Help:Repository pages


Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Repository?

A genealogical repository is simply a place in which genealogical sources are kept and used. It is where you went to find the sources for your genealogical facts and data on people whom you are researching.

How can I differentiate between sources and repositories?

Think of it this way: The Repository is where you went to find the source. The Source is what you found. The Event or Fact is the genealogical information the source contains. This can be broken down further as follows.

  • The Repository is where you went to find the source. This is usually a physical or virtual location that houses collections of sources. Physical repositories include: New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS), National Archives (NARA), and Family History Library. Virtual repositories include:,,, Repository Pages are normally used to identify offline organizations and are helpful because they can include contact information, physical address, hours of operation, etc. Identification of websites used as repositories can be included in the Source Page itself, so there may be only limited need to provide Repository Pages in WeRelate for virtual repositories. When a GEDCOM file is imported into WeRelate, the repository information is captured in the MySource pages that are created, but does not create its own repository page. If the repository is included in original file, it will need to be added from the source citation manually as a repository page.
  • The Source is what you found. Examples of sources include a vital record, a book outlining the descendancy of John Adams, a newspaper, a census record, a death certificate, a specific website, database or a virtual location housing a collection of similar records (such as, Find-A-Grave). Unlike desktop genealogy programs, WeRelate has two types of sources: Source Pages and MySource Pages. You can put anything you want in a MySource page. Create Source pages only for books or collections of records that are relevant and available to other people as well. You can store source information in a MySource page or split it between a Source page (for information about the book/collection) and the source citation on the Person/Family page (for information about the specific record or item found). When WeRelate imports a GEDCOM, it takes what is found in the SOUR field and creates a MySource namespace page.
  • An Event or Fact is the genealogical information or content specific to the person or family on the page identified within the source that references the person or family you are documenting. When WeRelate imports a GEDCOM, it uses the data in the GEDCOM fact event line and places it in the Event or Fact field for the particular event or fact pertaining to the WeRelate person or family page.

What is a Repository Page?

Repository pages are designed to record and identify physical locations of genealogical material such as archives and libraries, and to identify significant virtual locations such as major genealogy websites.

How do I find a page for a repository?

To find a repository, click on Search from the blue header and select All from the drop-down options. You will be taken to the Special:Search WeRelate page. In the Namespace field, select Repository. Then...

  1. If you know the name of the repository you are looking for, enter a word or two from the repository's name into the keywords field in the search form. For example, if I were looking for a repository entitled "Transylvania County Historical Society (North Carolina)," I would enter "Transylvania North Carolina".
  2. If you know the domain name of the repository: enter the domain name into the keywords field in the search form. For example, if I were looking for, I could enter "Ancestry" or "".
  3. If you are looking for repositories for a particular place: enter the place in the place field. You may also want to enter a record type in the keywords field. For example, if I wanted to find a repository for birth records in Indiana, I would enter "Indiana" in the place field, and enter "birth" in the keywords field.

How do I create a new repository page?

  1. Click on Add in the upper left menu bar and select Repository.
  2. Fill in other appropriate fields and click on Add page.
  3. You will see a list of existing repositories that match the information in the fields.
  4. Please check the list to make certain that you are not creating a duplicate repository page.
  5. If your repository is not on the list, click on Add page.


An alternative way to create a repository is by typing a Repository Page Name directly into the text of a given page: " located at [[Repository:<Name-of-Repository>]] in 2004...." When done this way, it is critical to follow the format for Repository Page Titles.

Please keep in mind these naming rules:
  • Omit leading articles (A, An, The). Capitalize key words. Keep the title as short as possible.
  • The title of the Repository page is the name of the repository; e.g., "Allen County Public Library", "Burlington County Historical Society", "Butler County Probate Court", or "RootsWeb".
  • If the title is ambiguous, you can append additional information in parentheses after the repository name to make the title unambiguous; e.g., "Allen County Public Library (Indiana)", "Burlington County Historical Society (New Jersey)", "Butler County Probate Court (Ohio)."

Is there a format for repository page titles?

Once you've created and saved a new Repository (as described above), WeRelate automatically creates a Repository page title that uses the fields you've entered to create a unique Page Title.

How do I edit a repository page?

To edit a repository page, find the page you want to edit and click on the Edit button near the top of the screen. Repository pages belong to the entire community and we encourage everyone to contribute to the wiki. See Ways to contribute below. When you edit a page, it is a good idea to click on "Show preview" to examine your changes and then on "Save page" to save your changes.

When will my changes start showing up in searches?

Pages are indexed every night, so if you created a new page (or made changes to an existing page), the new page (or new words on the existing page) will start showing up in searches the following day.

How do I tell what changes someone else has made to a repository page?

Click on the History link near the top of the screen. This displays a list of all changes made to the page. For each change you can see how the page appeared after the change was made, the date of the change, and who made the change. To see exactly what was changed, click on the two versions of the page you want to compare, followed by Compare selected versions. Here's an example where someone added information about a library's holdings.

What if I want to leave a comment, but don't want to edit the page itself?

You can leave comments about any page on its talk page. Just click on the Talk link at the top of the screen, then click on Add Topic.

General Information

Ways to contribute

If you know something about a repository that might be of interest to other researchers, please share it! Here are ways that you can edit a repository page to help improve it:

Adding research tips

You can add research tips in the Text box near the bottom of the edit screen. If you add a research tip, please remove the {{source-stub}} marker at the bottom of the page.

Adding coverage information

To add or correct information about what the repository covers, edit the following boxes on the edit screen:

  • Place: Enter the most identifying place that this repository represents at the lowest appropriate jurisdiction.
  • URL: Enter the URL of the source. Our crawlers will start crawling the source from this URL so that we can include its pages in web searches.
  • Phone: Enter the phone number for the repository.
  • Postal Address: Enter the mailing address and physical location for the repository, using proper and accepted postal address guidelines.
Any of the above boxes can be left empty if they do not apply to a specific repository.
  • Text: Enter any additional information about the repository that may be important for users of this repository, such as a more detailed identification of the repository itelf, a description of its major source holdings, terms of use, hours of operation, etc.

Tagging non-genealogy repositories for removal

If you find a repository that is not relevant to genealogy, please edit the repository page and add the text "[[Category:remove]]". We'll review the repository and remove it.


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