Thursday, June 21, 2007

Half Way

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Lookie over there to your right. . . That's right- 20 weeks today, that means I am half way done with this personal form of hell they call pregnancy. There have been days when I was sure I would die long before this and whether endurance when there is no other option is cause for celebration or not, we are going to celebrate!

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

The Sweet Duke brought me flowers. We had a doctor's appointment where it was determined that what I thought was a recurrence of a previous bladder infection is very probably just ligament pain. And last but not least, we'll probably go out to dinner tonight, depending on how the little alien is feeling about it.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Speaking of the Alien, he is a vigorous little dude. Sleep is not high on his priority list. I'm thinkin' he's taking after his daddy and is getting all the swimming time in he can while he still has room. Yep, I think those are flip turns I'm feeling.

And in a complete change of topic, I would like to thank my friend JJ for introducing me to this cool new site. You all may remember that I was worried about what I would do after school was out, and I was considering reading for a Librivox project, as it was something useful I could do from home, but had worries about my reading skills? Well, I may still read for a project, but this, this is something I KNOW I can do and I know I am good at and I am very excited about.

SO, the LDS church holds that largest collection of genealogical records anywhere on earth. Presently to access these records you must visit the Family History Library in Salt Lake City or one of thousands of Family History Centers throughout the world. This doesn't seem like that big of a deal until you learn that if you aren't in SLC you have to order the microfilm or fiche from SLC, wait for it, then return it in three weeks. Also, the vast majority of the indexes (if the records are indexed at all) are also on film, so you have to order the index, and the film or films with the actual records, and depending on the size of the collection. . .well, let's just say it's tedious.

This project is the second part of a massive three part undertaking that will make these
records not only access able via the Internet, but also completely ELECTRONICALLY INDEXED!!! I know it shows how big of a geek I am that I am so excited about this, but really, I don't care. I am so excited to be able to participate in this. (For those of you who don't know, this geekiness stems from my bachelor's degree, which is in Family History and Genealogy.)

The church has all ready been taking their microfilmed copies of the records and digitizing them. They have been doing this for five years and with technology advancements, have dramatically picked up speed. They have also created a software program that permits your average computer user to input the data from the image of the original record into a database. You or I or anyone else can download a "batch" which is a fairly small piece of a record, enter the information from the original record into the database, and then upload that completed batch back to their server. After that is done twice for each record a third party checks to see if the two entries match (for accuracy), reconciles any differences, and then that information is integrated into the main database. The last part of this project will be to make the electronically scanned and indexed records available to search and view online. THIS IS SO COOL!

I think I read that they will begin making the records available as they are finished, but it will be a very long time before the project is complete. To give you an idea of how big this collection is, I took this of the Family History Library's site

The collection includes over 2.4 million rolls of microfilmed genealogical records; 742,000 microfiche; 310,000 books, serials, and other formats; 4,500 periodicals; 700 electronic resources.

I used to teach a introduction to genealogy class and one of the things that I used to share with my class is that if all of that microfilm and fiche were in book format, the library would be over three times as big as the largest library in the world.

OK, so I've probably long since lost all of you. If you're still reading, go check it out and consider volunteering. It's very cool.

No comments:

Post a Comment