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  • First Annual NEHGS Technology Excellence Award

    Michael E. Caito

    Published Date : June 6, 2004

    The New England Historic Genealogical Society named the Canadian Genealogical Projects Registry (CGPR) of Calgary, Alberta as the winner of its first annual NEHGS Technology Excellence Award.

    Presented at the GENTECH 2000 Conference for Genealogy and Technology in San Diego on January 28, 2000, the award was established by NEHGS to encourage and foster the development of rigorous genealogical research techniques in computerized or electronic formats, as well as to recognize appropriate use of technology in achieving the highest standards of genealogical research.

    The CGPR was nominated by the Alberta Family Histories Society (AFHS) for its role in making a substantial contribution to persons researching their Canadian ancestry. The Registry, at is a one-of-a-kind electronic finding aid that allows online visitors systematically to seek online and offline sources for Canadian genealogical data available through indexing and transcription projects completed, underway or planned.

    The project is the brainchild of AFHS volunteer Janet Morgan, who has previously developed many indexes helpful to genealogists researching in Southern Alberta. She and Judith Rempel, AFHS Webmaster and site coordinator, accepted the award on behalf of the Registry.

    The award was presented at the opening session of GENTECH 2000 by NEHGS executive director Ralph Crandall, who acknowledged the “increasing importance of technology as a powerful tool for connecting to distant NEHGS members, as well as the genealogical community as a whole.” In receiving the award, the recipients thanked the Alberta Family Histories Society for “its willingness to embrace innovative ways of advancing quality genealogical research.”

    The CGPR presently contains over 8,000 links to data projects with further links to the homepages and/or email addresses of each database steward.

    One of the important features of this finding aid is that it identifies not only extant resources, but also works in progress. For example, if an individual or organization is considering transcribing the headstones in a particular cemetery, they can first consult the Registry to see if it has already been done or is a work-in-progress. In this way, the Registry offers an opportunity to collaborate on unfinished work or redirect energy to a different project, eliminating rivalries and duplicated efforts.

    The Registry has no fee associated with it and is available without subscription, advertising, or password-protection to any internet-using genealogist. It was conceived and developed by two part-time volunteers, Janet Morgan and Judith Rempel, and the provision of unlimited server-space by a community partner, the Calgary Community Network Association.

    Further information about the NEHGS Technology Excellence Award is available by contacting the New England Historic Genealogical Society, 101 Newbury Street, Boston, MA 02116-3007, or by writing

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