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From: Beth Walsh <>
Subject: [IRISH-IN-CHICAGO] Obituary indexing project
Date: Mon, 21 Apr 2008 17:32:01 -0700 (PDT)


Hi all,

As some of you may already know, I have been indexing the newspapers at the library where I work. These are for the western suburbs of Chicago - the Suburban Life and The Doings. To date, I have indexed almost 6,000 obituaries and they are available on the library's website www.fordlibrary.org , though it is a bit difficult to find them since the website was redone.

Many, many of the people were originally from Chicago and the obits give quite a lot of information, including birthdates, places they worked etc. To date I have only indexed the years 2003 - 2007 and obviously, it is an ongoing project and a very large project especially for one person. The Doings actually goes back to the late 1800s, and Suburban Life and its many different incarnations goes back to 1913. Although the text of the obit is not online, at least one would have the citation to be able to find it on the microfilm, which is available at either Thomas Ford Memorial Library (Suburban Life) or the Hinsdale Library (The Doings).

Now, here is the dilemma. I have recently been told that I, along with some other co-workers are being laid off, effective June 1. That is a whole other story in and of itself!! Since I am the one and only person handling this indexing project (not to mention the local history and a bio of the library's namesake), it is a giant question mark as to what will become of this database. Word is that the Historical Society MAY be taking this over. However, no one has said anything to me about it and I would hope that they would at least see where I am with the indexing and any other questions such as 'how to do it!!' So, it remains an unanswered question.

As an employee, I am inclined to say, deal with it whatever way they want and leave it at that. But as a genealogist, I do not want to see this information just disappear and nothing be done with it, not to mention the time and effort I've put into this project.

So, two things - one, visit the database now before it disappears!!!!

Two - any ideas anyone???
I also have the indexes at home on my computer and saved on disk in Excel files. The ones that I have at home are even more comprehensive. I have included death notices and obituaries, birth notices, marriages, anniversaries, milestone birthdays, people in the armed forces and the In Memoriam and Cards of Thanks from all these papers. Unfortunately, there are still some gaps and I am working feverishly to get these indexes completed before my last day.

Any insight is welcomed !

Beth


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