While I am very fond of chocolate and as a child loved the little calendars that you opened each day and gained a piece of chocolate, for a number of years now I have done a different type of Advent calendar.
It is a “Paying Forward Genealogical Kindness” Calendar.
So much of our research has been made easier because of the very many volunteers in the past who have indexed and transcribed records for us.
Over the years I have tried to give back whenever I could but because of study and work, generally could not often do it in person onsite somewhere, so looked for ways I could do it at home (or anywhere else I might be) using a computer.
Below is my 2017 Advent Calendar. Some of these will take a few minutes, some a few hours but each of them shares just a little kindness and there can never be too much kindness in this world.
1 & 18: Kiva donation part of Genealogists for Families team
2, 6, 16, 20 & 24: Index a batch for FamilySearch
3, 8, 11 & 23: Transcribe for National Archives for Australia
4,7,12,15, 17, 19 & 21: Correct for Trove
5, 13 & 22: Put up a family photo with story online
9: Write article for my Family History Society
10: Fulfill Billion Graves Photo Request
14 & 23: Transcribe for State Library of Queensland
‘Genealogists for Families’ Project
Small micro-loans given to help people help themselves. A fantastic initiative started by Judy Webster in honour of her father. Currently there are 350 genealogist members from all over the world who since 2011 have made over 9390 loans totalling $248, 275. Each loan by an individual is $25 (the loan amount for a project varies) and then the person pays back the loan which allows you to relend that money again and again. So over my time as a member I have donated $1507 which because of the relending has meant that $4325 in 178 loans have been made.
Find out more here
The wonderful free website of the National Library of Australia that has digitised newspapers and now also the New South Wales Government Gazette that have been OCR’d (Optical character recognition read by a computer and interpreted). The OCR quality can be variable depending on a range of reasons including typeface so by correcting the text you make the record searchable and available for all.
I have been correcting for Trove for since August 2008 and in that time have corrected 83, 039 lines of text (which is way behind Trove’s top corrector JohnWarren who has corrected 4,738, 702 lines of text!
National Archives of Australia
Transcribing records to make them more findable and able to be listed online. Thanks to transcribers 248 250 record descriptions have been added to RecordSearch. This makes resources available to the community as they are able to be found by a name search.
State Library of Queensland
So many transcription opportunities around the world depending on your interests and experience. Just a few of the ones I have done some work with in the last couple of years are listed below:
Measuring the ANZACs
Transcribing early modern recipes
Virtual Volunteering Australia
US National Archives
Smithsonian Digital Volunteer
Atlas of Living Australia: Digitising Field Diaries Australia (Museum Victoria)
World Memory Project
Project of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum has a very large collection of documents. In partnership with Ancestry.com they have created the World Memory Project which has volunteers at home indexing the records so they are name searchable. This will create a free database.
Checking and correcting OCR to allow out of copyright books (Public Domain) books to become ebooks.
What’s On the Menu?
Project of the New York Public library transcribing historical restaurant menus.
What other projects do your family history society, local museum, state archives, etc have that you could give back a little? There are so many ways of “Paying Forward”
There are many projects around the world, in many languages. Conference Keeper also has lists of volunteer opportunities they have found and are also willing to promote your Society’s Archives etc volunteer indexing transcribing projects http://conferencekeeper.org/volunteer/
Remember every name indexed is one more person found for future researchers.
PS (and yes there might also be some chocolate as a reward each day in dark chocolate from my favourite chocolate shop!)