Lithuania SIG #Lithuania LitvakSIG Vital_Records Translation Project Special Offer thru Sept. 1 #lithuania

Joel Ratner

LitvakSIG Vital_Records Translation Project Special Offer
through Sept 1, 2009 / Permanent Change in Rate Structure

At the most recent LitvakSIG Board meeting, a proposal was presented
to the Board regarding the rate structure for the Vital Records
Translation Project. A case was made to implement a special offer to
allow researchers (defined as current donors or new donors) access to a
special rate structure which is valid >from the date at the top of this
message up to and including Sept. 1, 2009. The proposal also set forth
a permanent rate change for certain towns which takes effect on Sept.
2, 2009.

Need for Consideration of Rate Change

The LitvakSIG VRT Project has been operated for several years with a single
rate structure of $100 per town. Donors contributing this amount to a
VRT project have been entitled to receive all vital records
translations produced for the designated town. There are circumstances
which limit the success of the rate structure as implemented. Some of these
are as follows:

1. The number of researchers amount to a handful while the records
requiring translation number in the thousands

2. Funds raised where sufficient researchers exist do not keep up with
the records available for translation

3. Desire of researchers to add additional towns for purposes of
qualifying for translations

4. Litvak records are now available on two other websites, somewhat
diminishing the funds we raise which are the ONLY ones which pay for
these vital records translations

Details of the Special Offer

Special Offer Part I - Adding Additional Towns (existing qualifying
donors as of 6/30/2009)

Several researchers have asked about adding an additional town with an
alternate rate structure (some kind of discounting). The following
structure has been approved by the Board under the plan:

LitvakSIG is pleased to announce that until Sept. 1, 2009, we can offer
the existing vital records translations for the following towns to
researchers who have made a qualifying VRT donation of $100 in the past
(prior to 7/1/2009) at the rates specified herein:

Vilna / Suwalki gubernia towns

Kudirkos Naumiestis
Vilna County (births only)

Kovno gubernia towns - Aaron Roetenberg is considering a list of Kovno
gubernia towns which may be added to this offer. If Aaron decides to
participate, this message will be reposted in its entirety with the
Kovno towns added.

1 (one) of the above towns may be added for $80 until Sept. 1, 2009.
After that date, the rate will revert to $100.

2 (two) of the above towns may be added for $150 until Sept. 1, 2009.
After that date, the rate will remain at the discounted $150 rate.

The offer presented above incentivizes existing qualified donors
wishing to augment the towns they qualify for to add a single town for a
discounted rate until September 1, 2009. Those researchers wishing to
add two towns benefit >from a permanent reduction in the rate.

Special Offer Part II - Single Town

The second part of the offer is simply to restate the existing rate
structure for a single town. This rate, which has been $100 until now,
will remain at this level through Sept. 1, 2009 and continue thereafter
except for the towns of Vilna, Vilijampole and Kovno. The rates for
these three towns will go up to $150 as of Sept. 2, 2009.

Single town researchers for these three towns are incentivized by this
new structure to contribute as soon as possible to avoid the rate increase.
These particular increases are based on experience with this project,
the large number of records (Vilna City has approximately 170,000
records) as well as the number of paid up donors over seven years time.
The $100 rate for all other towns was kept at this level in order to
continue to offer as much value as possible.

Researchers who have given $100 in the past (prior to 6/30/2009)
are grandfathered. The period established >from now through Sept. 1,
2009 was established to allow new researchers to take advantage of
the existing rate structure. Grandfathered researchers for Vilna,
Vilijampole and Kovno are encouraged, if possible, to continue donating
to their towns, if only at a reduced level, to assist the fundraising
as much as possible. Donors capable of making annual contributions to
the VRT project are encouraged, although this is not required.

Special Offer Part III - VilnaVRTPLUS category

The city of Vilna was bordered in the north by Snipishok (Snipiskes),
in the east by Antokol (Antakalnis), and to the southwest by Novygorod
(Naujamiestis). These towns had their own separate metrical registers.
The number of vital records for these three towns amount to several
tens of thousands, while the city of Vilna has approximately 170,000
vital records. These numbers account for the filmed records only.
Today, these towns are incorporated into the city of Vilna. These towns
have only a handful of listed researchers.

Over the ten years I have been either the Vilna District coordinator,
or a Vital Records project coordinator, I have encountered many Vilna
researchers. Approximately half of them have stated they have never
been able to find any records for their family, but they were told the
family was >from Vilna. To date, we have many data points to work from,
unlike in the early days of the SIG. We have the 1858 Revision List,
birth records spanning 1837 - 1900, most of which have been translated,
as well as the 1915 Vilna city directory Vsia Vilna, and the 1942 Vilna
ghetto census. We now also have access to a large number of Polish
business directories and the 1906 Vilna Duma electors list. These
records span over 100 years, and provide many ways to find relatives
however, there still remain a large number of researchers for whom
answers do not appear.

Given this situation, the plan included a new category for the VRT
project. This category goes by the name VilnaVRTPLUS. The purpose
of the VilnaVRTPLUS category is to completely integrate the translation
efforts for the city of Vilna, Antokol, Snipiskes and Novygorod owing
to the geographical proximity of these towns to Vilna, the fact many
researchers may have information among the records for these towns, and
the lack of researchers to bear the cost of translation.

The VilnaVRTPLUS category is open to all existing qualified Vilna City
Vital Records Translation Project donors. Also eligible for this are
donors to the Antokol, Snipiskes and Novygorod VRT projects under the
following rate structure. The integration of the 3 bordering towns would
cost $300 additional under the existing fee structure. As a special
promotion for this category, until September 1, 2009, qualified Vilna
donors can add the 3 adjacent towns mentioned for a discounted rate of
$150. After September 1, 2009, the rate goes up to $200.

New researchers can also join the VilnaVRTPLUS category at any time
with a qualifying donation of $300. This is a permanent reduction of
$100 against the current fee structure.

A map of the Old Town plus the immediate suburbs can be viewed on the VRT
website at

Scroll down to the bottom of the Navigation Bar on the left and select
the VilnaVRTPLUS page.

What the above plan is NOT

The plan in its three subsections state how the VRT project will be
structured for the immediate future as well as after 9/1/2009. What
this plan does not deal with, nor does not affect, are all other
SIG activities. The plan has no bearing on SIG dues, District
records activities or any other SIG business. It only affects vital
records specifically as stated above.

The terms stated above in Special Offers I - III are mutually exclusive.


The LitvakSIG Board considered the plan and approved it as presented.
The categories, rate structures and special offers developed were given
considerable thought. The SIG has a need to raise additional funds for
this project and also recognizes the need to add value to the
researcher. The ideas presented in the plan were developed with an
eye towards balancing the needs of the VRT project and the researcher.

Researchers may be tempted to inquire why certain other offers or
combinations weren't offered. The simple answer is that the accounting
tasks multiply very quickly and we had a need to establish a small number
of offers which would bring the most benefit, both to the SIG as well as
the researcher.

Joel Ratner