Crowd Sourced Indexing – Let’s Transcribe Together

At the Israel Genealogy Research Association (IGRA) we have worked very hard in the past several years to create useful databases to help people with their genealogy research. We have already indexed over a million records, and add many new records every month.

In the past the way we’ve managed to create these databases has been more or less manual. Volunteers have received images, extracted the names and other data needed for the database (called indexing), and we’ve put together a spreadsheet which is checked and then put online our site.

Recently, we’ve started working with a new tool called Crowd Sourced Indexing (CSI) which is designed to make the process easier, more secure, and more automated. Volunteers can simply sign up on the site, and join an IGRA indexing project where they are shown the relevant images and can index them all online. This not only speeds up the work in creating databases, but makes it easier for volunteers to join our work and participate. The more volunteers we have, the faster the work goes.

While large organizations like Ancestry and FamilySearch have had similar indexing tools for years, this is the first time such a tool is available to genealogy organizations and other smaller groups that work on databases. We thank Banai Feldstein and Daniel Horowitz for all of their efforts in creating this tool.

From the home page, you can view a list of the projects available. You can search by category or geographical location to find one that interests you. When you find a project you want to help index, click on the project, read the general and project’s specific instructions carefully and start indexing.

You will immediately be given the next image available. You can move, pan and zoom the image with the buttons provided. You can report any problem on the image, skip it if there is nothing to index or is too hard for you to do.

If all is ok, just type the data into the fields on the bottom half of the page. The transcription for each page has to be completed within 23 hours. When you’re finished, submit the transcriptions, and you’re done. You can continue to another page or come back another time to do more. You don’t have to contact anyone, or wait for someone to send you a batch of images. Everything is online and waiting.

As an example, we’ve already used this tool to complete the following databases:

Projects Completed for this Group

  • IGRA – 1928 Petah Tikva Members of Sephardic Synagogues
  • IGRA – 1928-31 Petah Tikva Marriages & Divorces
  • IGRA – 1939 Warburg founders
  • IGRA – 1940 List of Prohibited Immigrants
  • IGRA – 1941 List of Prohibited Immigrants
  • IGRA – 1941 Histadrut HaMorim Members      
  • IGRA – 1945 Histadrut HaMorim Members
  • IGRA – 1942 Civil Anders
  • IGRA – 1942 Petah Tikva Enlistment World War II
  • IGRA – 1944 Givatayim Voters List (Hebrew)
  • IGRA – 1946 Matriculation
  • IGRA – 1947-48 Shomer Hazair Poland
  • IGRA – 1948 Petah Tikva Municipal Employees
  • IGRA – 1963 Telephone Book English Tel-Aviv Letter A-Z
  • IGRA – Notrim English
  • IGRA – Shomer Hazair Garinim 1946-47

And we are currently working on the following projects:

Projects in Progress for this Group

  • IGRA – 1938 German Consulate in Jerusalem (Jewish Immigrants)
  • IGRA – 1929 Tel Aviv Census (Hebrew)
  • IGRA – Ledgers from Alliance Schools in Morocco (French)

You can help us on these and future projects. Some indexing projects require knowledge of Hebrew, and some require English. When you register, select IGRA as your Group so you can receive notifications of new indexing projects.


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