Transforming Family History Through Metadata & Transcription

Transforming Family History Through Metadata & Transcription

If a family record can’t be discovered, searched, or shared, what value is it? How do we rescue our family records and transform them into a family archive that reaches beyond the walls of our own home and into the hearts of countless others?

Engaging our families through searchable archives is our primary mission at Kindex. Check out our five essential steps that add value to records and bring families one step closer to getting face-to-face with their own history.

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Are you ready to rescue your history?

Get started on Kindex today and upgrade to an Unlimited + Collaborative archive to take advantage of unlimited records and collaborative tools that will get your records out of the closet and into the hearts of your family everywhere.

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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.

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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!

A Sampson Family Record Rescue

A Sampson Family Record Rescue

One family organization—the Sampsons of Delta, Utah—embraced the idea of record gathering and digitization. When reunion organizer Tonna Bounds first approached friend and Kindex owner Kimball Clark, she had a great vision of uniting her family records, but was concerned about the following obstacles:

  • How to encourage family members throughout the country to attend the reunion and bring their records
  • How to scan records correctly within a limited timeframe
  • How to discern which family members had what records
  • Convincing aging or skeptical family members to preserve and share their records
  • Involve children and youth in family record archiving

With her family’s biannual reunion several months away, we suggested she use Kindex Gather Services to hold an on-site digitization event—a “family scanning party”.

Preparation

Several weeks before the reunion, we sent the family a “Call for Records” publicity image to promote the digitization event. The family posted this image on social media and emailed this image to family, and provided guidelines on record gathering including:

  1. A list of family members in attendance, and who of those brought records
  2. How record scanning would be prioritized. For example, the Sampson family focused on letters, journals, and papers more than photos. They also gave higher priority to records coming in from out-of-town attendees, and those records belonging to first-generation family members.)
  3. Acceptable record sizes, and what types of scanners would be available to accommodate those sizes
  4. Suggestions on preparing items for scanning, including the removal of loose papers, staples, paper clips, sheet protectors, etc.

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Execution

When family members with records arrived at the reunion, we checked in their records and gathered the following information:

  • Record owner and contact information
  • Primary person to whom the records originally belonged
  • Inventory of items to be scanned

As more documents arrived throughout the day, we were impressed with the family’s response to the Call for Records. Records were gathered  from New York, Colorado, Arizona, and Utah. Soon all our scanners were busy, and several family volunteers—including several youth—jumped in to help. Throughout the reunion, families entered the “record room” to check on the status of their scanning. They were delighted to see the process, and several volunteered their time to move the process along.

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Mark Sampson, Kimball Clark, Dale Sampson, and Caleb Sampson busy scanning their family records. Caleb remarked, while scanning the journals of his ancestors: “This makes me want to go write in my journal when I get home.”

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Ikara Bounds scans her family records while Kimball trains Caleb Sampson on book scanning

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A Sampson family member pauses scanning to review an old school photo of an ancestor. 

Follow Up

At the end of the day, we returned the records to their owners, and made arrangements to scan any records that remained. Following the compilation of all digitized files to an external hard drive, Kindex will:

  • Orient each scan
  • Save each  in the appropriate format and grouping.
  • Transfer the complete digitized archive to USB drives for family members to order
  • Upload all digitized records to sampson.kindex.org, which enables the family to access each record and begin the indexing process.

Because of the Sampson Family’s dedication to the preservation and and sharing of their family records, their scanning event was a great success. Family members couldn’t wait to access records they had never seen, and were already planning indexing and book projects. Several volunteers became emotional as they paused to read journal entries between scans, pored over old photos, and when a copy of the Delta High School fight song was discovered, played an impromptu version of on the piano. Others simply poked in their heads and exclaimed, “Wonderful! We can’t wait!”

After the reunion, we asked Tonna how she felt about the record-gathering effort. She said:

“How do you explain something that took place at our past reunion that is so futuristic in thought and action. People don’t understand the potential in all of this—jaw dropping in thought!! Just trying to wrap my brain around it all. Aunt Zelda and Uncle Ivo’s history has been destroyed and through all the ancestors’ history. Those lost histories can now be put back together with even more force then could be imagined.”

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The Sampson Family prepares letters for scanning. 

We were honored to be a part of the Sampson Family’s effort to bring their family records out of obscurity, and hope to enable many more families see the the potential in utilizing family reunions for the gathering and preservation of their own family records.

Contact us to learn more about how Kindex can help you rescue your family records.

 

 

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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