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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Find What is Lost: Introducing found.kindex.org

Find What is Lost: Introducing found.kindex.org

A few weeks ago I was browsing in an antique shop when a stack of old photos caught my eye. As I examined these portraits and family poses one by one, I discovered names written on the back:  David A. Page. Teddy O. Keefer. Ester Olson. How did they get lost?

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Photo 0020 on found.kindex.org is David Alonzo Page with wife Gilheld “Nellie” Qualseth and children Gladys and Elmer, c1900.

As a self-proclaimed hoarder of my own family records, I couldn’t imagine letting go photos like these. And yet it happens every day. Parents pass away, downsize, or move, and family records are lost or thrown away. Records that do remain are often sold in estate sales, eventually finding their way to antique stores or flea markets where they sold as mere commodities.

Kindex wants to change that. While we are doing all we can to rescue records before they are lost, we created the Kindex Lost & Found Archive as a home for records without families to claim them. Found.kindex.org is a destination where collectors, volunteers, researchers, and family members can work together to rescue our histories by preserving, indexing, and discovering lost family records. There are many ways you can be a rescuer—and you don’t have to own any records to get started.

Rescue by Indexing

Rescue history by transcribing photos, postcards, and other records rich with information. Indexing on found.kindex.org creates a new repository of names, dates, and locations that make thousands of records searchable for the first time. All you need to get started is a free Kindex account and a generous heart.

How to index records Kindex Lost & Found Archive.

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Postcard 0016 on found.kindex.org

Rescue by Collaborating

Become a collaborator on found.kindex.org and you can add your own collections of “lost” records to be crowdsource indexed. To become a collaborator, contact us for an invite or go to found.kindex.org and click Add a Record.

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Rescue by Partnering

If you are an antique collector or dealer you can help rescue history by partnering with Kindex and sharing your records on found.kindex.org. We have partnered with some great local antique shops, including Longwood Antiques and Cobwebs Antiques & Collectibles, who have agreed to allow Kindex to scan photos, postcards, scrapbooks, and other indexable records. We, in turn, have agreed to host them in a crowdsourced indexing archive where the records can be searched for and found by their names, descriptions, keywords, and other metadata—all at no cost to them. Records are attributed to the store they came from, so when they are found, researchers can contact the store owner to inquire about the records.

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Who is the cute & mysterious gas station attendant my mother met on the road to Las Vegas in 1959? We’ll learn soon on found.kindex.org.

What’s the Catch?

There’s no catch—just do have a few guidelines:

  • 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.
  • To index records as a guest, or to add records as an archive collaborator, you must have a Kindex account.

Please contact us with an questions you may have, and happy finding!

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Announcing the Release of Collaborative & Public Archives

Announcing the Release of Collaborative & Public Archives

Announcing the release the Kindex Collaborative Upgrade, the best way to bring family and friends together on a single, online archive. Upgrade to Collaborative and transform your archive into a destination where friends or family can help gather, index, and search—or simply enjoy reading family records.

Also released today is the option to create a Public archive when upgrading to a collaborative account. Enjoy the benefits of Crowdsourced Indexing, and jumpstart your indexing by allowing any Kindex user to transcribe and tag your records. Public archives also help others to discover and connect to your archive.

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Upside Down & Inside Out: Using Family Records in Genealogy

Upside Down & Inside Out: Using Family Records in Genealogy

Over the past couple of 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.

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[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

Taking a Page from our Grandma’s Book

Taking a Page from our Grandma’s Book

If you’ve followed Kindex for very long, you’ll know that we frequently post about our Grandma Dorothy Smith Clark. Today I want to share with you why her story is so important to us.
As a child, I asked Grandma Clark what she would like for her birthday. “Tell me a story,” she answered. This voice speaks to me still. As a young teenager she encouraged me to create and write. A visit with her hardly went by without her suggesting, “Write me a poem.” That encouragement speaks to me still. Today, when I read her letters and diaries, I see her notes in the margins revealing instructions for a personal history—a project she never completed before passing away. Those notes speak to me still.
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A marked-up page from Dorothy’s life history.
When my cousin Kimball and I decided to launch Kindex, our aim was to create a solution for the enormous body of work our grandma left behind. While it was impossible for Dorothy to envision the type of indexing tool we are building today, I like to think she had a sense of what was to come. She had the gift of foresight, the ability to anticipate and address needs. In a sense, building Kindex will finish the work she started, while also helping us tell her story.
And what is her story? I’ll share just a part. While still a young mother, Dorothy completed her Book of Remembrance. A work of art in its own right, its pages reveal her deep sense of ancestral belonging, records of her parents’ and grandparents’ spiritual gifts, and a recognition of her own divine purpose and talents. As Dorothy developed her own spiritual gifts, her ability to discern the needs of others and act in faith became a catalyst for ministering to others, notwithstanding the fear and shyness she often felt. To the question posed to the Savior, “Who is my neighbor?” Dorothy could answer: the plumber, the piano tuner, the refugee, or the outcast—anyone in her path in need of help.
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A watercolored page from the Dorothy Smith Clark Book of Remembrance
Dorothy’s 1964 poster sketch titled “We Believe in Sharing” affirmed the scope of her desires: to give all she had—her talents, testimony, labor, food, and possessions, bringing “more happiness, enrich[ing] the world, sharing all that has come to us as a church and as individual members.”[1] Often overcome with social anxiety or limited by her heath, Dorothy preferred personal visits to projects, created art to share the gospel, and wrote hundreds of inspired letters that today stand as a witness to bear one another’s burdens. Without prejudice or judgment, her nurturing influence reached beyond her own nine children when she became a foster mother to two Navajo children and a personal advocate for many Southeast Asian refugees who affectionately called her “Mother Clark”.
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Dorothy Clark with husband Ellsworth, foster son Cody Black, and Cody’s family.

While Dorothy’s art was never exhibited, her painting of Paul Wildhaber’s “The Armor of Righteousness” was the centerpiece of her home. Unlike others who traditionally depicted male religious figures, 20-year-old Dorothy changed the painting’s subject from hero to heroine, thus broadening the view of those who are “armed in righteousness”. From her childhood fairy gifts to the ministering of the needful and forgotten, her visionary example of what a woman can do endures through her depiction of this righteous and strong heroine.

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Dorothy Smith in Paul Wildhaber’s studio.

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Dorothy Smith’s completed “Armor of Righteousness”

Dorothy continued her talent of creating and sharing family histories well into the last years of her life. In 1980 she participated in the World Conference of Records in a booth of her own design.
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Dorothy at the World Conference of Records in 1980
As I think about her life, I see a patterns emerging as her children, grandchildren, and beyond strive to finish what she started. Kindex is just a small part of a larger effort to emulate the kind of woman she was. Sometimes, when I feel overwhelmed at the pressures of launching a startup while still raising a young family, I look at the binders and boxes of her records and think, “Soon, we’ll know your story. Not long yet.”
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Dorothy and Ellsworth in New Zealand, 1974

[i] Dorothy Smith, Sketches. “We Believe in Sharing”, 1964