We finally made it to Springfield IL for the FGS genealogy conference which starts tomorrow.
Tonight I attended the Bloggers Reception put on by Family Search that was held on the 29th floor of the Hilton hotel in downtown Springfield, Illinois. This offers an opportunity for the bloggers to get together and meet each other in person and interact with the members of the Family Search team. It is also a way in which Family Search can disseminate information about what they have been working on to fellow geneabloggers who can then share with their readers.
Some of the announcements on current Family Search projects:
1) As many of you know, the 1940 census report images will be released on Ancestry.com on April 2nd, 2012. Family Search has joined a consortium to index it and make it free “in perpetuity.” They hope to engage the public and local genealogical societies for their help in bringing this project to fruition prior to the April 2nd release date.
2) David Rencher announced that Family Search did a 4 generation pedigree of the Abraham Lincoln family, framed it and presented it to the Abraham Lincoln Library and Museum this week. Prints of the pedigree will be made available for sale in the museum store.
3) More news on the Civil War Records being released by Family Search can be found on their website at www.familysearch.org/civilwar. Information about places, regiments, and events can be found on their wiki along with current indexing projects that need your help! One thing that caught my eye was an indexing project of union soldiers’ headstones!
4) If you are an indexing volunteer or would like to learn more about their volunteering opportunities, stop by the Family Search booth during their Volunteer Appreciation Reception on Thursday night from 6 to 8 pm.
5) Be sure to check out the white paper on “Preserving Your Family History Digitally” which has been recently updated and discusses the advantages and challenges of preserving your family history records digitally.
6) We also saw slides of the learning center webpages which have been redesigned and offer over 200 free learning courses for you to choose from.
Two huge announcements released this week include the transition of digital scanning from the field to on-site digital publishing and the replacement of the BYU archive of family history books which goes into beta this week in the Family History labs.
You may have noticed a lot of records being made available “by image only” prior to being indexed by volunteers. This is made possible by over 165 field cameras placed throughout the world which are responsible for capturing digital images and uploading online from the field. This is much faster, providing a “digital pipeline” directly to the genealogists who used to have to wait years before content was captured, indexed, and delivered to the public. To date, turnaround time is approximately 4 weeks from capture to delivery; the goal is 2 weeks turnaround time.
The BYU Family History Archive will be replaced by the new Family Search Family History Books which can be found in the FamilySearch Labs. Check it out!
They also announced next year's RootsTech2012 conference in Salt Lake City, Utah, Feb 2-4, 2012. All FGS conference attendees receive a discounted $99.00 conference registration fee good for yourself and anyone else you would like to register while here at FGS. This is a $30 discount off of the early bird registration fee of $129 and almost half off the $189 full registration fee.
Tomorrow is the Focus on Societies Day of the conference. I hope to gain insight into how to manage a genealogy society, provide education and outreach to our members, secure funding and setup fundraising events, and organize volunteers.