collaborative project at BYU

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Doug Kennard

Aug 4, 2009, 5:41:33 PM8/4/09
to BeyondGen
We have recently gone public beta with a project we developed in the
BYU Computer Science Department. It is a site that allows users to
contribute information about the existence / whereabouts of their
ancestors' journals (and upload scanned images of the journal pages if
they wish), and also tag who is written about in the journals with
their corresponding PersonIDs from new FamilySearch. The site will
automatically check all journals and tags that have been contributed
to the system against users' ancestors that are listed in new
FamilySearch and let them know if any of their ancestors have been
tagged or have journals in the system.

We have implemented an "invitation only" registration system in case
it starts growing faster than we can handle, but I'll leave that
turned off until it starts looking like the server can't keep up with
the growth rate. Right now anyone with an account on new FamilySearch
can create an account.

If you are interested in just taking a look, helping tag the journals
already referenced in the system, or adding reference information
about journals you know about that aren't in the system, check out the
site at:



Aug 10, 2009, 10:24:36 PM8/10/09
to BeyondGen
Looks like this is a site for church members only

Doug Kennard

Aug 11, 2009, 1:59:53 AM8/11/09
It is for everyone, but since it uses the new FamilySearch, only church members can access it right now because the new FamilySearch is still being rolled out.  So far not even all church members can access the new FamilySearch (those in most of Utah, parts of Idaho, and some areas in Asia still don't have access).  I think all church members will be able to within the next few months.  I don't know the timetable for when new FamilySearch will be available to everyone else besides church members, but they are definitely planning on that.  I would guess it will be a while though since it has taken so long to roll out access even to the church members.

The idea is that users of the Historic Journals site will add content (journals of their ancestors and tags of who they wrote about), so I hope there is not a perception that it is just for church members.  The reason that the journals in there right now are mostly by LDS people is just because I "bootstrapped" the system a bit by adding references to the journals from two of the BYU library's online collections of diaries that have been donated by people to the BYU library.  Those two collections happen to be (1) Mormon missionary diaries, and (2) diaries of pioneers traveling to the west (mainly from the Mormon pioneer companies that settled in Utah, where BYU is located).

As people begin adding information about other diaries that they know about (in other libraries for example) and uploading diaries of their own ancestors, the site should become more representative of society as a whole instead of just church members.

I hope that clarifies a little.  Thanks.

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