Friday, April 27, 2012

To Arbitrate or Not? Watch a Webinar, Then Decide!

Though I've only completed 20+ 1940 U.S. Census indexing batches, I've completed over 100 batches and indexed nearly 3000 names overall in all the indexing projects I've worked on, with a 98% in arbitration results.  What does this mean?  It means I received an invitation from to become an arbitrator!  They have a backlog of over three MILLION images that need arbitration, and it's only gonna get worse with all the wonderful interest in indexing the 1940 Census.
view of an arbitration screen
Every image on the 1940 U.S, Census is indexed by two volunteers.  An arbitrator compares the two indexes and makes decisions where they differ.  It's the last step before the index becomes available to everyone to use.

I want to learn more about arbitration before I decide whether or not to do this.  Fortunately, there are a number of resources available to learn more about both arbitration and indexing.  I love webinars, and there are two coming up next week, provided by the 1940 U.S. Census Community Project (and this is also where you go to sign up to be an indexer):

Arbitration—How to Arbitrate the 1940 Census
  • Tuesday, May 1 at 6 p.m. MDT (that will be 7 p.m. Central Daylight Time, for me)
  • For participants new to arbitration or interested in arbitrating and wanting to see what it involves.
Tips and Trick for Indexing the 1940 Census
  • Wednesday, May 2 at 6 p.m. MDT (also at 7 p.m. Central Daylight Time, for me)
  • Participants will learn the unique features and codes on the 1940 U.S. Census and what to do to avoid some common problems.
To access both webinars, visit for instructions and links.  Recordings of the webinars will be available later.  You can also view training videos at and find other resources at

© Amanda Pape - 2012 - click here to e-mail me.

[Disclosure:  As part of Ambassador Program, this post enters me into a drawing for a $100 Amazon gift card.]


  1. You should so do this! You have such great attention to detail..and a true passion for the topic. You will do a GREAT job.

  2. Thanks Tracy. I ended up not arbitrating. If you aren't a Mormon, FamilySearch makes you jump through some extra hoops, and I just did not have time to deal with that. I kept on indexing though, and plan to work on the next community project - immigration and naturalization records!