Gesher Galicia SIG #Galicia 1929 Polish Business Directory "Town Index" now available #galicia

Howard Fink <know_How@...>

I am very happy, and relieved, to announce that Phase 1 of the huge
Jewish Records Indexing ­ Poland / JewishGen "1929 Polish Business
Directory Project" is complete: the indexing of all of the towns in the
Directory is finished. JRI-Poland volunteers completed the data entry of
the town index in early December and I have spent the last several weeks
editing the data.

The file of the index of towns, identified with "województwo" (province)
and "powiat" (district), is larger than almost any of the individual town
vital records databases in the JRI-Poland database. The Business
Directory Town Index identifies over 34,000 localities. This in itself
provides an exciting new resource, similar to ShtetlSeeker (only
with the inter-war Polish names, not modern names).

To appreciate the enormous scope of this project, consider that the
current number of indices for all towns in the JRI­Poland database of
primarily 19th-century records recently leapt to one and a half million.
It is estimated that the completed Business Directory database will
include three quarters of a million 20th-century entries.

Now for the truly exciting news: even before the searchable names
database is completed, you can have immediate access to the data for
your town right now. The 3000 directory pages have been scanned and
converted into Adobe PDF files. Thanks to rapid development efforts by
Michael Tobias (doesn't it seem like there must be at least ten of him
working on projects?), you can now search by town name and then click
on the resulting link to see high resolution images of the actual
directory page(s).

The URL is: : >.

Think of the amazement you felt the first time you viewed an original
manifest via the Ellis Island web site. A similar experience is waiting
for you when you search within the Polish 1929 Business Directory.
Searching is made easy because there is built-in support for matches
via the Daitch-Mokotoff Soundex system.

As with most JRI-Poland managed projects, this has been a truly
international effort. Town index data entry volunteers are from
Australia, Canada, Israel, Japan, Poland, Sweden and the United States,
all working under the coordination and direction of JRI-Poland Board
Member, Roni Seibel Liebowitz.

Indexing the towns was only the first phase of this huge project.
Phase 2 will be launched shortly. We will be entering all of the
business names (typically named after the owner), and other available
details into an online searchable database.

Here is more information about Phase 2.

Phase 2:
A detailed set of instructions has been written for interpretation of
the directory entries, along with many examples. Entry of this data will
be quite different >from entering data >from vital record indices. Since
all the entries are printed rather than handwritten, the work should
flow smoothly.

Some volunteers are now testing the Phase 2 data entry protocol.

We hope many more people will volunteer to help enter the business and
name data needed to create the final database. There are about 2500
pages in the Phase 2 effort. Details for Phase 2 will be announced
shortly. As you enjoy the current offering of this new resource,
imagine how much more useful it will be when it is possible to search
this database by surname.

Please help us complete this amazing effort by volunteering when we
announce that we are ready for additional work on Phase 2.

To enable both Jewish Records Indexing - Poland, Inc. and JewishGen,
Inc. to continue work on such special initiatives and to cover the costs
incurred to date, we invite researchers to make a voluntary contribution
to the Business Directory project.

Please send your tax-deductible (in the U.S.) contributions to
Jewish Records Indexing - Poland,
c/o Sheila Salo, Treasurer,
5607 Greenleaf Rd.,
Cheverly, MD 20785,

You can also contribute by credit card by going to:

You can also telephone Sheila Salo to make your VISA or MasterCard
contribution between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. Eastern time, at (301) 341-1261.
The fax number is (301) 341-1261.

Your contributions should be clearly marked: "For the 1929 Business
Directory Project." All contributions for this project will be shared
equally with JewishGen.

For more details about this project, please refer to the following URL:
< >.

As with any large data entry project, mistakes may be found. Please
send details of any errors you notice to me at

I am taking this opportunity to thank the volunteers who were
instrumental in the creation of the Town Index. Roni Seibel Liebowitz
did the outreach and coordinated the efforts of a group of extremely
conscientious data entry volunteers, who are too numerous to mention
here. A hearty thank you goes to Deborah Baseman who did some key
groundwork when the project was initially conceived. My appreciation
goes to web master Steve Zedeck for putting together the complex
Business Directory web pages and the continuous updating of the
project web pages. I have already thanked Michael Tobias for so
efficiently and quickly converting the completed file into Internet-
ready format. He is also responsible for loading the thousands of PDF
pages on the JewishGen server as well as the viewing access for it.
And finally, thanks go to Michael and Warren Blatt for their efforts
over the last few days to refine the way in which the search data is
presented, and thus make it most useful to researchers.

Howard Fink
Database Manager
1929 Polish Business Directory Project
JRI-Poland in association with JewishGen

Jewish Records Indexing - Poland, Inc. is an independent
non-profit 501(c)3 U.S. tax-exempt organization and is
hosted by JewishGen.

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