Friday, February 19, 2010

Random Acts of Kindness Week: Transcribe or Translate

To celebrate and publicize Random Acts of Kindness Week, I'm republishing my series from 2008, with some editing to fit 2010. For those of you participating in the Winter 2010 GeneaBlogger Games, there are some ideas here that you can use for Task 6. Reach Out & Perform Genealogical Acts of Kindness.

One way that you can make a difference to the genealogical community is to volunteer to transcribe, abstract, or index genealogical data for a society or other group. With the advent of the Internet, this no longer means that you always have to go onsite to do your act of kindness! I know of several members of the Eastern Washington Genealogical Society, as well as my sister-in-law (not an EWGS member), who have volunteered to index data for the Washington State Digital Archives. In my sister-in-law's case, she had copies of census records mailed to her, which she then indexed, never having to leave home to volunteer her time. FamilySearch Indexing is another project that you can work on from home, which I have done on occasion. Renee and Lori are a couple of my geneablogging friends that have been volunteering for this and blogging about their experiences. Cyndi's List also has a page of Volunteer Online Regional Projects where you can locate an assignment on which to work.

Can you read a foreign language or old-style handwriting? Your translating skills are needed! Cyndi's List has a list of volunteer websites where you could sign up to help in this area; or volunteer to help with handwriting and script on any of these sites.

Working on these types of projects is fun, satisfying, and often can be done in small amounts of time. I encourage you to try one out one of the above!


Just Joany said...

There are so many ways to help others with genealogy. I have a very limited knowledge of how genealogy works. I was asked to teach what I know and mentioned how little I understand. The reply was that I knew more than anyone else. That scares me.

For some reason, although I didn't know how I was going to accomplish this (I've been trying to learn all I could, without much success, for forty years), I wasn't inclined towards worry about it. That surprised me.

One day, my good hubby-buddy sat down with me, as I watched an instructional video. That was his spark. He volunteered to teach, saying that this is the most important task we can accomplish.

I guess everything has a reason, huh?

~ Just Joany
Red Wagon Flights

Miriam said...

Yes, Joany, I do believe everything has a reason. I also know that an "expert" is someone who knows just a little bit more than those around them. Plus, you can always increase your learning and experience. I recommend watching the free videos at RootsTelevision and/or listening to Lisa Louise Cooke's podcasts at Personal Life Media. They are so helpful!

Thanks for stopping by!