only 2 percent of LDS church members responded to the call to do family history when they were told, “here’s a chart; here’s a record; here’s a computer”, they changed their approach. As blogger Lynn Broderick wrote in Steve Rockwood asks: Where’s your Jerusalem?:

“…FamilySearch decided to “turn the model upside down. [FamilySearch is] going to start with stories.” Stories are not a “niche” like genealogy. Memories and photos are a place where “all the people on the earth” can participate. This is an area that attracts more young, single adults and statistics show a greater participation by the millennials.”[2]

However, such changes are not always met with enthusiasm by traditional genealogists who adhere to strict standards of proof, accuracy, and source citations. Stories without sources are, after all, just stories.

But is there a different way to look at this disconnect? Can stories be both emotional and accurately sourced? While stories often function as the broad gate by which many people enter family history, they are not a substitute for accurate research and use of best practices. But are  stories and narrative-based family history really incompatible with traditional genealogy research? As Tony Proctor explains in his post Evolution and Genealogy, narrative-based genealogy can unite both storytelling and sound genealogy practice:

“…[I] presented a view of narrative genealogy that embraced story telling, narrative reports, proof arguments, and transcription (of both old and new material). I believe that this seamless inclusion is necessary for useful genealogy, and for micro-history in general.”[3]

The inclusion of stories, accompanied with relevant sources and transcriptions, is not only helpful, but necessary when creating genealogies. The key, as always, lies in the source. Primary source records like letters, journals, and similar documents are the holy grail of stories. In truth, they are the story.

When properly sourced, stories can play a key role in genealogy research. But so often, these sources are elusive and unsearchable. Whether hidden away in closets or filed in an archives, family records are one of the most underdeveloped and at-risk resources family historians and genealogists have.

One of the primary purposes of Kindex is to elevate family records to a key role in both storytelling and sound research. By indexing records, they become accessible and readable by anyone who knows how to search. And let’s face it, searching—and not reading—is the default way we find things, especially youth.  By removing barriers that prevent us from accessing and reading family records, we can place sourceable stories at our fingertips.

There are other applications beyond stories. Through the addition of transcriptions, tagging, and macro-data, records are elevated in their usefulness and purpose. For professionals and casual researchers alike, records with linkable data are invaluable in their ability to connect records to other databases and family trees. This connectivity will someday make it just as easy for families to cite a family record to their tree, as it is to cite a birth or death record.

Additionally, transcribed and tagged records can be scaled to many applications, including historical research, book publishing (i.e., The Joseph Smith Papers), and limitless after-market products such as maps, timelines, and other creative works. By putting families in control of their own archives, they can choose how to apply and make available their own records.

Through the search and application of primary source records, Kindex  provides a solution that both genealogists and storytellers can agree on: that the best source is an original source. Perhaps it’s not enough to turn the family history model upside down—we must also turn it inside out, and get to the source of our history. What a gift it will be for us, and the generations that follow.

_____________________________

[1] Turning the Model Upside Down. (2016, 07 27). Retrieved February 2 , 2017, from Ancestry Insider: http://www.ancestryinsider.org/2016/07/turning-model-upside-down-byugen-byufhgc.html

[2] Broderick, L. (2016, 11 1). Steve Rockwood Asks “Where’s Your Jerusalem?”. Retrieved 2 2, 2017, from Family Search Blog: https://familysearch.org/blog/en/steve-rockwood-asks-wheres-jerusalem/

[3] Proctor, T. (2016, 02 12). Evolution and Genealogy. Retrieved 02 02, 2017, from Parallax View: http://parallax-viewpoint.blogspot.com/2016/02/evolution-and-genealogy.html

Kindex Connects with Historians and Researchers at NCPH

Kindex Connects with Historians and Researchers at NCPH

Kindex is thrilled to be exhibiting at the National Council on Public History’s Annual Meeting in Hartford, Connecticut. As first-time exhibitors and attendees, look forward to sharing how we can connect accessible, searchable, undiscovered archives to historians and researchers.

Kindex began as a archival solution for families and family organizations, but it has expanded its services to reach public historians, societies, researchers, and archives. By providing flexible, low-cost archival software where anyone can add, transcribe, and collaborate on unlimited records, Kindex stands out as a unique, accessible solution for both families and professionals. Our attendance at this conference signifies the growing need to bridge the gap between primary source record owners and the communities trying to reach them. To this end, we’d like to share some ways Kindex can help societies, historians, and families.

Kindex for Societies and Groups

For historical societies and groups who want to provide better accessibility and engagement, Kindex stands a part as a unique tool that can bridge the gap between record owners and researchers. 

  • Engage the Public. Invite anyone to access, transcribe, and search records on your Kindex archive so your collections may be accessible, searchable, and open to research.
  • Crowdsource Projects. Create a crowdsourced indexing project for your society, your members, or the public.
  • Increase Membership. Increase your benefits of membership by providing exclusive access to to your Kindex archives to society members.
  • Connect with Donors. Provide Kindex archives for record donors so they may connect with their records and continue to contribute records and data.

