Re: Answer to question about Christine Usdin's census translations that was asked during the Latvia SIG meeting on Thursday #latvia

Stephen Weinstein


Everyone has access to the pages listed at and the occupation-based pages (doctors, brothels, rabbis, etc.), even if they did not donate.  As a donor, do you also have access to the other pages listed at (the over 100 location-based pages)?

I'm not sure what Jewishgen can access, but access isn't enough to get it into the database.  Doing the death, birth, marriage, and divorce records, even with access, the real challenge was that Christine didn't format things consistently, so when I would paste data into a spreadsheet, data would not land in the correct column.  I don't know of anyone planning to take on the census records, which are even trickier to do because it's families with multiple members rather than individual records.

I'm also not sure about the legality of doing it now, in that putting the paywall-protected data on Jewishgen will allow anyone to access it, even if they didn't donate to her.  I don't know French copyright law but it may be necessary to get permission from her estate.

If you want to take on the project, the first step is to contact Paul Cheifitz paulcheifitz@...>, make sure that no one else is working on it (so you don't duplicate efforts) and get the template that shows how Jewishgen needs it formatted.  Then you would go to each of her pages one at a time and copy the records onto the spreadsheet.  (When I did the death records, I tried programming a computer to concatenate her html files into one large one and process it automatically, but this turned out to be more of an hindrance than a help, so I did the birth, marriage and divorce records manually, webpage by webpage.)  But again, first step is to coordinate with Paul Cheifitz and the Latvia Research Division, and square away the legal issues, so you don't waste a lot of effort -- and believe me, no matter how much effort you expect to be involved, it will be more.

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