Open Data - Information for those wishing to donate existing transcriptions or images for us to transcribe

Do you have an existing transcription, a microfiche, film, or set of images which you can contribute to the work of Free UK Genealogy?

Sharing your transcriptions with us. 

We are delighted to help share your work, making it more widely used. If you have not yet started designing your database, please get in touch so we can let you know our transcribing conventions, which you may wish to adopt. You may have database rights in your work, so we are asking you to sign an agreement to assign the data to us. We only now accept transcriptions made by other projects where we may share your transcriptions as Open Data.

We are happy to accept data of interest to family historians from any part of the UK, including Crown Dependencies and Overseas Territories, consulates and shipping.  These can be records of birth, baptism (or similar entry to a faith community), marriage, death or burial, or census records.  We are happy to consider other types of record of interest, including wills, directories and passenger lists - but it may be some time before we are able to make these available on line.

Coherent partial transcriptions are welcomed.  Examples of a coherent partial transcription are all the marriages from 1780 to 1860, but no baptisms, burials, earlier or later records or the census record of only locality.  The transcriptions must be full - for example not just the names of husband and wife and date of the marriage, but all the information contained in the original register. Transcriptions must be 'type what you see' - so occupations must be spelled as they are in the original, for example. We do not accept isolated family trees or other non-coherent partial transcriptions (such as all the Smiths, or all the records that refer to agricultural labourers).  

Please let us know the terms you made the transcription under - and if possible contact details -  of any person or body who gave you permission to make the transcription.

Sharing your film, fiche, or other images with us

We are very grateful to those who are able to provide us with source materials to transcribe, either as gifts or loans.

If we need to digitise your images, we are happy to provide you with the digitised images.

While, ideally, we would like to be able to allow researchers to see these images on our website, we are happy to respect any request not to publish or share the images, and only use them for the purpose of transcribing.

We have a ‘wants lists’ for FreeBMD  – please see this page [link needed] to see if we need the images you have. We also lack the Birth, Marriage and Death Indices for 1993 onward. You can see here what we already have for FreeREG (forthcoming), and here for what we already have for FreeCEN (forthcoming).  We are also interested in images of other public documents of interest to genealogists.  If you do have something we may need, please get in touch

The photographer or person who scanned the document may have copyright in the images, although the law in this area is somewhat uncertain. The most recent advice is that copyright in photographs and scans of documents does not exist (see the section “Are digitised copies of older images protected by copyright?” in this Copyright Notice published by the UK Government). However, because of uncertainty about the legal position and its potential to change, retrospectively, in the future, we ask those donating film / fiche / photographs to provide us with a licence, or to assign any rights in the image to us.

Previous FAQ - for information

Enabling access as a volunteer photographer

If you have access to original documents, you may wish to become a volunteer photographer for Free UK Genealogy. FreeREG in particular needs people willing to visit local churches and record offices. As noted above, the most recent advice is that copyright in photographs and scans of documents does not exist (see the section “Are digitised copies of older images protected by copyright?” in this Copyright Notice published by the UK Government). However, because of uncertainty about the legal position, and its potential to change, retrospectively, in the future, we ask volunteer photographers to sign an agreement, assigning any copyright in the image to us.