ONTARIO-L ArchivesArchiver > ONTARIO > 2002-01 > 1010972841
From: Doug Porteous <>
Subject: Re: [Ont] Ontario BMD Database
Date: Sun, 13 Jan 2002 20:47:26 -0500
I ask myself (and sometimes other folks as well) every time I visit the
A few explanations that come to mind:
1. The data was lost ... [in which case, somebody's head should roll!].
Maybe the index films could be run through some kind of high-speed OCR
process - especially since the data to be scanned is in a machine-produced
format. (is this a flight of fancy? - I don't know).
2. Funding - the number of individual BMD index data elements is very low
and the time to actually write some kind of Web-based interface should be
also quite low, but somebody still has to "own"/maintain/support the system
and data, and there are storage costs... Perhaps the data is in some
database management system that is not easily accessible from conventional
(i.e. Web-based) environments such as Active Server Pages, Cold Fusion or
whatever. Additional terminals would also have to be provided at the
Archives for local lookup. In my experience as a 26-year IT person, there
are many large IT environments where changing a screen title and adding one
field are a 6-month project so this may be seen as a "very big project". In
addition, all funding requires some justification - what would be the
return (this is a rhetorical question)?
3. Bureaucracy - perhaps there's some kind of turf war going on that
prevents a rational, timely decision (sounds a bit like the post-1901
census debate). Or, more likely, bureaucratic inertia or apathy or...
4. No one's thought of it... (particularly if the perception is that no
revenue can be generated).
5. Everybody's too busy...
It may be that some combination of the above (or even none of the above)
factors is at work here. I must admit I'm a complete amateur when it comes
to things of an "archival" nature.
That's my 2 cents, and I'm probably way off track (not unusual for me <grin>).
P.S. I uncovered some kind of ambitious Ontario BMD transcription project
about a year ago but I haven't found the URL for it as yet (this would be a
terrific duplication of effort if the indexes exist).
At 07:31 PM 01/13/2002 -0500, you wrote:
>>As one of the Founders of "The Friends of The Archives of Ontario" - I can
>>inform you that this idea of indexing birth, marriage and death
>>registrations has certainly come up before.
>What is the history of this? I have been trying to understand why, in the
>case of the index, we are working from microfilm of a computer printout
>rather than from the database directly. Was the data lost?
>BILLINGTON (Cheshire, Tarvin <1847)
>BROWN (Lancashire, Haigh/Wigan <1840)
>COLBY (Ontario, New Brunswick <1860)
>COX (Essex, Hanningfield <1900)
>CREASOR (Ontario, Quebec, and East Yorkshire)
>DAVENPORT (Cheshire, Tarvin <1848)
>ENGLISH (Essex, Hanningfield <1900)
>PRINCE (Yorkshire, Leeds <1839)
>Family History Data available at
>To join Ancestry.com and access our 1.2 billion online genealogy records,
|Re: [Ont] Ontario BMD Database by Doug Porteous <>|