JewishGen Discussion Group #JewishGen Re: Pennsylvania Death Indices 1906-1961 #general

Roger Lustig

There are further considerations here, for instance:

--For the indices, who wants to edit and proofread the OCR output? I've
looked at them, and they're in various formats, each with its own problems.
--where are the sources (actual death certificates) located? Would they
need to be gathered >from each of Pennsylvania's 67 counties?

In general, digitization (especially >from microfilm) isn't that tough.
It's the indexing that costs time and effort and money, the last being
mitigated if there's a sufficient corps of volunteers.'s program is a model of co-operative indexing, but
there's only a finite pool of indexers out there. (I myself have
indexed some death certificates for them--Louisiana, as it happens.)

In short: if you want records to be available and their information
easily accessible:
--determine the legalities and logistics of the project;
--volunteer to index and get others to do the same.

Roger Lustig
Princeton, NJ

On 2/16/2012 11:29 AM, Mark London wrote:
Dennis - Thanks for the info. If you happen to know of anyone who has
taken those Pennsylvania index files and put them through OCR software
so that they could be searchable, I would appreciate knowing.
Otherwise, I'll try doing it myself.

As an aside, I've seen several people asking about why can't the
Pennsylvania certificates be digitized and put up on the web. I
should mention that here in Massachusetts, that the state archives
made an agreement with to have 5 years worth of vital
records, i.e. marriages, births, and deaths for the period of
1915-1920, to be digitized. Most of the records were certificates,
rather than on microfilm. Because of that, the project is taking 18
months to do. Imagine how long 50 years of records would take to be
digitized! If they were on microfilm, I'm sure it would take much
quicker, but >from everything I've read, the Pennsylvania microfilm are
not in good shape -
Mark London
"Dennis Gries" <dgries@...> wrote
I earlier posted a news message with a link, and I have learned that my cut
and paste >from the PAHR-Access site required some extra steps.

This takes one directly to the Death Index years selection page:

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