Guest Blog: Getting to Know the Genealogical Records Committee

Written by: Susan Tillman, National Chair Genealogical Records Committee
February 24, 2014

Genealogy has always been a passion of mine so being asked to serve on a committee that has provided and will continue to provide women documentation they need for their DAR application is a pleasure and a privilege.

The DAR Genealogical Records Collection is a one-of-a-kind treasure trove of transcribed original documents and abstracts of records from private and public collections.  The collection of unique records of genealogical value was begun by DAR members in 1920.  Members gathered and submitted information from their homes (Bible records and letters of genealogical value) as well as transcribed public records (cemetery tombstones, funeral home records, county/town records, church records, etc.).  These records were bound and placed in the DAR Library collection.  In 2002, with an eye to the future member, volunteers began using computers to create a searchable index containing every name in the almost 20,000 volumes in the collection.  The GRC Index is available online in the DAR Genealogy Research System.  Currently there are approximately 500 volumes left to index. If you would like to help us complete this indexing project please fill out the Volunteer Now form on the committee’s website. Be sure to choose “GRC Book Indexing.”

 In 2008, the entire Genealogical Records Collection was digitized and the images are available to view in the Seimes Technology Center.  When the collection was digitized, several pages needed to be added in front of each volume to help catalog and track the digitized volume. The addition of the pages threw off the every name index, so the page number associated with a name does not display the correct digitized page image.  To fix this discrepancy we need volunteers at home to help synchronize the name index to the appropriate page in the volume.

The Book Sync Project which launched last month is very easy to do as there is little data entry. It is primarily checking to see if the names in a provided list match the page number on the image. If they don’t match, the volunteer advances the book image until the two match and then clicks a button to sync the two together.  The only data entry involved is if the assigned volume includes Bible records.

The Genealogical Records Collection includes hundreds of Bible records submitted over the past 94 years. Unfortunately, there is no list of each individual Bible housed in the collection.  It is one of the goals of this project to identify each of the Bibles included in the collection.

If you are looking for a quick and easy way to contribute to DAR that fits into your busy schedule, then volunteer for the Book Sync Project.  Members are able to go online 24 hours a day/7 days a week to work on the project, all you need is an internet connection. Easy to follow project instructions are available on the committee’s website.  Each page synced receives credit towards the Bookworm pin.

We look forward to having members help with these important projects.

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