FreeUKGen is an initiative to help make more high quality primary (or near-primary) records of relevance to UK genealogy conveniently available online, preferably for free, in a coherent, easy to access and search, facility or set of facilities
FreeUKGen aims to provide the tools and support for it's member projects ( FreeBMD, FreeCEN and FreeREG) and to do so in a way that makes good use of present knowledge about relevant computer science techniques, e.g. concerning interfaces, databases, data interchange protocols, and system design generally, and which is technically forward-looking.
FreeUKGen encourages large-scale volunteer effort, and make good use of it, e.g. by reducing duplication of transcription and indexing efforts, and by facilitating widespread access to the information resources that are produced by such efforts.
FreeUKGen aims to set an example to existing organisations here in the UK, e.g. FHSs, that are already engaged in making genealogy resources available
FreeUKGEN acts as an informal umbrella organisation bringing together the teams running its constituent projects to ensure flow of information, exchange of ideas and best practice between the projects.
Using volunteers throughout the world, the FreeUKGen leadership (see FAQ 7 below) in collaboration with others co-ordinates the data entry of UK genealogy source materials. Data entered into the databases will be available for access through search facilities.
Areas for member projects will continue be identified and those projects initiated by the leadership and volunteer co-ordinators so FreeUKGen makes orderly progress towards its goal.
The leadership will specify and ensure suitable quality standards are maintained. The approach taken will vary by project.
In all cases, data is accepted in as straightforward way as possible for the submitter usually including a simple text format which can be prepared off-line using basic word-processing, spreadsheet or database management software.
Provision will be made of an appropriately designed set of web and database server facilities that can host, and provide open coherent access to the results of a variety of relevant transcription and indexing projects. Such projects might be the work either of individual genealogists, or of societies or other organisations.
The IT infrastructure for all FreeUKGEN projects has been provided since March 2002 by FreeBMD.
It'll never be finished, but it will be useful a lot earlier than that. Of course, the more people help, the sooner that'll be.
FreeUKGen is ENTIRELY dependent on the efforts of volunteers and sponsors all over the world.
Currently, we are looking for people to help in the following areas:
FreeUKGEN is lead by a body of trustees, leading a single charitable trust which has rights to the FreeBMD, FreeCEN and FreeREG names.
The trustees originally managed only FreeBMD, whilst FreeREG and FreeCEN were managed on a less formal basis.
FreeREG transfered to the control of the trustees in November 2004, and FreeCEN followed suit in February 2006.
Each project retains a large degree of autonomy, and is run on a day to day basis by an executive/advisory comittee.
It doesn't need any authority to exist!
Most of the original data is out of copyright. Where it is not, the copyright is acknowledged and permission sought.
database right in the transcription vests in the trustees.
The trustees own the databases and software of the current projects.
Somebody will probably try, but it won't be us.
We will take all possible steps, both technological and otherwise, to prevent our data being abused.
It was from July 1998 to March 2002 (for which we thank Rootsweb), but since then it has been hosted by The Bunker
This initiative is concerned with all source useful to genealogists. Where possible, we would like to transcribe previously unavailable or incompletely available sources.
We would be delighted to support other compatible projects, so if you have an idea, come along and tell us. We can provide hosting, technical know how, and a good "brand" for the project. We would however like the person with the idea to stick around and guide the project as a member of a project executive committee.
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We make no warranty whatsoever as to the accuracy and completeness of the FreeUKGen data.