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VOLUNTEER INFORMATION


Welcome to to the Alaska GenWeb Project. I'm Vikki Gray, your Alaska State Coordinator. All that means is that I handle the computer end of things and try to give you guidance when requested. This page is designed to give you an idea of what is required to adopt an Alaska Borough or Census Area. We need your help!

Uncle Sam
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Uncle Sam
What is the US GenWeb Project?
The USGenWeb Project consists of a group of volunteers working together to provide Internet websites for genealogical research in every county/borough/parish and every state of the United States. The Project is non-commercial and fully committed to free access for everyone. You can visit the US GenWeb Project at www.USGenWeb.Org for further information.
What is the Alaska GenWeb Project?
We are a section of the US GenWeb Project. We follow their guidelines but deal with Alaska only. The State Coordinator maintains a home page with a list of the Boroughs and Census Areas along with general information for historical and genealogical researchers in Alaska. The home page has a link to each adopted Borough/Census Area.
What is required to adopt a Borough/Census Area?
Nothing special! You should have an interest in history and genealogy and a willingness to learn more about your Borough/Census Area.
Do I need any special skills?
It is helpful to know a little about setting up a website, but not required. The State Coordinator can post your materials for you, but most volunteers like to learn a little about setting up a website. That's the fun part and its easy!
Do I need any special equipment?
You should have a computer and internet access.
Do I need any special computer programs?
There are several inexpensive web design programs available. Dreamweaver is the easiest and most intuitive web program that I have used. Some die-hards actually hand-code their pages, but who needs the brain damage? The other program you need is an "FTP" program. This is just a mini-program that sends your webpage from your computer to the server on the internet. I like to think of FTP as the postman. There are many free or shareware FTP programs available. I use WS-FTP. But as I mentioned, if you don't have the desire or budget you can just email me the data and I'll post it for you.
Are there any other costs involved?
No. You can host your Borough site for free on Rootsweb, Rootsquest, the AKGenWeb or other genealogy sites.
Can I advertise on my site?
No. The AKGenWeb is a non-commercial site. In some instances you could provide a link to another site that does advertise. For example if there is someone in Washington DC who will research military records in Washington DC for a fee - you could provide a link to that person's site.
Are there any rules I must follow?
Very few!
  • The site can't be commercial as discussed above.
  • A volunteer may only adopt a maximum of 4 Boroughs/Counties/Parishes per state.
  • Volunteers are asked to check-in on the first of the month for email roll-call. This is to ensure that things are going well for you and that your site hasn't gone dormant/abandoned. Plus we like to say howdy to each other.
  • We have an email list that you should be subscribed to for this purpose. We also keep each other updated, via this list, as we find new sources of information.
  • Your website is required to have a Query section. Most of us just create a link to the Rootsweb Query message boards which are automated. Then we don't have to deal with it. I have already done that for you on your "skeleton" page.
  • Your site must have an AK GenWeb logo and a US GenWeb logo with a link to these sites.
  • You should have some copyright information at the bottom of your pages.
  • When you take over a Borough from a previous Borough coordinator you should give him/her credit and thanks on the main page.
  • We try to give thanks to everyone who provides information. For example, if someone sends you a photo and you post it, you should add something like "courtesy of Jane Doe" next to the photo.
  • We can't post copyrighted information without permission. All information prior to 1923 is in the public domain and this is not necessary
So if I put lots of work into something (such as a cemetery transcription) - Who owns it?
You do. Plain and simple. You created it and its yours. If you leave the US GenWeb Project you can take your information down, or you can donate it to the Project.
Can I design my pages anyway I want?
Yes you can. I have created "skeleton" pages for each Borough/Census Area to make it easy for you. What you see on the current Borough Pages is the skeleton. It meets all the requirements and nothing more. Think of the skeleton as the framework for your new house. You can choose your colors, your Borough logo, your theme, your fonts, and how you want things organized. You decide on the material you put on the pages. You can add bells and whistles or keep your pages simple. Each Borough is different and you can treat them differently.
Can I adopt a Borough that someone else has?
Yes and no. We can only have one Borough site for each Borough. But all is not lost! Some Boroughs currently have Coordinators who are holding them until the right person raises their hand! Or perhaps you might want to become a "Co-Host" of the Borough and help out. This is a great way to get your tippy-toes wet without a big commitment. If you have a certain Borough in mind, ask your State Coordinator can check the status for you. For example, I currently host Anchorage, Kenai Peninsula and Sitka. But I would certainly be thrilled to bring the right person in. I can always go give a different Borough some TLC.
How much time does it take to handle a Borough?
Not alot. You will get an occasional email from someone with a question. You will need to check-in monthly. The real time is spent when you decide to transcribe some new information and post it. You should expect, when you first take over a Borough, to put in a little extra time, because you will be gathering new information such as where deeds are recorded, what is the history of the Borough, and what cemeteries are within the Borough. You will be doing a bit of googling for this info. But you decide how much time, not us.
What kinds of things should I try to post on the website?

Gosh there are lots of goodies. Historical information, biographies of interesting people, census-availability for your Borough, cemeteries - where are they and are there any burial lists. Build a bibliography of books that are useful for researching the area. Land records, vital records, old photos can be posted. Old Church membership lists are useful. Photograph tombstones in an old cemetery. Scan your old Alaska yearbooks and post them. Post the indexes out of local history books. If they don't have an index you can create one. Create a list of old-timers and pioneers for your section.

On my site I try to do one thing that is just fun. For example, if whaling was important to my Borough I might want to post a list of old whaling terms or whaling ship info. Skagway could use something fun on the Chilkoot trail or trivia about Glaciers, the North Slope wouldn't be complete without info about oil drilling and/or Will Rogers and Wiley Post. The Aleutians might want a trivia section about the Japanese takeover in WWII. Nome and gold mining go together, Fairbanks and riverboats, Denali and mtn climbing feats. Somebody needs to do something on sourdough. Each Borough is different - treat it so and have fun!. If you aren't having fun - your site will reflect it.

So how do I get started?
Drop the State Coordinator an email and the State Coordinator will get you started.
 
 
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