13: Practical Genealogy for Family Historians Session
2: Accessing the secondary research stream—the paper trail 10:15am–4:45pm
State Library for Flinders
27: Practical Genealogy for Family Historians Session
3: Interpreting the record 10:15am–4:45pm State Library for
No seminars programmed.
See the seminar program
for more details and bookings.
British Library newspapers
The British Library is to digitise much of its newspaper collection,
the largest collection in the world, and then make it available online.
They will include papers dating back to the early 1700s.
The library will focus initially on digitising papers that document
historical events in the 19th century, such as the Crimean War, the
Boer War and the suffragette movement.
The cost of the ten-year project to be carried out by online publisher
Brightsolid is not clear, but online users away from the
library will have to pay an access fee. We Australians have to be
very pleased that the National Library of Australia did not go down
The reaction to these plans by News Ltd is interesting. James
Murdoch attacked the plans warning that public bodies should not decide
how copyrighted material is to be exploited for commercial gain without
consulting the original owners of the material. His problem arises
because of the commercial arrangement with Brightsolid rather
than the preservation of the material for posterity and making free
access for library users easier.
2011 Narratives of War
To be held on 29-30 Sep at the Magill Campus of the University of
South Australia. The organising committee warmly invites you to register
your attendance on-line for this free event at the website
The theme of this year's symposium is 'Legacies of War'.
Programme highlights include presenters from interstate as well as
SA and keynote speakers from the Australian War Memorial in Canberra.
British Library newspapers
2011 Narratives of War
IGI, hello HRC
5 Windana Mews
Glandore SA 5037
Tel: +61 8 8371 4465
Fax: +61 8 8374 4479
• Drafting charts
• Locating documents
• Seminar presentations
• Writing & publishing
• SA lookup service
• Ship paintings
Adelaide Proformat uses
Genealogist - for UK census, BMD indexes and more online simply because it contains quality data checked by experts.
Proformat News acknowledges the support by
IGI, hello HRC
the end of 2010 the FamilySearch
website changed and users seemed to have lost the well-known feature
called the International Genealogical Index commonly known
as the IGI.
The IGI was a file within FamilySearch published by the Church
of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) and contained millions
of stand alone entries relating to births/baptisms, marriages and,
to a much lesser extent, deaths. By stand alone we mean that each
entry had no reference to any other entry. Thus a person’s birth
was not linked in any way to their marriage record and so on and no
attempt had been made to make any links.
The IGI has a long history and was originally called the Computer
File Index and was first published as a fiche collection in 1973
with about 20 million listings that had been collected previously.
About 80% of the material then resulted from extractions of existing
records and the balance came from submissions from members of the
LDS. In 1975 an updated version of about 34 million listings was published.
In 1981 the set of fiche had 81 million and was called the International
Genealogical Index for the first time. The 1984 collection of
108 million was the first set offered for sale to the public and is
likely to be the first collection accessed by family historians undertaking
research in non-LDS centres.
In 1988 the IGI was published on a CD for the first time with some
147 million entries. This publication caused some angst amongst researchers
because material in the 1984 set was omitted due to technical issues.
As it turned out the problem was addressed in later editions. The
1992 was a fiche edition (example pictured) and was quickly followed
by the 1993 CD version with each edition growing in the number of
listings. The size had grown to such an extent, that the subsequent
publications were addendums to the 1993 CD and come out in 1995 and
The next step was the Internet and the IGI was released in stages
Prior to 1970 the bulk of the material collected was by extraction,
but between 1970 and 1990 this turned around and the bulk was private
submissions. This, in the opinion of the writer, devalued the IGI
considerably because the material failed to reveal sources and the
user was very much reliant on the research skills of the submitters.
The previously strict requirements laid down by the compliers were
also relaxed to allow guesses to be posted and so we started to see
entries like <England> (meaning: I think England was the place.)
and words like about. After 1990 things deteriorated even
further. In the previous 20 years the user was at least given the
name of the source person and with effort could track them down, but
after 1990 submitter details were removed and it became impossible
to determine the trustworthiness of the data! To compound the problem
further, the administrators resolved to avoid duplicate entries wherever
possible and that resulted in a comical outcome in that if a record
was submitted by a private individual, a latter duplicate entry was
rejected even if it was the result of a sourced extraction!
Of course in defence of the LDS, users must remind themselves of the
generosity of the LDS to even release the material to the general
public. There was no obligation to do so, although there may have
been some anticipation that non-Mormons may also become contributors.
Whether they did or not, the writer has no idea!
Turning to the present day, you will have noticed that the FamilySearch
website has undergone a major revamp. While at the time of writing
you can still visit the old site with the IGI, its days are limited.
Image shows button to access old site.
During the transition period material submitted by members of the
church cannot be accessed unless you ask the staff at an LDS Centre.
This collection is known as the New FamilySearch or NFS and
includes the old Ancestral File and much of the former Pedigree
Resource Files. The material available is the extracted material
and is now known as the Historical Record Collection or HRC.
Unlike the objective of the old IGI, HRC Search is being
built for family history researchers. Gone is the need to check if
a batch number is present to distinguish that you are looking
at extracted data rather than a private submission.
All is not positive and the loss of the batch number facility and
the interconnected support site by Hugh Wallis will deny researchers
a powerful search avenue. Whether there are plans to address this
new shortcoming is not known. The Wallis site has not been updated
since 2002. Previously the writer found looking at a single parish
register with every entry in alphabetical order rather than chronological
order a great plus and missing people were often found . This was
done by going to the Hugh
Wallis Batch Number
website and ascertaining the batch number for a particular
parish and then using this to search the IGI and thus calling up every
entry. The batch number of the entry you visit is revealed
and indeed if you click on it you will get every entry that shares
that number, but the writer is yet to find how to ascertain the specific
name of the place the batch number represents! Nor can you
identify if there is more than one batch number for the event
as is the case for many parishes.
The Hugh Wallis site lists batch numbers which in turn
indicate which records have been filled by the LDS.
There are a couple of other minor gripes too. The new website does
not display gender, nor event type, date, and complete location. The
essential film number is not linked to the new catalogue as it was
in the IGI. Using the film number to order the appropriate filmed
record is an essential part of the research process. After all the
material on your screen is very much a secondary resource whereas
the film is a primary source and will overcome any transcription errors
and may even provide additional data! At this stage the process to
order the film is clumsy, in that you have to open up familysearch.org/films.
Thus the corrupted IGI has been rightfully purged of its private,
often incomplete, submissions. This strange mix has seen the more
significant part of the IGI, the material extracted from the record
becoming the HRC. Thus the term IGI will eventually be lost and in
future we should talk about the HRC.
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