MDGenWeb An Introduction to
The USGenWeb's Census Projects

The purpose of this page is to familiarize you with something exciting, worthwhile, and vitally important in assisting online researchers - online census transcriptions. We would like to give you some information about a couple of terrific projects run by USGenWeb volunteers, and to urge you to encourage participation in either one or both on your county sites and mailing lists. The folks who run these sites have been successfully recruiting volunteers to transcribe census data for free access since 1997.

The two census projects are located at:

http://www.us-census.org/ and http://www.usgwcensus.org/.

The most complete information on these Census Projects can be seen at their web sites. Here is a quick run-down, though:

How You Can Help the Census Projects

 

For comprehensive information on joining the census projects, the free Census Transcription Assistant program, procedures and mailing list, please visit the census projects' sites. I'll give you the "short version" to get you started. Please spread the word about these great Projects - you can even grab the nifty Census Project logos at the main sites (or at the MDGenWeb Image Library) for use on your county pages.

Here's the information you'll need to give prospective Census Project transcription volunteers:

OBTAINING:

Refer the potential volunteer to http://www.us-census.org/resources/index.htm or http://www.usgwcensus.org/location.htm for a list of where they may obtain copies of the original census schedules.

TRANSCRIBING:

  1. Refer the volunteer to each census projects' specific Maryland page at http://usgwcensus.org/cenfiles/md.htm and http://www.us-census.org/states/maryland/.
  2. There, the volunteer can browse through a list of available counties and census years. They can make their choice from among those counties and the census years that are not already assigned.
  3. Then, they should go to the "Sign Up" form page at http://www.us-census.org/signup/signupform.html or http://www.emailmeform.com/builder/form/356621.
  4. Depending upon the year the volunteer has chosen, and his or her operating system (ie Windows, Mac, UNIX), the census projects can provide a database program that is specific to census data transcription, or the transcriber can use their own spreadsheet program, such as Excel. Cool stuff!

PROOFREADING:

Also needed are volunteers to proofread the data once it has been transcribed into the database program. They can sign up for this at http://www.us-census.org/proof/index.htm or http://www.usgwcensus.org/proof/index.htm.

I hope you have found this helpful and enlightening, and I hope I've helped get you excited about the census projects available to USGenWeb county sites! This is what it's all about, folks!

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