BYU FH Conf 2011 Day 3 (see end of article for links to “official” conference documents – the truth! not just my rough notes!)
Notes from the keynote presentation by
Ransom Love , FamilySearch Senior VP Strategic Relationships. He deals with global responsibilities and relationships.
Change is always constant – even though we don’t always like it!
Types of archives:
Problems facing records access
- lack of resources – governments cut those who have the least voice – easiest to cut – e.g. Georgia State archives no longer publicly accessible – sometimes can’t even accommodate volunteers coming in – laws sometimes block helping archives – may not be allowed to take donations
- demand for digital access – immediately! no thought of cost to do it
- digital preservation – no global solutions – but they like what FamilySearch is doing! – governments don’t understand what is needed – so some are moving digital back to film to preserve it and losing meta data. Millions of records today are being born digital – no paper copy – no back up – what are they going to do?
Technology does not drive change – it enables change
Change is an opportunity
- Community – bring resources together – technology is enabling collaboration
- Raise awareness of the value of record collections to the public
- Become aware of the needs of the archives – some places in the world it is almost tragic – e.g. in parts of africa
- Influencing legislation – make them more beneficial to records preservation
- Communicate best practices
- Collaborate about standards and support systems
- Communicate on volunteer recruitment – experiment with volunteer payment methodologies i.e. sponsoring digitization and preservation
- Collaboration with commercial companies – current model used by FamilySearch includes where records they are held for a fee for a few years and then free
- “Digitize or Die” – belief of many archivists -
Leverage technology developing and make available to community
- Capture – assigning cameras to an archive – but if a few cameras in a big archive this could take over 100 years! – cameras expensive ( c 20K a system) – got to find a better way to capture – simpler, cheaper, done by volunteers
- Transcription – make tool more robust – so archives could take hosted solution and use it for themselves – need to get records of interest to get many to participate
- Hosting – provide them the software and server to put records up – alternative in situation where a church based in America is asking to take copies of records where it is not acceptable to take the records to Salt Lake, “putting them in a cave and . . . “
- Preservation – cost is overwhelming – we will build the infrastructure and then make it available to the world – for genealogical data could be free – or done at cost
Opportunities to assist
- FamilySearch wiki – when hearts are turned to their fathers people become better people – need to involve the world – motivate people to do something – donate time and labour to build a community – share expertise in a given area of research
- Bringing it all together – US 1940 census about to be released – so need to work with national and state archivists, societies, commercial companies, and volunteers to make census indexed and available. Are there similar opportunities in other countries?
- Regional Indexing Efforts – e.g. Catholic Seminary students in Venezuela being trained by familysearch to index their own records (showed photo). EFY group in Mexico.
- International projects – Italian civil registration project just signed after 4 years of negotiation – need help to get them indexed – records include descriptive paragraph of who attended event. Guatemala civil registration project
- Regional digitization centers – 5 cameras at national archives – would take 120 years – what if we had 100s of cameras staffed by volunteers – now would take 8 years
Seek out records and opportunities – contact legislatures to fund archives
Trying to create community of archives
Embrace digital preservation
- metadata – very valuable – most expensive component – will be lost if filmed
- Open, standard tools and services – lower cost – pay cost only
Together we can overcome problems facing records access – and ride the wave of change . . .
“My belief is that the Lord is going to create a wave. We don’t need to create, stimulate or manipulate the wave – we need to know how to ride the wave” – actually paraphrasing President Eyring
Been approached by China – in culture of China need to pay homage to ancestors – jia pu (jia pu is a record of a clan’s history and lineage) – government tried banning – so people hid jia pu – now government realize youth have no ties – used to have rituals leading to ancestors who then had a choice of accepting or not! – familysearch has 2nd large collection of jia pu in the world – so China asking for help – no sure what what will happen
(For more information on the BYU FH Conference 2011 go to:
2. Click on the Conference on Family History & Genealogy
3. At the bottom of the homepage, there are listed who the keynote speakers were and under each is the link to see their presentation notes.
4. Or on the left side of the website, there is a link titled, “Keynote Presentations”. Click on that and it will take you to see the presentations.
As of August 10 the written keynote presentation by Elder Dennis Simmons (Day 1) and the slides from D. Joshua Taylor’s presentation (day 2) have been posted on our website and are now available for you to access! Ransom Love’s notes (day 3) on his presentation will be coming soon!)