FamilySearch’s 2017 World Wide Indexing Event

By Ashlee Peck Premium

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The FamilySearch World Wide Indexing Event is a volunteer project established and run by FamilySearch, that aims to create searchable digital indexes for scanned images of historical documents.  This year, the project will be held October 20th-22nd. If you haven’t participated in the event previously, we’ve got the details on how to get involved!

FamilySearch's 2017 World Wide Indexing Event

During FamilySearch’s 3 day Indexing Event, tens of thousands of other volunteers worldwide volunteer their time to index historical records. The documents primarily come from a collection of over a billion photographic images of historical documents from over 100 countries. They include census records, birth and death certificates, marriage licenses, military and property records, and other vital records maintained by local, state, and national governments. However, to access the billions of names that appear on these images, indexes are needed to be able to search them efficiently.

Since 2006, volunteers have participated by:

  1. Installing FamilySearch’s (free) proprietary software
  2. Downloading images from the site
  3. Typing the data they read from the image via the software
  4. Submitting their work back to the site

The data is eventually made publicly and freely available at Family History Centers or at the FamilySearch website for use in genealogical and family history research. Since its inception, this unprecedented volunteer crowdsourcing effort has produced more than one billion searchable records. FamilySearch predicts that will continue to grow as more people volunteer their time to the cause. The value of this work is invaluable to professionals, hobbyists, and family organization researchers alike.

You can download the software and images on your computer, or you can easily download FamilySearch’s Indexing app. to your mobile or tablet. Whether you can contribute an hour or a full afternoon, this is a great way to contribute to the genealogy community. For more tips on getting started, check out this video tutorial.