LitvakSIG and the All Lithuania Database #lithuania

Carol Baker

from time to time, it makes sense for LitvakSIG to remind
all the readers of our list about the relationship between
you -- the Litvak researchers -- and the All Lithuania
Database (ALD), which has Internet-searchable translations of
nearly 400,000 records of our ancestors >from the Lithuanian Archives.

Acquisition and translation of records in the ALD is funded entirely
by researchers who contribute to LitvakSIG's various Uyezd (or District)
Research Groups.

Those researchers who make qualifying contributions to
a Research Group receive Excel files of the translations for that group in
advance of the material's submission to the All Lithuania Database.

In recent months there were a number of discussions among the
LitvakSIG board of directors and the District Research Coordinators as to
how best to continue to fund the acquisition and translation of records from
the various Lithuanian archives.

Keeping in mind the need to balance access to information and the incentive
to contribute the funds that make it possible to continue this project, we
discussed a number of options.

Last year, LitvakSIG's Board and District Coordinators decided that only
those records that have been distributed to Research Group contributors more
than one year previously will be added to the ALD. (We recognize that no
new data has been added to the ALD since June, 2002. We are working to
ready a large group of records and hope to have them incorporated in the
database shortly.)

The "one year" policy allows those who have made possible this
extraordinary effort to have the exclusive use of the data for an
appropriate period of time. To those of you who can't wait a year, there is
an easy solution. All you have to do is to send a contribution of at least
$100 to the district of your choice and thus receive all of the records from
all of the towns within that district.

Since the IAJGS conference in Washington, LitvakSIG's Board and Research
Groups Coordinators have also been discussing and evaluating another issue
relating to the Research Groups, one that was raised at the LitvakSIG
meeting last year.

There was discussion at that meeting about the possibility of a "volume
discount" for contributors which would enable those donating
an amount that was less than the total of the qualifying contributions
to all uyezds to get the Excel files for all uyezds.

There are several reasons why the Board and Uyezd Coordinators feel that
it would be impractical for LitvakSIG to institute such a volume discount.

First, it would be impossible to apportion the funds effectively and fairly
to the various uyezds, which have widely varying financial needs and levels
of record accessibility.

Second, with Lithuania approaching membership in the European Union and
use of the Euro, we expect that our costs for acquisition of records will
rise, and it will probably be necessary for us to raise the qualifying amount
per uyezd group rather than to work with a lesser amount.

Therefore, while we appreciated the discussion of the issue in Washington,
and we did consider the matter thoroughly, it is not possible to institute
such a change.

To find the list of active LitvakSIG Research Groups and
their Coordinators, go to

To find out which Uyezd (District) your town is in, go to the
Shtetl/Uyezd/Gubernia Table at

One last item - some of you are confused about the District Research
Groups, the Vital Records Project and the LitvakSIG dues. They are all
separate items and require separate contributions.

The District Research Groups acquire the revision lists, tax lists, voter
lists, draft lists, etc. and are organized along uyezd or district lines.
The Vital Records Project is being conducted on a town-by-town basis,
because not all of the towns or all of the districts have birth, death or
marriage records that have survived. The $36 is for the annual LitvakSIG
dues (January-December).

Your check for a District Research Group should have the name of the uyezd
indicated in the memo field. Your check for Vital Records should have the
name of the shtetl in the memo field. The $36 for dues will be obvious and
needs no such identification. All checks may be sent to:

Dept. 77-9253
Chicago, Illinois 60678-9253

or, if you prefer to pay by credit card, you will find
the form at

Contribution forms may be faxed to 661/299-9198.

If you have any questions about this policy, please don't hesitate to
contact me.

Happy Ancestor Hunting!

Carol Coplin Baker
District Research Groups Coordinator

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