Much clearer instructions are needed for the Bureau of Land Management indexing project
INDEXING: In one place, you tell us that we only need to type in the STATE name as the location. But in other places you say you want the actual "location" . . . which is not given for many of the lines we are to index.
For the dates, in some places you tell us you want the date in the "Date of Sale" column. In other places the "most recent date" . . .
WHEN REVIEWING THE ALREADY COMPLETED WORK: again, there are discrepancies between whether you want the State or city Location.
If we are told to index the Date of Sale column for one batch, it should remain the Date of Sale for ALL batches. Same for the Reviewing.
A worker is unable to tell which rules belong to which batch - especially if they have more than one batch checked out.
It is VERY frustrating - I never know which rules to follow.
One way to eliminate this problem is to only have one set of rules which apply to ALL of the Bureau of Land Management records OR only have records available to transcribe and review that adhere to the same rules. When those are all completed, then change to other rules for the new batch.
I really like doing indexing and reviewing . . . but find these multiple rules very difficult to handle. And I'm sure others have the same problem.
Most of these BLM land records don't even have a state listed, but rather a town, so I always record it, if it's next to the transaction. I don't add the state even though I can usually figure out where it is. I review only, adding the town name, as most indexers do not put anything in the place box. For someone to actually use these records, they need a place.
So, despite the instructions, or lack of, or confusion of, I add the town name if I have one. I would really like to add the state, but I don't. Being able to cross reference names and locations with familysearch records and even ancestry gives me a better way to review, make place decisions, and spelling options. Way back when, we had no other records so available to our fingertips, so I think we should do the best we can.
The intent of the records were to record a very specific land transfer from the government (BLM) ownership to private pwnership, and unless you have the whole book of records (and/or the entire collection of books) from an area, you won't know where these are taking place. So I say use the town, at the very least.0
Paul W ✭✭✭✭✭
How refreshing to come across someone involved with indexing who believes the importance of these indexed records as a finding aid should take precedence over what appears to be confusing, contradictory, and sometimes quite bizarre project instructions.
There have been a few projects lately that have caused confusion to participants - one or two relating to South Africa records. If indexers follow instructions strictly to the letter, it will be to the loss of researchers who will later be looking at a very unhelpful end product - showing dates and places that will not reflect the facts the documents were meant to convey.1