FamilySearch vs. FamilySearch.org - which is correct to use when?
1. "This index is an electronic database of information."
2. "There may be entries that cite a specific source such as the following:" - can we be more specific for THIS database? (Missouri records clearly didn't come from Vital Record of Rhode Island 1636-1850." Need to use examples applicable to the database.)
- "Vital Record of Rhode Island, 1636-1850: a Family Register for the People" by James Arnold
- "Paul Dingwell Genealogical Collection" by Paul Dingwell
- A county or state vital record registration
3. "The Vital Record Index databases are not necessarily intended to index any specific set of records although some sub-indexes (an index to a set of records within the database) have been found. When we identify a sub-index, we remove it from the database and post it separately on FamilySearch under its appropriate title." - When "we" identify ... post it separately on FamilySearch...(depersonalize content, FamilySearch or FamilySearch.org?)
4. Number of records doesn't match on "Show Collections" list as compared to wiki article.
5. "Name index to death and burial records from the state of Missouri. Microfilm copies of these records are available at the Family History Library and Family History Centers. This set contains 58,813 records. Due to privacy laws, recent records may not be displayed. The year range represents most of the records. A few records may be earlier or later." Record description from database. "Microfilm copies of these records..." seems to imply that you'll be able to find an original Missouri death record using this index. It appears that many of the records DO come from county death records. How to tell which counties?
6. Table columns do not total. Example: Locality Missouri deaths = 48,277. Total deaths for all localities (Missouri + Vernon County + St. Francis County + ... ) = 24,496.
7: "Use this index to help you learn more about your ancestors. The information could help you identify family relationships and lineages as well as direct you to original records of your ancestors, which may contain additional information." - more like, "You may be able to locate vital record information by viewing the original GSU film from which the index was generated." (maybe?)
8. "Each entry in this index has a source listed which includes a batch number. You will need to trace the batch number for the individual entry to learn its source. Please see the following wiki articles for more information on batch numbers:" More accurately, each entry lists a source film and batch number. Locate the original film by ..."
FamilySearch Historical Records Collections:
Thoughts from Carol Moss:
1.I like what you have done. I like the "Collections:" namespace (is that correct?) WHEN the template for the actual collection at FamilySearch.org is directly below it. As long as those two elements are in close proximity, I don't have any problem with using the name "Collections:.
2. I feel strongly that we need to keep the "Related Wiki Articles" on this page. I can hear Darris saying - let's not take them OFF of our site but keep them here as long as we can. This relates to my response
to "Related Web Sites". It makes me nervous to take people off of our site unless there is a valid "value added" experience for them.
3. I was very happy to see you give an actual citation for the page. I really like the value in that. I have used it before on other pages on the Wiki and found it so nice and convenient to source my record discoveries. It also gives an example of what we hope people will do for citations.
4. The Template concept still makes me nervous. Could you explain why we need it? Is it for the FHC people? That makes sense and it sounds like that is what you mean. I would want to avoid asking patrons to submit themselves to learning the Template Process until they are ready for it - "advanced Wiki editing". :)
5. I am wondering why the record description doesn't have a citation. I would like to know where the fact about the Indians living in South Africa comes from. We really need to encourage citations.
6. question - what more do we need under "Record Content"? It appears to be complete.I think this is one of the most valuable elements of the page. Maybe you are thinking we will know more when we see the actual records. That makes a lot of sense.
DiltsGD Feedback[edit source]
1. Collections prefix. Why use the plural "Collections" when what is being described is a single collection? It sure confuses me. I STRONGLY recommend using the word "Collection" singular as in Collection: South Africa, KwaZulu Natal Indian Birth Returns. Otherwise, I like the idea of a prefix. I think it would work well. It is more succinct. It will also gather all Historical Record Collections articles into an easy-to-find and identify group. I cannot think of any other similar catch phrase by another organization, so this would quickly become a good "brand." I see no downside. Using the word "Collection: " as prefix is a good improvement.
- LOVE this idea! I was thinking of it in context of being the last word of "Historical Record Collections" - truncated to just "Collections." But I prefer what you have suggested. Excellent feedback.Lise 22:14, 9 March 2012 (UTC)
2. Templates inviting expansion. We have used "stub" templates in many places with almost zero results, so I am skeptical they would have the desired effect. However, these specific section templates have more potential than the generic "stub" template. "This section is empty" and "This section requires expansion" actually give me ideas about what needs doing. That motivates me to add something definite and limited. It seems do-able. The generic "stub" template seems overwhelming and too vague to act upon. I suggest we leave off the traditional stub template and use only the section specific templates. I believe they would be much more effective—no guarantees, but I think they are worth trying. I like the one-line badges better than the two-line badges. Keep them succinct and taking up as little real estate as possible.
- Agreed.Lise 22:14, 9 March 2012 (UTC)
3. Description template. I would have to see such a template before I would be able to access its value. Generally templates are good if you want the same elements described in the same order. I think that has some potential here because it seems many key elements are missing from the descriptions on many such pages. On the other hand, templates are confusing to some contributors and might be a barrier to contributing, expanding, or editing a page. Perhaps it would be useful to use the kind of template that after playing the template, some words remain as a framework of reminders, but the template itself then goes away after being played.
