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# Saturday, January 10, 2009
From Paper (or Film) to the Web
Posted by Diane

Our Ancestry.com tour included the corporate offices

and the digitization department. This is Laryn Brown, head of the Document Preservation department, in front of monitors tracking the scanning.

 

About a dozen people operated different kinds of scanners; one photographs books and automatically turns the pages. There was a flatbed scanner bigger than me.

 

In the works is a UV scanner, which can bring out ink on severely damaged and faded records (we saw an example of what this technology can do—it turned a nearly blank page into a readable document).

More and more often, though, Ancestry.com will digitize paper records on-site at repositories, with digital images sent to headquarters for processing.

Yes, many records are indexed in China and Uganda. Indexers receive months of training in English and whatever language the records are in; they're asked to key exactly what they see, even when a word is misspelled. US employees do quality spot checks and occasionally send back batches of records for re-indexing.

Back in the USA, another team examines records and indexes to “normalize” those misspellings and aberrations in data fields. Say a set of records is from California. The clerks who created the records way back when may have written the state as CA, Cal., Calif. or Calfa. The Ancestry.com staff will add “California” to the index for these records so they come up in customers' California searches.

More on searching later!

I was lucky enough Friday to be in the company of some wise bloggers and super-experienced genealogists. For their observations, see Dear MyrtleEastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter, Genea-Musings, the Ancestry Insider and GenealogyGuys.


Ancestry.com
Saturday, January 10, 2009 11:54:07 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [2]
Tuesday, January 20, 2009 10:17:18 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)
Does this mean that YOU ARE SENDING ITEMS OUT OF THIS COUNTRY TO BE DIGITISED FOR THE "ANCESTRY WEB PAGES" ? ( CHINA & UGANDA ) TO DO THE WORK. OR IS IT BECAUSE OF THE COST OF DOING THE WORK ?
DO YOU NOT TRUST THE ABIITY OF AMERICAN WORKERS?
JOH N Q PUBLIC
Tuesday, January 20, 2009 10:57:45 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)
Hi, there,
Family Tree Magazine isn't affiliated with Ancestry.com or its owner, The Generations Network, so we can't answer these questions. You'll find The Generations Network Web site at http://tgn.com.
Diane
Comments are closed.