Disappearing Collections

Genealogy tip: ALWAYS download document images you find online. ALWAYS. You never know when a collection will disappear. It can happen for a variety of reasons, and you will be given no notice.

Example: The Catholic Parish Registers for Ireland. They were (and still are) available via the National Library of Ireland’s website, but those images are unindexed. Likewise FamilySearch filmed the registers years ago, and unindexed images are available via their website (access unindexed films through the FamilySearch card catalog).

A few years ago, Ancestry and Findmypast entered a joint agreement to index the images and make them available for free via their websites. The searchable index and images are still live at Findmypast (and presumably free, though that part of the agreement may have an expiration date). They have disappeared from Ancestry’s website. I noticed that searches that should return hits for that collection didn’t, so I looked at their card catalog, and the title is entirely missing.

In this case, no real harm is done, because those images are available elsewhere. But what if they weren’t?

A similar issue occurred a few years back, with the Drouin Collection (Catholic Parish records from Canada). They had been available, largely unindexed, on Ancestry’s website. Then one day they disappeared. Turns out, the licensing agreement required Ancestry to index the images, which they hadn’t done, so the collection’s owners told Ancestry to pull the images until they were indexed. It took a couple of years to finish the project, but one day the Drouin Collection magically appeared again on Ancestry. Thankfully I’d downloaded the images I’d managed to find, so I wasn’t affected. And since Drouin Collection 2.0 is mostly indexed, I have found even more images.

Evenote

Also, you can see from this screen shot that FamilySearch (top) imaged the registers independently of NLI (bottom). It pays to check both sets of images, because in some cases NLI’s images are better, and in others, FamilySearch has better images. The images available at Findmypast (and formerly at Ancestry) are NLI’s images. And in fact, Findmypast includes the direct link to the image at NLI’s website, in the index page. And note at the bottom of the index page below, from Findmypast? The copyright statement for the transcript credits Ancestry.

Index Page from Findmypast

I mention all of this because it pays to find out this information–how collections get digitized and who owns what. It can help you track down information when it goes AWOL, and it can help you cut through multiple layers of crud that gets attached with every iteration. And ultimately, you may find that a lot of the collections at pay sites are licensed and repackaged from sites that provide the info for free.

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WHAT?

Watching TV

I was watching TV. I looked over and saw this. He seems a bit concerned, with his squeaky ball pacifier, and I think maybe he’s not quite old enough for PG-13 programming.

WHAT?

And then this happened. I laughed so hard I gave myself Death Asthma.

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Toys

Pink Piggy Is Srs Bsns

Pink Piggy is srs bsns.

Where do you store your squeaky ball?

Where do you store your squeaky ball? Thomas recommends storing toys and snacks in the nearest rain boot.

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Very Best Begface

Very Best Begface

Baby boy’s begface is on point.

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Monday Morning Sky

Storm Clouds

It poured later in the morning, but while I was walking the dog, amazing things were going on up there.

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Thief

Paper Thief

He went trawling through the recycling again. He knows he’s not supposed to steal paper, but he also knows he can trade it for an upgrade (a cookie).

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500 Pound Head

Lap Dog

I don’t know how he manages it, but his head weighs at least 500 pounds.

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Pizza Bone

Pizza Bone of Bliss

Good boys are rewarded with a piece of pizza crust.

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Drool

Drool

No, really. Thomas has a dry mouth 99% of the time, but that other 1%, he’s revolting.

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Side Eye

Side Eye

I don’t know what the hell I did to deserve that look.

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