Friday, October 29, 2010

52 Weeks Challenge Week 44 - Giving Back

Wow, it is hard to believe we're already in week 44 of the year 2010!!


Our challenge from Amy Coffin for this week:
Week 44: Research ways to give back to the genealogy community. A great deal of genealogy information on line was put there by volunteers. This week, your challenge is to examine some different ways genealogists can donate their time and effort in kind... 

There are some wonderful places on-line where we genealogists can give back to our time. Many of them were mentioned in the original challenge; like "Find-a-Grave (http://www.findagrave.com/), Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness (http://www.raogk.org/), FamilySearch Indexing (http://www.familysearch.or
g/eng/indexing/frameset_indexing.asp), the World Archives Project (http://landing.ancestry.com/wap/learnmore.aspx), Unclaimed Persons (http://www.unclaimedpersons.org/) and the USGenWeb project (http://www.usgenweb.org/)." 

As much as possible we should contribute to these wonderful causes; however, there are also many non-online opportunities as well. Our local genealogy societies are in dire need of volunteers. These organizations continue to give back to the community through educational programs, personal help for new researchers, and digitizing and indexing local records.

The prevalence of internet use for genealogy education and research has brought about a reduction in attendance at meetings. Apparently, many researchers new to genealogy are of the impression that "everything is on the Web." What a shame!

Take, as example, my local genealogy society - The Elgin (IL) Genealogy Society (EGS). I joined in 1995 but  EGS had already been in existence for 23 years. By the time I came along they were already providing two meetings a month - one morning and one evening. In 1991, they published Kane County Illinois Early Families 1833-1835. An on-going project is the indexing of vital records from the Elgin newspapers. (In conjunction with the Gail Borden Public Library, the index is on-line through the library catalogue.) Many local records have been indexed and/or digitized and are available on the EGS website for free to Elgin area researchers. And, of course, we currently have an EGS blog:)

Now, for my point. None of the above items could have taken place without volunteers. The organization itself could not function without officers, committee chairs, committee members, project leaders and workers. Our local societies are still extremely important to the genealogy community and, I hope, we continue to support them by volunteering our time, effort, and expertise.
 

1 comment:

  1. Hi Becky,
    Well said, in fact much better than I did last Saturday. :-)
    Larry Pepper

    ReplyDelete