Volunteering for the Maryland State Archives Project

Yesterday morning I had an adventure.

I went down to Annapolis to check out the Family Search project at the Maryland State Archives.

I saw one of my favorite people, Carol Kostakos Petranek, who is the Volunteer Coordinator for the FamilySearch Maryland Archive Volunteers. Below she is making the magic happen by typing in what will be metadata stored in the image file.

Bruce and Ann were manning the digital camera, and volunteers like Gail, Lee, and I were prepping the documents from Carroll County to be digitized. Each folder we had contained 10 documents, and we filled in one sheet per document. The data from those sheets is typed into a spreadsheet, and is stored in the final image.

Family Search will take the digital documents, and check them. Then the images will be posted to FamilySearch.org. But there is a twist: as volunteers prep the documents, they are extracting the name and date on the record, which will be entered as metadata in the picture. That means as soon as the images of the documents are uploaded, they will be searchable!

For a little context, you can read Carol’s article about the 16 types of records that may be created for a probate file in Maryland.

This is a pilot program, and will go on for more than a year. It’s wonderful to get the Maryland State Archives’ images on line. If this is successful, perhaps other State Archives will join in. (Come on New York!)

If you would like to volunteer, please contact Carol.

By the way, if you have time you might want to check out Carol’s Spartan Roots Genealogy blog.