Such a template would need to include:
- Definition: <of the collection or record type.>
- Value of the collection to genealogists: <amount of population covered (population vs. names indexed, and/or number of film reels), what percent of the collection has been indexed and put online so far, if more is eventually expected. Who created the records and why. Why a genealogist would use the record.>
- Jurisdictions: <that kept such records, and time periods available (and/or cut off dates).>
- Content: <including changes over time, accuracy, regional differences, and key terminology.>
- How to use the collection: <including search strategies, pre-required information, limitations and how to overcome them, arrangement of records and indexes.>
- Location of originals, and microfilm copies: <city, and repository name linked to the repository website, and if possible a link to the repository's catalog entry for the collection. Also, a citation-link to FHLC catalog entry for the collection. Describe restrictions, if any, at the repository, or in FHL system.>
- Key reference works: <or guides describing the collection. Give full citation (and WorldCat link if possible), and an annotation briefly summarizing how each reference work helps understand or use the collection better.>
- Alternative records: <brief list of substitute record types with similar information to what this collection provides, including links to FamilySearch Wiki pages for most such alternative record types.>
- I should clarify that I am suggesting a very simple template that provides the essential code to push this info to the collection's search page. The content of that template should be invisible to readers. I wasn't suggesting a template for the user's source citation (but there may be value in discussing that further). The information provided within this section is essential, but (by my way of thinking) belongs as part of a sample citation. I'm concerned here specifically about the "bibdescbegin" and "bibdescend" codes, and that currently the information between those markers can be edited by anyone - and therefore show up on the search page.Lise 22:14, 9 March 2012 (UTC)
4. Collection citation examples. I think it is useful to give a theoretical (generic) example citation, but even more helpful to then provide right after it a real, actual citation from the collection. It is much too easy to begin quibbling (waging nuclear war) over the details of style in citations, so it may be a good idea to find a mechanism to insure consistency of citation style between Wiki collection pages—perhaps a collection page citation czar or committee.
Please think long and hard before committing us to a citation template. I foresee a lot of mischief and silliness emerging from a collection citation template. Almost every element of a good citation is fraught with complexity. If you doubt this look at the thickness of the Chicago Manual of Style or Evidence Explained. And citing a vaguely-named collection is way-more-worse than citing a specific book with a specific author, and specific title. Templates are too inflexible to be a good way to cite a variety of collections.
- This part is definitely not my forte, so I agree absolutely!Lise 22:14, 9 March 2012 (UTC)
A. I think it would be useful to add the range of years covered online to the end of the title of collection pages, for example, Collection: South Africa, KwaZulu Natal Indian Birth Returns 1894-1954. We would also need to describe somewhere additional years not covered online.
- Yes. I'm curious why the years were omitted from the article title when they appear in the collection title. Does anyone know the rationale here?Lise 22:14, 9 March 2012 (UTC)
B. I'm not a big fan of "Related Websites" headings on ANY Wiki page. Lists of links tend to turn Wiki pages away from educating and toward imitating link-congregator sites like Cyndi's List, Linkpendium, or USGenWeb. If we do our educational job right we would already have mentioned and linked individually to the best key related websites and described their value inside the article rather than at the end of the page. Our main job is educating, not creating a master-list of links. So let's link when it is part of a larger educational purpose. Let's avoid the temptation to link as an afterthought, or because it is easy.
- Agree completely.Lise 22:14, 9 March 2012 (UTC)
DiltsGD 19:58, 9 March 2012 (UTC)
Comments from Ldrew
1. I like the use of a template. After spending time watching all of the articles being posted on the wiki, a common theme has arisen in my mind. "Why don't we have a template for new categories and topics?" The lack of layout and content consistency is often a hinderance to the user experience. I frequently hear user comments along this theme. "Why aren't high level pages layed out the same way?" "It would be great if I cold find the same 'entry' and 'information' points and overviews in the same place on these pages."
Users posting to the wiki are doing the best they can, but some structured guidance for the article. The template would go a long way to providing the layout and contextual consistency of high level articles like the Collection example.
2. DiltsGD - Stub template comments ... Check
3. Links to related articles should be spread throughout the text of the page rather than lumped together under a separate heading. This allows the reader to select the links based on context rather than a shopping list of articles.
4. DiltsGD items 4 A & B ... Check
Ldrew 09:53, 10 March 2012 (UTC)
Naming pages[edit source]
On the question about moving from an in parenthesis suffix to a common prefix, if this was an actual namespace, I could see the benefit, but with it being a pseudo namespace I'm not convinced. The main issue I see with the current naming convention is that is produces long titles, the suffix only extending the name. I'm not sure what the answer is. I don't think it is a problem about the article not starting with locality.
If it were me I would not include the country name in the article titles, these can be given in the first paragraph of the description and added as categories.
Current article title:
Proposed article title:
- Collection: England, Dorset, Church of England, Church Records
- Dorset Parish Registers 1538-1910 (Collection)
--Steve 19:21, 13 March 2012 (UTC)