RadixIndex : Hungarian and Central European genealogy and local history databases
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RadixIndex is 10 years old - novelties and changes
Published: 02/10/2010 22:18

RadixIndex, the subscription-based website providing genealogists and local historians with Hungary-related databases was launched on February 1, 2010. Now, on the occasion of its tenth birth day I would like improve RadixIndex services by taking steps ahead, one at a time. First of the main elements in this process is the addition of 100,000 new records every week during the following 10 weeks - this way the record count should reach 2 million records by April. The other major change is the transformation of the free records policy. Instead of the former practice of the free availability status of newly added records the records containing the 70 most frequent surnames become available for anyone. Every day during the 70 day period of 10 February - 20 April one surname from the most frequent list is added to the freely available set. This new system is first applied to the RadixRef database, which is to be followed by other existing or coming databases.

10 years anniversary - thank you!
First of all, I would like to thank everyone using the RadixIndex website in their research and I'm especially grateful to people who subscribe to the paid databases of the site. Their support along with the site's occasional advertizers has secured RadixIndex's long life - in Internet terms.

10 years anniversary - the fiesta of 100,000 new records for 10 weeks
Leaving behind the 1 million records milestone I would like to make up for the lack of new additions the last couple of years. During these 10 weeks, most probably on Wednesdays or Thursdays, at least 100,000 new records are going to be added to the service. The bulk of the coming records will become part of the RadixRef set, however, there are some new databases in the plans, too.

The first round of the weekly record additions on the 10th of February adds 100,024 indexed records from 19 publications to the RadixRef collection. Amongst the processed titles one can find regiments histories from the time of World War 1, books about particular counties, a 1907 directory of Southern Hungary (the Banat) and the 1920 list of freemasons in Hungary.

Records with the most frequent surnames become free
The revised policy of free records access, I believe, serves RadixIndex users in several ways. One aspect is that the volume of freely available records becomes significantly bigger: opening the top 70 surnames (and their variations) means that in 10 weeks about 20% of all the records - with estimated number of 400,000 - will be free for all. Genealogists all know that researching ancestry with common surnames is a challenge - with the opening up of common surname records RadixIndex would like to provide a helping hand to family historians in the need. Thirdly, RadixIndex subscribers have been facing the ever returning glitch of running out of record retrieval quotas by launching queries of frequent surnames - let it be provisional, this new regime of free records might be a solution for that problem, too.

So, during these 70 days (10 weeks) every day one top surname and its variations (altogether up to about 500 surname versions) become free. The process is initially applied to RadixRef, which is followed by the rest of the databases. The list of the 70 surnames is available on our website, as well as the daily schedule of thei opening. It should be noted, that the digital copies, where applicable, remains reserved to RadixIndex subscribers.

From the RadixIndex lab: search interfaces, subscriptions
These coming weeks should bring updates to search interfaces and to the members' pages. This development is gradual, changes may come week by week - I hope these will be for the better. It does help if visitors of the site cast their comments or suggestions - feedback is much appreciated!

Beyond personal subscriptions the wish to offer corporate subscriptions have been in the plans for some time now. I do hope that one of the coming updates can report about the availability of institutional subscriptions.

Email newsletter binned - new news channels introduced
RadixIndex used to send updates in its email newsletter up to November 2002 - this was the last edition published. As the saying goes in Hungary, much water has run in the River Danube since then. Email spam became a concern to a level that Hungary's Parliament passed the act XLVIII in 2008 that required the collecting of postal addresses where email addresses are recorded.

This pathetic decree was then withdrawn, but, anyway, I decided that the email newsletter would not be the way to go. As a result, I deleted the list containing newsletter subscriber emails on February 9, 2010. Please accept my apologies if this prevents anyone from being updated about RadixIndex.

Instead of the newsletter in the email interested researches have new options. There is a newly introduced news page on the RadixIndex website, with its RSS feed accessible with RSS feed readers. Then, news are added to RadixIndex's Facebook page and tweets with short references to the RadixIndex Twitter account. Occasional updates will be published on the recently dormant RadixLog blog, too.

Maps project discontintued - maps available elsewhere
My efforts to digitize the 1:200,000 scale sheets of the so-called 3rd Military Topographic Survery of Austria-Hungary have become obsolete years ago, so, I decided to end this project. The same sheets I was about to scan - in fact, even more of them - were made available by Budapest's ELTE University, followed by the collection of the 1:75,000 series by the AtHu75 project. And add to these the digitized and publicly available part of the Arcanum map products already online - and even more coming. All these led me to abandon the RadixIndex map project and focus on non-duplicate data.

Still, if anyone as a subscriber feels that (s)he really needs a sheet section to be prepared by me, please, contact me at RadixIndex support to see if I can help.

Newish Radix websites and plans
Depending on the date of your last visit to RadixIndex, there might be sites that are new to you. Since 2003 RadixForum has been a message board to post surname or locality specific queries about researched or sought after families and places. Launched in 2007, going down to the town level, RadixHub's purpose is to become a directory of websites helpful in Hungarian genealogy and local history research. RadixHub incorporates versions of two important Hungarian gazetteers: the 1877 (Dvorzsák) one (with church affiliations) and the 1913 - the last one before the dissolution of Austria-Hungary. 2008's, still beta-phase RadixRobot might with time become a powerful Hungarian surname search engine querying parallel dozens of online databases - when using enter radixrobot as user name and robot1 as password.

This year brought Austria Hungary.info online and with it an early 1900s gazetteer of the non-Hungarian part of the Habsburg Empire. This site is a by-product of the preparations I'm making for a yet another site hopefully seeing its launch later this year.

And lastly, there is something that people knowing the Hungarian language might make some use of: hosted by RadixIndex, the Csaladtortenet email list is a listserve of a approx. 500 family history researchers mainly from Hungary. This great bunch of people helps each other with research problems, shares tips, methods, websites.

Happy researching!
I'm sure 2010 is going to be a year bringing much success to people digging their Hungarian roots. The amount of information available on the internet is growing at an amazing speed - and RadixIndex is happy to join this party!

With my best wishes, János Bogárdi from Pécs, Hungary.

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