Tuesday, February 2, 2016

A Visit to the University Library

 We were invited to meet Elder and Hermana Hasler at the Univeristy to meet with the man that is in charge of the records they are preserving.  On our way I took a couple of pictures on the street of some of the street vendors.  This woman and her son above rolled her stand all the way down the middle of this busy street and pushed it onto the sidewalk where they opened it up for business.  They had sodas and snacks. I imagine they just roll it home at night.  I hope their house isn't too far away. Pedestrians have no rights here.  You really have to watch carefully to cross the streets, so I am surprised she made it safely.

 All the babies are strapped to the backs of the moms and nursing in public is totally acceptable. Even in church.  I imagine the babies love being so close to their mom all the time and they always have a great view of what is going on while riding on mom's back.  The children come to work with their moms.  Here is a mom with her two daughters, see the little one in a box?  The older sister is there to help with the baby and the work.
 We arrived at the library and were privileged to see some of the records that are stored there.  The man in charge has been so good about lending the records for the Haslers to digitize.  They are working on the records that start in 1930s or some time around there.  I asked why they didn't start on the older records first.  It seems the newer records are fading faster because the quality of the ink and paper are inferior to those used years ago.

 Here is a girl that is looking for information in the book to enter in the computer.  Family search has machines that take pictures of each page and then they are indexed by volunteers so they are available for everyone.  It is a much easier way to preserve records.  There are thousands of records available and there is a great need for more indexing.  After they are indexed then we can find them through Familysearch and we can build family trees.  There is nothing as fun as watching people find pictures of their ancestors records.

 See these old records. These are from 1560!  Can you see the leather binding.  That is original as well as the paper and ink.  We were lucky to be able to see them. The director asked Lyle what his college degree was in before he would let us look.  I guess "International Relations" passed the test. It was thrilling to be standing there in front of all these old records.  I just wish we could copy them and index all of them.  The Director wishes we would too, but there just isn't enough people to do the work.  The Haslers have been here for 3 years and will be leaving the end of May and all they have been able to do are records from about the 1930s on up. There are records all over the world like this, familysearch is doing a great job at getting some of them digitalized but there is so much more to do.

Here are the Haslers handing a digital copy of the records they have scanned to the Director.  We will be working with him when we do a few booths that will be set up for familysearch this year.  We will have one in March and a longer one in June. They are during some sort of city celebrations and we are happy to have him help us with them.  Last year the one in June gave the missionaries over a thousand self-referrals.

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