Kindex for Historians

  • Start a Kindex archive for a research project. Gather, organize, index, and search your sources in a single archive and invite collaborators to join.
  • Find new sources. Search existing Kindex archives for undiscovered primary sources.
  • Help primary source owners share their collections. Set up a Kindex archive for your record owners so they may collaborate, add data, and contribute to your searchable research.

Kindex for Record Owners

Individuals and families represent the largest group of undiscovered and at-risk primary sources. How can families rescue their records, connect with historians, and have their records become a part of history?

  • Unite unlimited records. Families can work collaboratively on archives to gather records that are scattered among various households.
  • Index and add metadata. Families and contribute to the work of indexing and transcription, linking valuable information to primary source documents.
  • Kindex is economical and easy to use, making it ideal for non-professionals to create their own archives.

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The Flexible Flyer

The Flexible Flyer

by Leon Chamberlain

One of my fondest memories was sleigh riding on my sleigh. When I was growing up in the 1940s and into the 1950s, I believe our needs and wants were much simpler than today’s. When I was a young boy if you had a bicycle, a flipper crutch and a sleigh you had most of what it would take to make you happy.  The “Cadillac” of sleighs was a Flexible Flyer. They were strong, well-built and could take a lot of beating. Most of all, you could steer them. Back in the forties they did not use salt on the roads so usually for a good two or three months the roads around my house were snow-packed and it snowed much more back then. 

We didn’t have many hills around my house so we would “belly slam”, meaning we would get running as fast as we could down the road and then slam our sleighs down and coast. If the road was icy you could coast 100 feet or more. That’s what we did in the winter. Sometimes Dad would take us to a street with a slope and we would coast down the street often going very fast.

Sometimes we would pile snow up and make our own hills. Of course there were dangers, and a bloody nose or a skinned forehead were not uncommon and did not require a trip to InstaCare. Winter did not mean you spent time indoors. I even knew of kids who put roller skate wheels on their sleds and would belly slam on dry roads. Today it is rare to see someone on a sleigh.”

Hoarder to Order Part III: Prepare to Rescue

Hoarder to Order Part III: Prepare to Rescue

Kindex Co-founder Cathy Gilmore presented “Hoarder to Order: a Step-by-Step Family Record Rescue” at RootsTech 2018. This presentation examines why records are at risk, discusses obstacles to family record preservation, and gives a step-by-step overview of how record-keepers can rescue their family records. We will be sharing excerpts from her presentation on the Kindex blog.  

Part I: Am I my Brothers (Record) Keeper?

Part II: A Family Record Risk Assessment


Now that we’ve discussed the important role of record-keepers, and what risk factors help us prioritize our record rescue, we are finally ready to begin a record rescue in earnest. Put very broadly, here are the basic steps of the record rescue.

Before a single record is gathered, scanned, or indexed, we must prepare for the rescue by asking a few important questions. The first: What is your Why?

Establishing your “why” is a crucial step, because it’s a reason you will turn to again and again. Record rescuers will face countless challenges, face adversity, and experience burnout (and that’s just the first week!). Your “why”” will inspire you and others stay focused on the goal more than a “what” ever could.

Knowing your “why” will help you visualize what you want to have happen as a result of your record rescue. Your “why” can be specific or broad, tangible or intangible. Here are some examples:

  • “I want my family to know who my grandmother was”
  • “I want to ensure my Great-Grandfather’s influence will be felt for generations”
  • “I want to help future researchers and historians”
  • “I want my father to be remembered”
  • “I want to change the hearts of my family”
 


Now that you’re thinking about your “why”, let’s also think about the “what”. The “what” is the scope of your record rescue. Your scope should answer these questions:

Who?    Which?    What?    When?

In other words:

  • Whose records are we rescuing?
  • Which records are included?
  • What are we doing to the records?
  • When will we complete it?

For example:

  • We are scanning grandma’s love letters by Christmas! (not photos, not greeting cards, not family letters)
  • We are gathering all of the family records pertaining to Aunt Betty before she moves into her new home.

Advice on Scope

  1. Start small. You wouldn’t climb a mountain pulling a mountain of 15 boxes, but you could take a backpack. That’s actually a good rule of thumb: can you fit your record rescue in a backpack? If the answer is no, consider paring down the scope into something with reasonable, reachable boundaries.
  2. If possible, separate records based on record type. For example, rescuing grandma and grandpa’s love letters is easier when you don’t include t photos, slides, and diaries. The more record types you have, the more complex your project will be, especially during the scanning and preservation stages.
  3. Show success early and often. Keep your family engaged in the rescue by updating them on your progress and sharing records on social media.

 

In addition to knowing our “why” and “what”, there is one more step in our record rescue preparation: enlisting help. Stay tuned for our next installment where we discuss ways to engage your family in the rescue.