Perhaps the societies whose efforts have contributed to some collections
now on line via commercial outlets should have struck deals that echoed on
a lesser scale what the LDS church did.
For example, the 1881 census transcription has to be available free of
charge. This was a condition of its being put on commercial sites at all.
Now one society with archives in a limited area does not have so much clout
as LDS Church, but SoG does (or did, when it first started putting stuff on
line via commercial sites). But then, one way or another, access to SOG
archives has never been free.
It would help if for all collections that have a presence elsewhere (eg in
the archives of a society) there was at least a very prominent note -
visible without logging in - that it was available for free or low cost
and how to make contact.
I suggest any new deals should adopt this idea or something like it, and
not assign all their rights to the commercial outfit either.
The commercial sites allow many sources to be pulled together but allow
people to run away with the idea that "it is all on line now", which i have
often heard asserted by newcomers and is not even remotely true! That
WDYTYA (the TV programme) often uses off line manuscript sources in far
flung places ought to help, but I doubt it does, because folk run away with
the idea that it is only such sources in remote mosques, temples and
missions in far flung lands that are off line. Clubs rarely get a mention,
except for the odd instance of a visit to the SOG, now rather rare in this
I don't know what is to be done about it.
I belong to SOG, GOONS, FIBIS, Berkshire FHS, Somerset and Dorset FHS, and
have visited the libraries of other societies, so I am doing my bit. All
societies have a great wealth of knowhow (metadata if you like) about
records in their domain, but the holders of this knowledge are all getting
On 8 October 2014 15:45:45 "gerry.langley(a)tiscali.co.uk via"
Hi Graham,The problem is that no-one new to the hobby knows
- they think they are the first. They re-invent the wheelin whatever new
area presents itself.Ancestry and FMP don't want to let them know we exist
becausethey'll find that they can obtain information more cheaply from us
and cut profits. Collectively (SOG & The Federation) need to find a way
to re-engage with the general public.I've heard (Don't know how true it is)
that an exit poll from who do youthink you are fair/exhibition a few years
ago showed that only 11% of visitors were aware of Family History
Societies before attending.If that's the case we're failing miserably, and
what I really want toknow is where on earth are my other 27,000 members in
Northumberlandand Durham FHSRegardsGerry LangleyNDFHS
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