Portal talk:Repository

Topics


What to include

Repository name space is fairly new and the pages have mostly increased as a result of the source review project. Much work needs to be done on them and could possibly even warrant a separate WR project to tidy them up. --Ronni 21:47, 5 February 2009 (EST)


Source vs Repository [23 September 2009]

This thread (copied under Internment.net - Part 1) originated at the source renaming project talk page, and as the subject diverted from handling of the Internment.net site specifically as a Source or Repository (or both), it lead to a broader discussion of the criteria for both sources and repositories. The discussion is continued below (new discussion begins at Internment.net - Part 2) in the hope and expectation of formulating a broader concensus on more concise practices for users (new and old) and promoting acceptable guidelines for both the use and labeling of sources and repositories, taking into account books on the subject like "Evidence Explained," "Evidence! Citation & Analysis," Evaluate Information Sources and other publications, websites, and standard practices of popular genealogy programs in citing sources and repositories. --BobC 14:12, 23 September 2009 (EDT)


Interment.net - Part 1 [23 September 2009]

In tackling the duplicates, I have a website question. There are 61 WeRelate sources that come up when I search for Interment.net. Some are state-wide subsets (Source:Cemetery Records of Oklahoma), some are county subsets (Source:Cemeteries of Middlesex County) and some are cemetery specific (Source:Zion Hill Cemetery).

My sense is that Interment.net should be a repository, and that (somehow) all the cemeteries covered by Interment.net should be places and/or sources, with interment.net cited as a repository. For today, I will move the Interment.net source to a repository and leave the other Interment sources (all of which are website sources and can be dealt with later) as sources. This came up, tho, because of a duplicate source name. The Interment.net sources are mostly named as variations on "Cemetery records of XXXX," which is likely to cause dupes. Should I rename them "Cemetery records of XXXX (Interment.net)"?

And, in the duplicate I'm looking at, Oklahoma Cemeteries, the *other* "Cemetery records of Oklahoma" is a FHC microfilm of a particular typescript list of some Oklahoma cemeteries and individuals interred. There is no indication that the FHC list has any similarity or overlap with Interment.net list (although the FHC list does not provide any specifics on which cemeteries are covered) so I don't think Interment.net works as a repository for this source. Any thoughts on this? --Brenda (kennebec1) 09:58, 15 September 2009 (EDT)

I should note that on a few of the Interment.net sources, Jbean has already begun renaming to add (interment.net) at the end of the title, so making that change would be consistent with previous changes. And it doesn't *appear* that any of these are linked to yet. --Brenda (kennebec1) 10:03, 15 September 2009 (EDT)

Hi Brenda, this would have been my next question. I quit because I felt as if I was hampering y'all's great work because; I obviously am not current on all of the decisions and the project page is not detailed enough to discern all of these decisions. I hate to butt in again; but interment.net should be the source; at least as indicated by Mills in Evidence Explained. Page 233: ...You will also note that your source for these online records is the database-not the cemetery or the marker.--Beth 11:07, 15 September 2009 (EDT)
I suspected this would have been your next question as soon as I looked at it... :-). I like the solution offered below and I don't think anyone has used any of the internment.net sources. --Brenda (kennebec1) 16:05, 15 September 2009 (EDT)
I vote for deleting the internment.net state sources. This is an artificial division of the internment.net database, which doesn't really distinguish between states any more than it does any other way. If we want ONE page, that's fine, but state-specific pages are silly and useless.--Amelia 12:34, 15 September 2009 (EDT)
Agreed. --Beth 13:19, 15 September 2009 (EDT)
I think it would be appropriate for the Internment.net site to be identified as a Repository. The state listings are nothing more than subcategories of the website, therefore should not be included separately. The individual cemetery is a Placename and the page identifying an individual posting for a decedent should be considered a MySource if used within WR. That's my take. --BobC 12:18. 21 September 2009 (EDT)
Well, Bob I have been mulling over your comments all day and fail to find the logic in classifying Interment.net as a repository. First of all it does not meet the criteria presently listed for a MySource. Second, it does not meet the criteria presently listed for a repository. The definition of a repository is an archive, government office, library, or other facility where research materials are held according to page 828 in Evidence Explained. If we are actually trying to educate people on the correct method to use in citing their sources; why would one wish to muddy the issue by classifying Interment.net or Findagrave as a repository?--Beth 23:55, 21 September 2009 (EDT)
Thanks for taking the time to mull, Beth, but I have to agree with Brenda & Amelia. With regards to the well-respected Evidence Explained, let's go beyond the book and take a look at both ends of the spectrum of the word Repository, both from a broad non-genealogical use of the word and from specific uses of the term within WeRelate. According to Dictionary.com, the Random House Dictionary definition of a repository is, "(1) a receptacle or place where things are deposited, stored, or offered for sale. (2) an abundant source or supply; storehouse: a repository of information;" the American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language defines the word as, "A place where things may be put for safekeeping;" and according to About.com, a repository is, "a collection of resources that can be accessed to retrieve information. Repositories often consist of several databases tied together by a common search engine."
Since those definitions may not be sufficiently grounded in genealogy for you, let's take a more specific look at WeRelate references to a Repository. According to the WeRelate Repository Portal it says, "Repository pages are for physical locations of genealogical material such as archives and libraries, and for significant virtual locations such as major genealogy websites." I would say both Internment.net and Find-A-Grave are both significant virtual locations and major genealogy websites.
While I concur that Inernment.net and Find-A-Grave are not physical locations or cannot be considered as original depositories for these records, there is precedence for citing major genealogy websites as repositories here at WeRelate, such as the discussion at an image talk page in identifying Footnote.com as a repository, discussion at a source page talk page in changing the listing of the US National Archives from a Source to a Repository, and the discussion at a source pages talk page regarding the designation of Google Books and NEHGS as repositories.
If you read my message above a little closer, please note I did not say that the Internment.net site should be listed as a MySource, only the individual page for a decendent's listing, if used by a user as a source for their ancestor or family member's data. We had previously decided that an individual newspaper article or obituary should not be shown as a Source, but should be identified as a MySource instead. See Help:Source pages and its talk page for further information and discussion on the topic.
To me, this is a very logical approach, despite Mills's fine work. This is not "muddying the issue," but emphasizing standardization, consistency, and uniformity within the WeRelate community. --BobC 06:10, 22 September 2009 (EDT)
I can see both sides of this issue. The original thinking behind having repositories for major genealogical websites was that websites like Ancestry.com and NEHGS contain multiple collections, and each collection would be considered a Source in the website repository. A website like Interment.net contains a single collection. I think we ought to have a Source for it, so that people who want to can cite it directly from a Person/Family page by including information about the specific record they're citing in the source citation without having to create a MySource. Since it is a major genealogical website it also qualifies as a repository. I don't think it hurts to have both, although I don't think we want to have too many website repositories.--Dallan 10:49, 22 September 2009 (EDT)
This type of issue is what led me to request that you defer handling of websites until after the rename when we can discuss it properly. There was no need to try to rush into what is going to become a complex (and probably touchy) issue. There are some websites that obviously should be publicly-maintained sources (source namespace). There some other websites that obviously should be privately-maintained sources (MySource namespace). Figuring out where the divider is in the middle is hard! Writing rules for a user to follow is harder! Getting users to follow the rules is probably impossible!! --Judy (jlanoux) 11:15, 22 September 2009 (EDT)

The reason this came up was not because Interment.net was a website, but because there were numerous sources for various subsets of the Interment.net site, and they were causing duplicate page names. Interesting that we are now debating this, as based on the earlier responses and to resolve the duplicates, I have already deleted all the subsidiary page names, unless they were cited by someone. I believe only one was actually used as a source, and that person did in fact use Interment.net as the source (the whole site, not a subsidiary), adding the details in the person page. I redirected that source to the generic Source:Interment.net Cemetery Records Online.

And by my mistake, there is actually both a Interment.net Respository and an Interment.net Source at this time, so for now, the status quo is that Interment.net is both a repository and a source.

As Judy notes, getting users to follow our (hotly debated) rules is probably impossible. And in this case, I agree with Dallan that it probably doesn't matter a great deal. With Source:Interment.net Cemetery Records Online, a user can add details as they need to the person page. If a user chooses to keep MySources, Repository:Interment.Net allows others to find the specific reference if they need it.

I do think variations on this discussion are going to continue to come up, as we don't have a good method or place to put the wide variety of finding aids on the internet. Some are sources for info, in part. Many are pages of links. Some are really good pages of links, like Cyndi's List. They are neither repositories or sources, but they can be useful places for people to begin searching. When such a page is specific to a topic (i.e. immigration), it can be linked to in the research guide. When a page is specific to a place, it can be linked to on the Place page. When a page is specific to a surname, it can be linked to on the Surname page. But for other, less significant portals (i.e. most of those smaller than Ancestry), how to categorize them and put them somewhere in WeRelate so they can be useful to searchers is a dilemma. --Brenda (kennebec1) 11:46, 22 September 2009 (EDT)

I am not debating the issue of deleting the subsidiary pages; I agreed with that decision. I just happen to disagree that Interment.net or similar databases should be listed as a repository as opposed to a source page that one may cite. I agree that Ancestry and Footnote are repositories. If you wish to have a source page and repository page it doesn't bother me in the least as long as I am not forced to use the repository page. I am interested in attempting to follow the current standards in genealogy. Three genie programs that I know of use Mill's as a standard, Legacy, Roots Magic, and Family Tree Maker. I see no valid reason for WeRelate to do any differently. It would seem to me that following some sort of standard would make the site more user friendly and enable easier transfer of data by gedcom export. Also sometimes in the future if WeRelate were to have its own genie program; it would be helpful if the program was compatible to other well know genie programs. I am more concerned with my source citations than which repository I obtained the information from. --Beth 12:35, 22 September 2009 (EDT)
Probably good we're having this discussion (debate) now. Although it can be a fine line between the two (source and repository), I think it can be pretty simple when looked at rationally rather than dynamically: the repository is where the source was obtained, the source is a record of what was obtained, and the data is the information that the source contained. In the case of an obituary record, the respository is where the document was located, the source is the obituary itself, and the data elements (such as names, dates and locations) are what the source identified. So the way I see it, the repository for these obituary records can be the local courthouse, the Internment.net site, the local newspaper, or my personal collection. And the source will always be the obituary or an extracted record of it. I know this view would probably not comply with the Elizabeth Shown Mills standard (or Beth's). --BobC 14:59, 22 September 2009 (EDT)
I think it's good to have these "what's the right way to" discussions to a point because it helps us clarify our thinking around possible community policies. But I think it's also worthwhile to ask: (1) is this something that I can clearly explain to new users? (2) Is it necessary for them to obey this policy in order to participate effectively in the community environment? And (3) If they do it wrong, am I willing to police the pages and correct them? Whenever we tell people that not only do they have to learn a new system to use WeRelate, but they also have to change they way they record their genealogy, we lose some people. So I think we have to be careful about the policies we set. We have to pick our battles. In cases where it doesn't matter greatly which way we go, or even if we go both ways, I think we can leave it at that.
To me this seems like a battle that's not worth it. We could recommend one way or another on a help page for repositories, or list the reasoning behind each approach and let people choose what suits them.--Dallan 15:48, 22 September 2009 (EDT)
Since we seem to be getting somewhat off-topic (relating to the Source Renaming Project) with unclear concensus and uncertain interest to go any further on this here, I'll not beat this horse to death. In an effort to answer those questions you raised, Dallan, I'd like to put some information together on the Repository Portal or it's talk page to see if we can formulate a more consise practice for users (new and old) and promote an acceptable guideline on both the use and labeling of sources and repositories, taking in mind professional publications like Beth emphasized above on the subject and other genealogical programs' standard practices in those areas. --BobC 21:48, 22 September 2009 (EDT)

Hi Bob, sounds good to me or we can move the discussion to your talk page and then regroup on the portal talk; either one.--Beth 22:05, 22 September 2009 (EDT)--BobC 14:12, 23 September 2009 (EDT)


Interment.net - Part 2 [28 September 2009]

Hi Bob, oops, I wasn't watching this page. I will try and clarify some of my concerns with specific examples and my understanding of the methodology of sources, mysources, and repositories on WeRelate.

First, when one discusses sources; there seems to be some confusion between the source and the source citation and this confusion is illustrated by some of the examples on the portal, MySources.

  • Example-Birth certificate - Now birth certificate is listed as an example under MySource. I find this one totally confusing. Sources are defined as community sources publicly available and of interest to a wide variety of individuals. Footnote.com, a repository, has a database of Texas birth certificates. This database is a source that is publicly available and probably of interest to a wide variety of individuals. So my citation is for a Source not a MySource and I cited the database under SOURCE and listed Footnote as the repository.
  • Cemetery records - This one seems to fall in both MySource and Source. For instance I have tombstone pics of all of the graves in a private Jones family cemetery. When I upload the images and cite them; I would do so using a MySource.

However; what if I create a page for the Jones Family Cemetery on Interment.net or Find-a-Grave transcribe the inscriptions, etc. So then Joe Blow comes along and finds the information and uses it for evidence in his family file. Both these sites are publicly available and should be of interest to a wide variety of people. Shouldn't Joe Blow cite the database where he obtained the information as a SOURCE vs. MYSOURCE?

Confusion regarding what is a repository? Well, it is rather confusing but the problem with labeling one giant database a repository is that it forces one to cite a repository rather than a source. Does this make any sense at all or am I looking at this from the wrong way round?

Beth, I don't think there is a "wrong" way to look at it when we are trying to explore. In fact, you did a great job of illustrating why it is a sticky issue. People look at things from opposite ends of the telescope. Interment.net also makes a great example to use in this exploration. I'm going to give it a shot:

The ultimate "source" is the collective set of grave markers or records for burials in a cemetery. The information may be available to you in several forms:

  • one could go directly to the original (the marker or the record)
  • one could use a published book
  • one could use somebody's personal web site
  • one could use a 'find a grave' entry
  • one could use a list posted on internment.net

So, if looked at this way (and this is the perception we are trying to promote in the source project) interment.net and all of it's brother entries on the above list are all "repositories" where the desired source information can be located. Now what one cites is the particular person's record which is an entry in the 'source' which is the collection; and also one must describe the various form which one used - in your case interment.net's listing.

The confusion occurs when people start their thought process with their personal citation and forget to think about the recordset that they are using. They want to go directly to the object they looked at. These same people tend to be the ones who try to quote ESM to justify their position. Elizabeth does not tell one how to organize a database, but she does emphasize that one must detail the specific version used. In the paragraph above, the citation I describe one creating is perfectly in accordance with the accepted practice. One must cite the specific record used from the larger set, and one must indicate the version used (book with edition, web site, original, whatever).

If we can get people to understand this approach, it will become much simpler for them to find and cite their source efficiently and correctly. There will be only one page for every recordset (examples: marriages in this county, burials in that cemetery) thus one source page to go to. Then once there, they can go through the various repository listings looking for the version that they are using. We even hope to have a field where the citation forms can be pre-written and stored in the database for the user to select. Some glorious day when this comes to pass and all the records are populated, the user would click on the repository and his Person page would have the stub of a citation entered, needing only the details such as page and record name added for a completely acceptable citation to be created.

We are calling these various forms "repositories" because, in the genealogical sense, a repository is something that contains one or more sources. If the source is a physical object like a book or paper record, then we think of repository as a physical place. But in the new virtual world of the internet, a repository can be a web site.

Like places, citations contain a series of elements ranging from large to small, or from general to specific if you prefer. When creating databases we have to arbitrarily slice it into discrete pieces. In most genealogy databases, these wind up being called: repository, source, citation details.

Does it make sense to see it this way? Can we make it work? --Judy (jlanoux) 18:28, 23 September 2009 (EDT)

Not sure. Show me how my source citation using Find-a-grave would be exhibited on this page [1].--Beth 19:13, 23 September 2009 (EDT)
What is interesting about Internment.net (and Find-a-grave) as examples is that depending on your perspective, they are both repository and source. Beth, when you mentioned Birth Certificate above (I think that was you), my interpretation of that example of a My Source was that A PARTICULAR (singular or personal set) birth certificate is a MySource - meaning it relates to one person in particular (or one family in particular). When used as a reference, a MySource implies a source that is personal, unique; not the Vital Records of Bath, Maine, but Brenda's collection of Blaisdell Vital Record certificates, for example. For a grave, a photo of a particular gravestone, or a written record from your personal visit to a cemetery, is a MySource. i.e., MySource is "Uncle Jack's Grave"
A locality collection of vital records is, to me, clearly a Source (Bath's Vital Records), as it covers a wide range of people from many families, in some kind of geography and time delimited way (which may or may not be important to the definition). Anyway, if I want to use a particular citation from that source, it must be specified in some way. So on Uncle Jack's page, his death is cited from the Bath Vital Records, Book II, p. 102.
A repository has, I think, the critical characteristic of being a location (virtual and/or actual) for many sources. Thus, the Maine State Archives is a repository, in so far as MANY sources can be located at that facility, including Bath Vital Records.
So, Interment.net and Find-a-grave can function as either a source and/or a repository in this way: Used as a Source, one specifies exactly where on the website (what cemetery in what locality) the particular information is found. But this may "fudge" the real-world definition of source to some extent, as the "locality" for Interment.net and find-a-grave is "Anywhere."
In the alternative, these webpages function as a Repository, a collection of MANY sources (meaning many individual collections of graveyard data from particular localities and/or surnames). Rather than treating every single cemetery page on Interment.net or Find-a-grave as a source, Bob's original thought was that any SPECIFIC citation of a grave record would be "personal" (like my Uncle Jack's grave) and a MySource, with the webpage as the repository (location where the source can be found) of that record.
I don't think either approach is wrong, and I don't think it matters really. I think seeing Interment.net and Find-a-grave as Sources is more likely to be what people will assume, thus to try to "force" WeRelate users to use these sites as Repositories would be an uphill battle. But I think seeing them as Repositories is a reasonable perspective; they are clearly collections of a wide variety of individual databases and records and photos, etc., of varying degrees of quality.
These websites are not the only a gray area between sources and repositories, obviously. For example, I mentioned the Maine State Archives above, a repository. One of their collections is of Maine Vital Records as reported to the state. The archives has created several indexes to those records, and they are already WeRelate Sources. But my personal collection of Blaisdell Vital Records is a subset of the microfilmed originals sent to the state. It would be correct, I think, to cite the Maine State Archives Vital Records Collection as a Source, with the specific birth or death date and location as the citation details on the Person page. But I could also, correctly, cite Uncle jack's death certificate as a MySource and enter the Maine State Archives as a repository of that data. Since I have the original (or an image of the original, actually), it would NOT be correct to choose the one of the Index sources that already exist in WeRelate.
At least, that's my interpretation of what I've learned from all of you regarding sources... --Brenda (kennebec1) 22:38, 23 September 2009 (EDT)
I see things the same way as Brenda:
  • citation=individual record
  • source=collection of records
  • repository=place containing multiple collections
And since we don't allow citations to link directly to Repository pages, I'd link a "Find-a-Grave" citation on a Person/Family page to Source:Find A Grave, with the name/url of the specific record in the citation details.--Dallan 13:49, 28 September 2009 (EDT)

Formulation of Standard Practices [23 September 2009]

Questions to consider:

  • What is a Source?
  • What is a Repository?
  • Can a Source also be a Repository?
  • Can a Repository also be a Source?

Tackling these questions are probably a good place to start. --BobC 14:21, 23 September 2009 (EDT)


What is a Source and How is a Source Page Used? [5 October 2009]

Regarding the use of a Source Page at WeRelate, according to the Source Portal header, "Source pages contain information about a genealogical source. These pages can contain links to online sources, research tips for using certain sources, information on reliability or availability, and any other genealogically useful information." --BobC 14:46, 23 September 2009 (EDT)

You ask one question, but you answer another. The question being asked is what is a SOURCE, not what is a source PAGE? Let's break it down. jillaine 14:38, 4 October 2009 (EDT)
Is the new question a better one? --BobC 09:59, 5 October 2009 (EDT)

The Help:Source pages and its associated talk page cover many of the qestions and general information for Source Pages. The Help:MySource pages and its associated talk page cover a number of frequently asked questions related to MySource Pages. --BobC 12:40, 5 October 2009 (EDT)


What is a Repository and How is a Repository Page Used? [4 October 2009]

Regarding the use of a Repository Page at WeRelate, according to the Repository Portal header, "Repository pages are for physical locations of genealogical material such as archives and libraries, and for significant virtual locations such as major genealogy websites." --BobC 14:47, 23 September 2009 (EDT)

I might suggest what isn't specified in this definition is the concept that a repository holds a *variety* of sources. It is a "container" of sources in some way. --Brenda (kennebec1) 21:44, 23 September 2009 (EDT)
I agree. What's implied but not stated explicitly in the definition is that repositories are places that contain usually multiple sources.--Dallan 13:54, 28 September 2009 (EDT)

Here are a few quoted references to consider:

  • In Dictionary.com, it defines a repository as, "a receptacle or place where things are deposited, stored, or offered for sale; an abundant source or supply; storehouse: a repository of information; a place where things may be put for safekeeping."
  • From the book, Printed Sources: A Guide to Published Genealogical Resources, page 23 reads, "A genealogical repository is simply a place in which genealogical sources are kept and used. There are many difference repositories for printed sources: it is essential to understand and use each type of repository."
  • In ESM's aforementioned reference guide, Evidence Explained: Citing History Sources..., on page 58 she writes, "Within this architecture"--(that is, in looking at a website's core elements to cite for a source citation)--"a website is not a repository. Conceptually, the repository is the Internet or the World Wide Web. The distinction matters. When a citation template within our data-managment software asks us to identify a repository, we invoke a basic rule covered at 2.19: in published citations, repositories are cited only for manuscript material exclusive to the repository where we used it. Repositories are not cited for published sources. To enter a website's name as our repository would be to say that the website's name is not an essential part of the citation."

I'll save my personal reviews, opinions and critiques of the above quotes for a later time. --BobC 23:46, 23 September 2009 (EDT)

Well, I won't. ;-) I completely disagree with ESM on "Conceptually, the repository is the Internet or the World Wide Web." In my mind that translates to the highway system used to get to the LDS FHL in Salt Lake City. The FHL is the repository, not the highway we used to arrive there. Therefore, Ancestry.com is a repository and the Internet/Web is the highway we used to get there.
However, I do find the following quite interesting (again from ESM, but my emphasis):
"in published citations, repositories are cited only for manuscript material exclusive to the repository where we used it. Repositories are not cited for published sources. To enter a website's name as our repository would be to say that the website's name is not an essential part of the citation."
I never knew this. Why would repositories be used in such a way? (i.e., only for manuscript material exclusive to the repository where we used it) ?? That makes no sense to me. (I wish ESM was over here.) jillaine 08:18, 4 October 2009 (EDT)
  • John Ellingsworth wrote a column entitled, Data Mining in Genealogy, about the peculiarities with genealogical data repositories and the future implications of data mining. "Another area of further research is the contribution of data from social networking sites to the genealogical data repository. By leveraging the vast amount of information being published online in such application as Facebook, MySpace or LinkedIn, genealogy researchers can mine relationships and social contexts of living members to develop enhanced understanding of family dynamics." Are we prepared to consider social networking sites as legitimate repositories of genealogical information? --BobC 17:12, 24 September 2009 (EDT)

Just joining the party. After reading all of the above (and btw, Beth, you ROCK for how you've managed to use the system to generate citations. Wow...), anyway, after reading all of the above, I propose the following revised definition/help-text for REPOSITORY:


Citations, Sources, Repositories - Oh My! [5 October 2009]

I'm having difficulty understanding when and how to use each of citations, sources and repositories. Please help!

Think of it this way:

  1. The Repository is where you went to find the source. This is usually a physical or virtual location that houses multiple collections of sources. (Physical: NEHGS, National Archives, Family History Library; Virtual: Ancestry.com, NewEnglandAncestors.org, FamilySearch.org). When WeRelate imports a GEDCOM, it takes what is found in the ______ field and places it in the Repository field on WeRelate.
  2. The Source is what you found: a vital record, a book outlining the descendancy of John Adams, a newspaper, a census record, a death certificate, a specific database or a virtual location housing a single collection (Internment.net, Find-A-Grave). When WeRelate imports a GEDCOM, it takes what is found in the [Source Title] field and places it in the Source name field.
  3. The Citation is the content specific to the person or event on the page located within the source that references the person or event you are documenting. E.g., "Marriages 1675, page 10, 12 May: Jacob Schlenker, Hans Schlenker vogt son, married Maria, single daughter of Jacob Hausser, schmidt." When WeRelate imports a GEDCOM, it uses what is in the genie's "citation text" field and places it in the citation text field for the particular use of the source on the WeRelate page. [Can someone rewrite that more clearly?]

(And then we should build a good example, probably drawing on the excellent work of Beth!)

-- jillaine 13:04, 26 September 2009 (EDT) (updated)

Yes, Jillaine this is my viewpoint, but not shared by everyone. But I am not sure that WeRelate has progressed enough in the gedcom export of sources to encourage users to enter citations to source pages rather than mysources. I created a test gedcom and exported. I then imported to Legacy 7. The sources are a mess. Will email you a copy so you can open in your genie program and understand my comments. --Beth 11:28, 26 September 2009 (EDT)
Sources and MySources appear in GEDCOM exports very similarly, with the following three differences:
  • One difference is that exported GEDCOM's include the text in the big text box for MySource pages, but not for Source pages. I omit the text in the big text field for Source pages because I'm not sure how many people want to see things like usage notes that tend to be on source pages.
  • Another difference that I can tell is that Source pages have separate fields for publisher, place issued, date issued, series name, page number, and references, while MySource pages lump all these fields together into a single field called "publication information". GEDCOM's also lump all these fields together into a single field called "publication information", so when I export a Source page into a GEDCOM, I have to lump the separate fields on the Source page into a single "publication information" field in the GEDCOM: series name. place issued: publisher, date issued. volume / film# / pages. references /cites I can re-arrange the order of the fields if someone has a better idea here.
  • MySource's include repository information, Source's do not. Currently we have no way to select which of the repositories listed on a Source that you want to reference. I could always export the first repository, since many sources have only one, but I wasn't sure about this.
Both Source and MySource pages result in GEDCOM sources that include links to the current version of the page and to the page history in the text of the source. These links are required in order to conform to the license. When I created reports using Legacy 6, the links didn't appear in the reports. They didn't show up in reports I created from PAF either. I don't have Legacy 7, but Legacy 6 has tons of options to customize reports. If you don't want the links in the source texts to show up in reports, see if there is an option to omit them.
Beth, I agree that the Legacy 7 reports you sent me didn't look very good. I made a couple of changes (omitting extra references to the license) to how sources appear in exported GEDCOM's to try to improve them. Like I say, I can't omit the links back to the source pages because I believe they're required to give proper attribution to the page authors, but you may be able to omit them from your reports by unchecking an option somewhere. I'd like you and others to export a GEDCOM using the new format and try printing reports with them.--Dallan 23:51, 28 September 2009 (EDT)
mm... why would one ever enter citations on source pages? Shouldn't the citations be on the person pages? Or am I misunderstanding you, Beth? jillaine 13:06, 26 September 2009 (EDT)
Well, yes Jillaine, sorry I have other things on my mind today. Yep, please enter your citations on person or family pages not the source pages. I was trying to distinguish between sources and mysources and perhaps one would be wise to enter all as mysources until the gedcom export is further developed.

GEDCOM Imports

First off, I hope that we're not encouraging users to not cite Source pages just because we don't like how they're showing up in exported GEDCOM's! I'll take a look at the format to see if it can be improved later today or tomorrow, but after putting untold hours into improving the source wiki, it seems counter-productive to tell people not to use it because we don't like how sources appear in gedcom exports.

As for how gedcom sources and repositories are imported, it's difficult to say because different desktop genealogy programs label the gedcom fields differently. But here is an example that I just created by uploading a small PAF to the sandbox: John Doe at sandbox.werelate.org. By clicking on the source citation on this page, you can see that the master source information appears as a MySource, and that the fields in the GEDCOM source and the related GEDCOM repository record have been added to the MySource page.

Currently we don't support importing your GEDCOM sources as Source pages. You can match your GEDCOM source to an existing Source page, but you can't create a new Source page from your GEDCOM source. Eventually we'll support creating Source pages from GEDCOM sources during import. When we do, the system will display a new Source page in "edit" mode, with the fields pre-populated from your GEDCOM source, and give you a chance to edit the fields before saving the page.

If your GEDCOM contains different "master sources" for each record instead of a single master source for the entire collection (i.e., if you've listed the individual person's name in the master source record instead of in the citation detail), then we'll want you to create MySource pages from the sources in your GEDCOM instead of community Source pages. But if your GEDCOM master sources refer to collections (e.g., County birth records) rather than individual records (e.g., John Doe's birth record), then we'll eventually encourage you to either link to or add Source pages for those GEDCOM sources, once we add that capability.--Dallan 14:51, 28 September 2009 (EDT)


"Citations" versus "Facts"

Jillaine, I like and appreciate your attempt at tackling and capsulizing the examples above. I agree with much of it, but I'm not sure "citation" is the correct term for a "fact" reflected or cited on the source. To me, a citation (used as a noun) is...

  • "A quoting of an authoritative source for substantiation"
  • "A source so cited; a quotation" or
  • "The act of citing or quoting a reference to an authority or a precedent"

Why not just use the word "fact"?

On About.com's genealogy section, the article entitled, Cite Your Genealogy Sources: A Guide to Documenting Your Genealogy Research, it uses the words Source and Citations together and interchangably, as in the below statement...

"Source citations in genealogy serve to:
  • Let others know on which records you based your facts (did the birth date you have for your great-grandmother come from a published family history, a tombstone or a birth certificate?)
  • Assist others in evaluating your research (if you were lucky enough to find a complete family tree for your grandfather on the Internet, wouldn't you want to know where the information came from?)
  • Provide a reference in cases where a newly found fact appears to conflict with previous assumptions.
  • Help you to go easily go back to a previously used source when you realize you may have missed information or you have found new details which may lead to more information from that source.
In other words, properly citing your sources leaves a big audit trail for others to follow, letting them know what documents you looked at, so they can judge your family tree connections and assumptions for themselves. In conjunction with research logs, proper source documentation also makes it much easier to pick up where you left off with your genealogy research after time spent focusing on other things."

Regarding "Rules for Great Source Citations," it adds...

"Follow the Formula - While there is no scientific formula for citing every type of source, a good rule of thumb is to work from general to specific:
  • Author - the one who authored the book, provided the interview, or wrote the letter
  • Title - if it is an article, then the title of the article, followed by the title of the periodical
  • Publication Details -
  1. Place of publication, name of publisher and date of publication, written in parentheses (Place: Publisher, Date)
  2. Volume, issue and page numbers for periodicals
  3. series and roll or item number for microfilm
  • Where You Found It - repository name and location, Web site name and URL, cemetery name and location, etc.
  • Specific Details - page number, entry number and date, date you viewed a Web site, etc."

--BobC 15:45, 28 September 2009 (EDT)


New Help Text Model [15 October 2009]

Jillaine, rather than change your draft above, I'll revise here to see what you think. Add comments below box and I'll modify as recommended.

FAQ: I'm having difficulty understanding when to use and how to differentiate between sources and repositories. Please help!
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: Ancestry.com, NewEnglandAncestors.org, FamilySearch.org, RootsWeb.com). 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 Internment.net, 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.
Here is an example created by uploading a small PAF GEDCOM file to the sandbox: John Doe at sandbox.werelate.org. By clicking on the source citation on this page, you can see that the master source information appears as a MySource, and that the fields in the GEDCOM source and the related GEDCOM repository record have been added to the MySource page.
An important consideration in GEDCOM importing is how the desktop genealogy program labels the GEDCOM fields. Currently we don't support importing your GEDCOM sources as Source pages. They're imported as MySource pages instead. You can match your GEDCOM source to an existing Source page, but you can't create a new Source page from your GEDCOM source yet. Eventually we'll support creating Source pages from GEDCOM sources during import. When we do, the system will display a new Source page in "edit" mode, with the fields pre-populated from your GEDCOM source, and give you a chance to edit the fields before saving the page.
If your GEDCOM contains different "master sources" for each record instead of a single master source for the entire collection (i.e., if you've listed the individual person's name in the master source record instead of in the citation detail), then we'll want you to create MySource pages from the sources in your GEDCOM instead of community Source pages. But if your GEDCOM master sources refer to collections (e.g., County birth records) rather than individual records (e.g., John Doe's birth record), then we'll eventually encourage you to either link to or add Source pages for those GEDCOM sources, once we add that capability.

Let me know what you think, Jillaine and others. Would also appreciate a response from Dallan validating the above technical process and use of the copied text. --BobC 10:33, 1 October 2009 (EDT)

Looks good. I've added some comments (below). --Dallan 16:29, 2 October 2009 (EDT)
Your comments, observations and technical remarks added to box above. Please review and add addtional information if needed. Also responded to your comment about a repository help page below. --BobC 12:59, 5 October 2009 (EDT)
Everything above looks accurate, thanks! Before putting it on help pages I think it might be best to separate this information into separate pages. For example, the part that talks about what a repository is should go on Help:Repository pages. The part that talks about distinguishing between Source and MySource pages should go on Help:Source pages or Help:MySource pages if it's not there already. The part that talks about what happens to the information in your GEDCOM when you upload it to WeRelate probably belongs on Help:GEDCOM. What do you think? Would you be willing to migrate it to these pages?--Dallan 00:26, 16 October 2009 (EDT)

Regarding the Repository section above:

I wouldn't encourage people to create Repository pages for websites. Repository pages for offline organizations are helpful because they can include contact information, hours of operation, etc. I don't think there's a lot you can say about most websites. I don't think we should preclude Repository pages for websites, just not encourage them. --Dallan 16:29, 2 October 2009 (EDT)
Mmm... Is this Dallan commenting above? I have to disagree with both you and ESM on this matter. See below. I think that the # of websites we call repositories will be limited-- especially by using the distinction of multiple vs singular collections (which is why I used those terms). And I think there is information about web sites that we can add. Some require membership in the society (ala NEHGS membership is required for accessing newenglandancestors.org); some require a paid subscription (ala Ancestry.com). Some are free (ala Google Books). jillaine 08:05, 4 October 2009 (EDT)
I'm fine with creating Repository pages for a few websites. I just don't think it will be necessary to create very many of them. I think we're saying the same thing here.--Dallan 00:26, 16 October 2009 (EDT)
Also, when a GEDCOM is imported, the repository information is captured in the MySource pages that are created. --Dallan 16:29, 2 October 2009 (EDT)
But from Which Field in the imported GEDCOM? That's what I'd like to know and to explain (because there will be people who want to know this.) jillaine 08:05, 4 October 2009 (EDT)
GEDCOM's have separate Repository records. (Multiple "master source" records can refer to the same "repostitory" record. It's been my experience that repository records are rarely used. If they are used, then during import the system will copy the information about the repository (e.g., name, address) into the MySource pages that refers to the repository.--Dallan 00:26, 16 October 2009 (EDT)
You don't need to do anything unless you decide to replace your GEDCOM source with a community Source page during the GEDCOM review process, in which case you might want to edit the community Source page to add where you found the source to the repositories section of that page. --Dallan 16:29, 2 October 2009 (EDT)

Regarding the Source section above:

I would add: 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.--Dallan 16:29, 2 October 2009 (EDT)
I'm with you that we need to explain the distinction between Sources and MySources; I'm not sure that HERE is where we do that. jillaine 08:05, 4 October 2009 (EDT)
I'm not sure that the phrase housing a single collection is important here. I might end the definition talking about how 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/item found).--Dallan 16:29, 2 October 2009 (EDT)
I use the multiple vs single to help distinguish a source from a repository. Many people do not understand this distinction. I don't think I did, initially. jillaine 08:05, 4 October 2009 (EDT)
It is a common misconception that a repository has to hold multiple sources. I don't think we should be perpetuating this idea. A repository is a holder, period. If grandma has the old Family Bible in a trunk in her attic, that is the repository even if it's the only thing she owns.--Judy (jlanoux) 14:17, 4 October 2009 (EDT)
Well, we better figure this out because I'm hearing opposite things from folks. Dallan isn't the only one who likes the idea (see above) that repositories are locations containing multiple sources. Are we really going to be supporting/encouraging a repository by the name of "Attic trunk belonging to Judy Lanoux"? What does ESM say on this? (although frankly I don't always agree with her) jillaine 14:44, 4 October 2009 (EDT)
I'm fine with listing repositories that contain only a single source in the repositories section of a Source page. I just don't think we want to create Repository pages for them because we'll end up with too many mostly-useless repository pages that way.--Dallan 00:26, 16 October 2009 (EDT)

Excellent discussion. I've tried to incorporate the suggestions and recommended modifications into the boxed FAQ above. Let me know what you think before we add it to the Portal Page. --BobC 10:10, 5 October 2009 (EDT)


Sources Versus Citations

Here is an excellent article from Genealogy.com by John Wylie entitled, "How to Cite Sources". The following section on Sources versus Citations is quoted verbatim.

Before we get into the details of how to cite sources, let's take a brief look at genealogy. The genealogical research process involves finding our ancestors by collecting sources that, when combined with our own knowledge, skills, and intuition, result in evidence from which we draw conclusions. The most important cited conclusions are parent-to-child links. To be of value to others, and later on, to ourselves, the process must be thorough, disciplined, recorded, and reported.

A source is the record, however obscure or informal, from which we get our information. A citation is the link that connects a source to our conclusion. Genealogy is not a creative art, where we let our imaginations run wild. We can do that when we're trying to understand why an ancestor did something, but not when we're recording what was done.

Citations may be embedded in parentheses within the text, shown as footnotes (at the bottom of each page) or as endnotes (same as footnotes but at the end of a chapter or at the end of the work), I like to use embedded footnotes in my research notebook, or in brief reports that I send to fellow researchers. Otherwise, I prefer my citations to be shown as endnotes.

Sources can also be listed in a Bibliography (or reference) section in bibliographic style. Entries in the Bibliography do not contain locators (page numbers) and are not linked to specific information and thus are not substitutes for citations.

Citations are links between a recorded event and one of the sources used as evidence to support our recorded conclusions about that event. To be effective, citations must be complete and consistent. While you don't have to use one of the accepted forms for citations, a decision to use your "own" style is likely to communicate a lack of discipline or lack of understanding, either of which may cause readers to discount the validity of your work. Some of the more respected style guides are listed in the resources section at the end of this article. The citation forms used in this article are taken mostly from The Chicago Manual of Style (for traditional sources) and the Modern Language Associates (MLA) style guides found online.

--BobC 16:20, 28 September 2009 (EDT)


Beth has another example [16 October 2009]

I am adding this to hopefully add to the help pages on MySource and Source. This one is rather convoluted. I don't object to using MySource, but have some questions.

  • I have an obit for Coy McCullough published on 23 Apr 1992 in the Portervile Evening Recorder.
My opinion is that the source is the newspaper and the obit is the record that I am citing.
  • The obit was obtained from the Sequoia Genealogical Society. This society is responsible for the Tulare City Library Genealogy Room in the Tulare City Library and the obit was furnished by volunteers from the society. I visited a library today on another matter in just such a room and this society has no connection to the library other than they are allowed to use a room in the back of the building. The library provides no other support but I don't know about the relationship between Sequoia and their city library. My preference is to reference the society as the repository.
  • Now I have no idea of how many people may eventually use this newspaper as a source; so I gather from the recent discussions on the source project talk page that if a source page has not been created for a newspaper and the newspaper is not from a major metropolitan area I should make this a mysource.

Clarifications appreciated. --Beth 20:38, 29 September 2009 (EDT)

Hi Beth. In my opinion, the record and source are the same. If you actually have the obituary itself (which can be considered an original source), it would probably be best identified as a MySource record. The identification of the newspaper (Name, Vol, Date, Issue, Page) would be part of the citation details of the source. The repository would be the Tulare County Library, with a note identifying the particular branch library annex and area the records were located in.
Let's extend this scenario out further. If you had only done an internet search for Mr. McCullough's obituary and found it at the Tulare County Obituary Index and cited that as the source, the information you'd have obtained would be the following:
McCullough, Coy R; 80; 1992; Sep 23; PER
In that case, the source (identified as a deritive or secondary source) would be the website (not the obituary), and the repository would still be identified the physical location, with a link to the website.
That's my take on it. --BobC 06:41, 1 October 2009 (EDT)

I think we need to avoid telling people how to record their genealogy as much as possible. Some things I think we have to say, like don't create community Source pages for individual census records or obits, but instead create Source pages for the census collection or newspaper, so that the Source namespace doesn't become cluttered with a bunch of sources that are uninteresting to most folks. Other than that, I think we're better off letting people use personal preference as much as possible.

In the example above, I think Beth could do one of two things:

  • Create a MySource page for the obit. MySource pages work just like "master sources" in her desktop genealogy program. Different people use "master sources" in their desktop genealogy program differently. Some people create separate "master sources" for each obit they find; others create one "master source" for the newspaper, with the information specific to each obit in the citation details for each person. I don't like the separate-master-source-per-obit approach personally, but I don't think we should preclude people from using MySources that way at WeRelate. On the other hand, if you're comfortable with the one-master-source-per-newspaper approach, then instead of creating a MySource page you might want to consider the second approach.
  • Create a Source page for the newspaper (whether it's from a major city or not), and put the information specific to the obit (name, date, page, etc.) in the source citation on the Person/Family page. The purpose of the Repositories section of the Source page is to help other people find the source (the newspaper). It seems like you could list either the society or the library and people would be able to find it. You could create a Repository page for the society or library if you wanted to share some information specific to that organization: address, contact information, operating hours, fees, etc.

Alternatively, if Beth had found the information online she could:

  • Create a source page for the website: Source:Tulare, California, United States. Tolare County Obituary Index, and link to that source page from her source citation. Regarding a repository, I would list the URL in the Repositories section of the Source page, but I wouldn't create a Repository page for the website because there wouldn't be anything specific about the website that would be worth sharing except for its URL, which you've already listed, and creating Repository pages for too many websites will just clutter up the Repository namespace.

FWIW. As a caveat, I've read but haven't memorized ESM's book on citing sources, so I'm not sure which of the above approaches best aligns with her philosophy. But I think from a practical point of view we need to allow people to do what feels most comfortable to them as often as we can. A wiki is already pretty unfamiliar and uncomfortable.--Dallan 14:35, 2 October 2009 (EDT)

I agree with Dallan; this is a useful discussion in principal, but we can't expect that any particular user of WeRelate is going to come here and know/understand exactly how "we" see things. In fact, we can't even agree on how "we" see things! So it is important that we allow for as much flexibility as possible in how users approach sources and repositories, as each new user is going to come with their own patterns, some enforced by the software they have used, as to what a source, a MySource, or a repository is. Our guidelines should be guidelines, not rigid. Beth's example is an excellent one of how the same "fact" and its source could easily be perceived by the user as a MySource, a Source, and/or a Repository.--Brenda (kennebec1) 10:28, 7 October 2009 (EDT)
I've come around to this view point as well. I've been having an email exchange with ESM and frankly, I came away from it more confused than ever. What I think of as pretty clear is obviously not. I've admired ESM forever and in general follow her guidelines, but I do NOT understand her stance on repositories at all. It makes no rational sense to me. And apparently my argument breaks down completely for her. Additional, otherwise reasonable people also cannot reach agreement about this. In the face of all that, flexibility and allowances seem to be the least worse, if not the best, solution. jillaine 10:41, 7 October 2009 (EDT)
The problem with consulting Elizabeth or dictionaries or any other book is that they are not designing software. In fact, Elizabeth resisted for many years the idea of using computers for genealogy. And there was enough bad stuff out there to provide her with good reasons.
The experts tell us only what the end result should look like. Any method which gets us there is (or should be) acceptable to them. The options we have discussed are all legitimate ways of obtaining the same end. We have a feature called a Source page, a feature called Repository pages and we have blanks on the Person page. We have chosen those names because one has to call them something and they resemble the repository, source, details continum we use when writing citations. The labels don't matter. Designing features that work efficiently to produce the desired end is what matters. We provide tools with overlapping functionality. Depending on the particular circumstances, we choose the tool most appropriate for the job at hand.
We have to keep in mind that a source page is not a source, not a citation, not anything defined by ESM. It's a tool that we have created. We hope we are working toward making it easier for the average user to make a creditable citation. If nothing else, we've created a useful link to the provide extra information about the sources we use. I've seen some great source pages while working cleanup. --Judy (jlanoux) 12:03, 7 October 2009 (EDT)

When we reach agreement on this it would be good to summarize this information and add it to the help pages. --Dallan 14:35, 2 October 2009 (EDT)

Dallan, since this is getting quite lengthy and detailed, do you think this whole discussion should be moved to a new repository help page and talk page, or just the agreed upon consensus? --BobC 12:49, 5 October 2009 (EDT)
I just created the Help:Repository pages page. Please review, comment and/or change as appropriate (not only for Dallan but for the WR community as well). --BobC 14:44, 5 October 2009 (EDT)
Nicely done, Bob. I made some slight changes. Looks good. jillaine 10:48, 7 October 2009 (EDT)
Thank you! It looks great. I just linked to it from the Help:Contents page.--Dallan 01:21, 16 October 2009 (EDT)

Well, I *will* concur with ESM that genealogy research, including citations, should not be driven by technology. Technologists do need expert genealogists to advise them in how to build appropriate tools.

But for me-- and I believe for ESM-- this repository issue is not related to technology. Well, a piece of it is, but it's boiling down to WHAT is and is not a repository. So, in that regard, it's not about the technology we use to build the desired outcome. Her argument is that a website (by the very nature that it IS a website, and ancestry.com is a website) can't be a repository-- and that it would open a can of worms if we called one website a repository and not another website. I just DO not get that at all; to me that's like saying the structure housing the NARA is a repository because it's a structure. (What is she going to do when the LDS completes the digitalization of all its content and puts it, um.... on a WEBSITE? guess the FHL collection won't be a repository anymore...) But I'm done arguing about it. I think. jillaine 14:03, 7 October 2009 (EDT)


I think that here at WeRelate a website can be listed as a repository on a Source page because we need to record where the source can be found. And in certain circumstances we might create a Repository page for the website if people have something interesting to say about it.

