Establishing a place to keep privately held sources

+5 votes
Here is my dilema:

I have several file folders of material collected by family members, sorted by surname, but with information that is not available on-line. I have created "source" and "reference" citations, but they are to the documents held in the file cabinet.

Is there a way, on WikiTree, to scan this material into the database, making it a WikiTree source accessable to others? Much of it is old family Bible pages, letters written by principals, and old newspaper clippings. I guess I could scan each of the documents into each person's profile, but that seems to be a big duplication of effort.

Does WikiTree's database allow this kind of organization?
in The Tree House by Roy Lamberton G2G6 Mach 4 (43.8k points)
retagged by Maggie N.

2 Answers

+6 votes
Best answer
Yes.  You can set up a free-space page and post the documents there, then link them to any family member you wish.

However, even if you don't do that, once you upload an image, you can link it to all the related family members without re-uploading.  (Once you upload an image, when you edit it, you should see the place where you can add profiles or pages to link it t.)
by Julie Kelts G2G6 Pilot (360k points)
Here is a link to an explanation of how to set up a free-space page.

+1 for what Julie said.

Here is an example page of a will index with the original documents as photos on the space page:

Another thing to keep in mind.  If you want to "preserve" documents that are not yet public and that you don't want to be public, say your mother's birth certificate (and she's still living), you can create a space page and raise the privacy so that it is not public, add the text and the photos, and someday in the long distant future, if you should die or forget to make these public, they will eventually be revealed when enough years have passed that it is  assumed your mother has died.  In this way, you can create genealogy source "time capsules" that will be opened later.  And if your records and burned and your computer stolen, they are in a secondary place for you (or future generations) to access them later.

SJ, when is it OK to use images from Ancestry, as I'm assuming you've done on the John Miller will page?

That is a good question and one that I had not considered for Ancestry before this past summer.  I had read this thread maybe two months ago and I had resolved to go and "audit" my profiles and make sure that I only used snippets of documents (fair use) rather than the entire document.  It is on my "to do list."  Unfortunately, the images for that will take up the whole page - rather than say one line on a cenus record - so I've removed them.

When I saw that thread about two months ago I researched if it was possible to obtain census records that were "open source" and there is indeed a site where you can do that.  The aren't particularly organized well so it takes some hunting and pecking.

It seems that the most prudent thing to do is to grab small portions of the page under fair use when you can.  And when you need the whole page, spend the time to find that page in

I plan to check every image I've ever uploaded and if I have ancestry images, I plan to replace them with these and/or as I find them.

FamilySearch has census records, too, doesn't it?  I know they also have some wills, etc., if one knows how to find them.
They specifically prohibit the sharing of images obtained at FS.

It is an interesting conundrum: the images were taken by the government and the images are federal property.  If you take the image from FS or Ancestry and share it, you aren't really in copyright violation per se but you are in violation of the terms of their service agreement.  They do however, get them from the government under license and when you access them using your membership, you agree to that license.  

Really the best way to work around it is to find them on an open source site and/or use the shared record option as I have done on that page - you can see and access the original docs using the link at the bottom of text just above the sources.
+3 votes

Perhaps the best option would be to create a finalized and well-organized collection of all your information which can function as a "book" (create an title, summary, and index, plus enumerate all of the pages). Everything can be combined into a PDF or as a series of image and text files. And that can be uploaded that to the Internet Archive. There is a video guide here:

More details can be found here:

See also the "tips" section on this page:

An alternative method could be to create a Free Space Profile containing the data:

However, the Internet Archive is a larger organization than WikiTree. The Archive's mission is to archive knowledge and ensure its ongoing availability... and which as an institution has a vast range of collaboration with archivists and librarians and their institutions. The question of whether data hosted on WikiTree's Free Space Pages will still be around and easily found in a decade is less certain than whether something uploaded to The Internet Archive. 

by anonymous G2G6 Pilot (128k points)
Of course Roy should keep a copy for himself no matter where he uploads it.

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