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This section will provide answers to the questions most commonly asked about #GivingTuesday and our Bring Your Own Bible event. Just start by following one of the links below. If you can’t find the question you wanted to ask, don’t hesitate to contact us.

General | ScanningTranscriptionIndexing

General Questions:

  • I don't have a family Bible, can I still participate?

    Sure! During the day of the event, we'll have teams at the GFO Library and on Zoom handling the image quality review, transcription, and indexing processes. So, even if you don't have a family Bible of your own, you can help out in many other ways by giving of your time.

  • What if living persons appear on my Bible pages?

    Living persons can be redacted from the scanned images and excluded from the resulting index.

  • I'm not a GFO member, can I still participate?

    You sure can! We appreciate you giving of your time to help us out in expanding our Family Bible Records Collection.

  • Can I transcribe and index my own information from my Bible?

    Absolutely! If you feel comfortable transcribing and indexing your own family's data that would be just fine. Please keep in mind that information on living persons should be excluded. Please let us know if you have any problems or concerns along the way.

  • What information do you need from my Bible?

    Images of the cover; title page; the page with the publication or copyright data; the family register pages with records of marriages, births, and deaths (include blank register pages); other pages with signatures or handwritten notes; any inserts in the Bible related to family history (funeral cards, school programs, photos, other memorabilia). Please see our guidelines.

  • What is meant by the term "redaction"?

    When a document includes information about a living person, it is redacted and certain text contained in that document is concealed from view for privacy protection.

  • Should I just donate my Bible to the GFO?

    Although it would be best to keep your family Bible "in the family" as an heirloom, sometimes that is not always possible. The GFO would be happy to accept your family Bible as a donation. Please keep in mind that due to storage space, your donated Bible may be rehomed or discarded after the family content has been removed.

  • I acquired Bibles from estate sales or second hand stores, do you want to include them in your Bible Records collection?

    We sure do! The GFO and researchers around the world thank you for rescuing these precious items and the important vital information contained therein.

  • How soon will my information be available online online?

    We will begin posting these to the website and the library catalog in the first quarter of 2023. They will continue to be posted as they are completed.

  • Do I have to commit to volunteering an entire day?

    No, if you'd like to drop in for an hour or two, we'd sure appreciate it. Every little bit helps!

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Scanning Questions:

  • I don't have a scanner, can I take a photograph of my Bible pages?

    Yes, many modern cell phones can take amazingly clear photographs. Please review our Guidelines for Capturing Images from a Family Bible.

  • How will I know if my images are "good enough?"

    The GFO will have volunteers review the quality of the images that you submit. If there is a problem, we may contact you via phone or email.

  • Can you scan my Bible for me?

    If you're in the Portland metropolitan area, you can drop in any Sunday between 1:00 - 5:00 p.m. or you can email us to set up an appointment to arrange for one of our volunteers to scan the Bible for you. While you wait, you can explore the GFO Library and browse through some of our more than 60,000 holdings! When we're finished creating the scanned images, you can take your Bible back home with you. Thank you for contributing to our collection in this way!

  • At what resolution should I scan my Bible pages?

    Please use a minimum of 300 dpi resolution.

  • What file format should I use for scanning my Bible pages?

    TIFF, JPG, JPEG, PNG, or PDF can be used. JPEG/JPG file formats are preferred. Near the end of our process, a GFO volunteer may collect all your Bible information and make it available to researchers in a PDF format.

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Transcription Questions:

  • What software will I need for transcribing?

    A word processing program such as Microsoft Word or Google Docs would work nicely.

  • Do I need to have any special settings on my word processing software?

    Yes, if you volunteer as a typist/transcriber, it is important that you DISABLE your spelling and grammar-checking utilities. The transcription needs to be recorded exactly how it appears on the page - misspelled words, abbreviations, bad grammar, and all. Please refer to the Guidelines for Transcribing Bibles document for details.

  • What if I can't read the old handwriting?

    That’s not a problem. We’ll all be working in teams, and each team will need one or more people who can type. We’ll also be creating indexes from already typed material.

  • I found funeral cards and other items inserted in my Bible, should I transcribe those too?

    Yes, please add the transcriptions of these additional inserts in the Notes section toward the bottom of your Bible transcription. Please refer to the guidelines when you go to process inserts.

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Indexing Questions:

  • What information will be indexed?

    The GFO will provide a template-style spreadsheet for you to fill out, one record for each family Bible. Fields will include the title, file name, surnames, date range (earliest and latest year mentioned within), and locations (if any). A sample entry could appear as:

    • The Family Bible of John Robert Hawley and Elizabeth Ann Filmore
    • Hawley-Filmore
    • Hawley, Filmore, Johnson, Rivers, Reynolds
    • 1855-1944
    • South Dakota
  • What software will I need for indexing?

    Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets can be used to complete the indexing process.

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