When we talk with ESM I think what we're really asking is how to cite websites (and sources in general) in ESM-style source references. I used to think that we would be able to generate ESM-style source references automatically from the information in the source citation and Source page. But the more I delve into it the less clear this becomes. I think we'll be able to get close, but it will probably end up requiring a human being to modify the automatically-generated reference before it conforms perfectly to ESM style, which leads to my question about what source references should look like below.--Dallan 01:25, 16 October 2009 (EDT)


What do source references look like? [16 October 2009]

I think a good question to discuss is: given the information in a source citation and a Source page, how should the source references that will eventually be displayed on Person and Family pages be generated? To start, which style should they follow (ESM defines two)? What pieces of information should be included in the reference (e.g., should the repository information on the Source page be included)? Should we allow users to edit the automatically-generated references? If so, do we let them edit the generated references on each person page individually, or is editing the generated reference on the Source page and then re-using the reference on all person pages sufficient?--Dallan 01:21, 16 October 2009 (EDT)


Categorization of Repositories [10 April 2010]

I offer the following categorization chain for Repositories, an area I think has been much neglected here at WeRelate, and invite input and suggestions for others interested in the topic:

Location categories shown above are examples for worldwide use (by continent, country and state/province). Some of the categories are presently in use (shown in blue) and others would be new if adopted (in red). Ideally, individual repositories could have multiple categorizations: by location, by focus and/or by type. Thanks.--BobC 23:15, 2 April 2010 (EDT)

You've certainly put a lot of thought into this proposal. This is definitely an area on WeRelate that needs attention. I want to offer a couple of observations.

  1. I used a great free online tool to help visual this a bit differently. The site is called Mind42. For comparison purposes, I created a visualization of your Repositories proposal along with an incomplete outline of how Wikipedia categories Museums. I note a theoretical difference between the two. This proposal (as well as the items we've been discussing at the categories project talk page) have a large-to-small aspect. By this I mean: By location-->By continent-->By country-->By state-->By county. In contrast, the WP layout is more spread out, with By continent/country/city/state, etc each coming off the main hub. This occurs with many of WP's by country or by city categories. I'm not really ready to say which one is better, but WP's layout is certainly worthy of examination.
  2. Following Wikipedia's rules for category names, landmarks (cemeteries, museums, libraries) would be in country rather than of country. Not trying to be nitpicky really! I'm just trying to not reinvent the wheel and use WP as a rough guideline.
  3. If I look at Library of Congress both here and on Wikipedia there are subtle differences. You are placing it under Category:Government archives, which I think will quickly become a category in serious need of diffusion. It also makes me ask - which Governments? Are we going to put all the world's governmental archives within this category? Wikipedia addresses it differently, using categories titled "Archives in the United States", "National Historic Landmarks in Washington, D.C.", or "Library museums in the United States" where the location is defined in the title. Note: WP does also assign it to "Film archives" which is a very small category, and specific enough to not require diffusion in the near future. --Jennifer (JBS66) 10:55, 3 April 2010 (EDT)
Appreciate your input.
Response to #1: Your two PDF references/files did not open when linked. I looked at the Mind42 application itself, and while I can see its use for certain decision-making alternatives, it was not helpful to me in visualizing this any differently. "Large to small" works both in my mind and in practical use for categorization of this sort. --BobC 02:07, 6 April 2010 (EDT)
Interesting they didn't open for you. Here is a link to their direct page here: Repositories proposal and categories Museums --Jennifer (JBS66) 05:31, 6 April 2010 (EDT)
Got them this time. I'm at work so maybe it was the version of Adobe on my personal computer which is not as updated as the one at work.
When looked at side-by-side, my proposed repository chart looks clean, well-organized, concise and non-extraneous; whereas the WP museum chart seems much more busy, somewhat convoluted, and lacking organized heirarchial flow. (My opinion, albeit with a possible bias!) Interesting to note though, it identifies a category entitled "Lists of Museums by Place." Transposed into our repository category subject, wouldn't that become Category:Repositories in Place? This has been talked about previously, so I'll add it to the list above. But that seems to be the only plus. --BobC 12:47, 6 April 2010 (EDT)
WP has 3 basic ways to find info, searching, categories, and lists. The "Lists of Museums by Place" you reference is not underneath any of their location categories, it's under their Lists of category. It organizes their many list-type pages such as List of museums in Alabama.--Jennifer (JBS66) 13:38, 6 April 2010 (EDT)
Response to #2: No problem with preposition useage, one or the other or even both. I look for WR function, not for WP compliance. I guess I just don't look at Wikipedia as the be-all and end-all for every situation we face here or as the ultimate epitome of wikidom for every possible improvement we could make here at WeRelate. It's just another online resource created, edited and modified by regular people like you and me and Dr. Phil and even Joe Schmo who never graduated from high school, all with a yearning to add a viewpoint to the ethernet. --BobC 02:07, 6 April 2010 (EDT)
Response to #3: Although I see your point in potential (I wish WR would have the problem of over-infusion for any particular category), I don't see it in reality for a long time coming. Even so, the potential growth problem in this category could be averted by subcategorizing the "Government Archives" category into the areas shown. I hesitate dividing this category into particular geographical boundries, because that overlaps the function of the "Repository by location" category, and I think it benefits everyone to keep the three areas separate (by location, by focus, and by type), even though any particular repository could be under two or even all three major categories. Since there are only about 3100 counties in United States, I don't think that level would be in "serious need of diffusion," as you say, for quite some time (even with other countries' county-level repositories added to it). --BobC 02:07, 6 April 2010 (EDT)
I like this proposal. If we were to add the place-oriented categories to the corresponding Place categories, would I assume that we would want to add Category:Repositories in North Carolina, United States as a subcategory of Category:North Carolina, United States? And if we did this, would we want to have parallel subcategories: Category:Sources in North Carolina, United States, Category:Surnames in North Carolina, United States (or perhaps Category:People in North Carolina, United States), and Category:Places in North Carolina, United States? That's what I was trying to get at in my comments at WeRelate talk:Categories project.--Dallan 14:05, 6 April 2010 (EDT)
Exactly. And thanks for weighing in on the discussion. I would add that each repository category level (i.e. at country, state, and county level if needed and used) would be linked to the parent placename at the same level; and I like your suggestion to link Sources and People likewise, although that is beyond the scope presented and discussed here.
Here is a graphic example of what I envision. (BTW, thanks to Jennifer for providing the link to Mind42 used in creating the graph. I thought the application would be more of an inutitive aid the way she described it, but it provides a good visual in any case.)
My question to you is, how much of this category creation can be automated? Would we need to handle existing repositories differently than new repositories?
Thanks again. --BobC 15:45, 6 April 2010 (EDT)

There are three things that would have to happen to automate this:

  1. The right category could have to be added to the bottom of the Repository pages.
  2. The category page could be created automatically if it did not exist
  3. When the category page was created, a template could be added automatically to the page to place the page in the right super-category(ies).

The question is, which (if any) of these things we'd like to have happen.

I think it would be better to continue this conversation at WeRelate talk:Categories project.--Dallan 21:19, 8 April 2010 (EDT)

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