Wednesday, July 23, 2008

More on Indexing by Societies

I posted yesterday about how indexing, and posting the indexes online, by genealogical and historical societies could really advance the ability of genealogy researchers to find and access documents held by those societies.

I thought it would be a win-win situation where the societies would benefit with subscriptions or book sales if researchers could find information online that leads them to the society publications or web site.

One of my points, probably hidden amongst all the prolixity, was that putting an index of a periodical, book or manuscript online would generate interest and sales of the books, not hinder them. If the author (or copyright holder) was smart, s/he would provide the index for posting online so that researchers could find it, and perhaps would buy the book.

The same holds for a genealogy society's periodicals - why not put the index online for access by any genealogy researcher? Certainly there is the problem of server space and producing the index. The society publishing the periodical owns the copyright to the index, doesn't it?

I didn't anticipate the comments I received from my earlier post - they were about how local societies are not taking advantage of Internet access and resources, are trying to sell their books, etc. I wrote about this earlier in "Keeping Local Societies Healthy."


Abba-Dad said...
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Abba-Dad said...

Hi Randy. I am just starting out with my genealogic research and came across a Carnegie Mellon project called "The Pittsburgh Jewish Newspaper Project". This is one way to chronicle and index a community. You can find it here: