Wednesday, March 18, 2015

532. DAR Embraces Digital Revolution

A recent press release featured in Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter caught my eye:

                “The National Society Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) is pleased to announce a new added feature to its Genealogical Research System (GRS). This new Supporting Documents feature allows users to purchase documents that were submitted with previously verified DAR membership and supplemental applications. These documents may include family bible records, deeds, wills and other various materials used to prove lineage to a patriot of the American Revolution.”
                This development reinforced my long-held belief that the DAR is embracing the digital revolution way better than the corresponding Sons of the American Revolution. As a former Chapter Registrar for the SAR, I can tell you that as far as genealogical research is concerned, the SAR website and SAR digital services seems to be stuck somewhere in the 1980’s. Their digital budget is evidently close to zero, as they concentrate on getting into the museum business.
                There is next to nothing available as a digital resource on the SAR website, especially compared to the DAR site. The DAR seems to always have a host of willing volunteers to do resource development; the SAR not so much. The SAR volunteers tend to be the “dress up in the pretty uniforms and march around” crowd. Sitting down and keying and scanning seem to be way down the priority scale. The DAR works at mobilizing their members; the SAR really not so much.
                I was always disappointed in the failure of the SAR to utilize the new members I signed up, especially in light of the myriad tasks they could be doing. Many of my recruits were “one year and done” members, as little if any follow up efforts were made by the Society. Unfortunately, I felt they squandered way too many human resources.
                Genealogical researchers need data, the more the merrier. Today there are tremendous opportunities-both technical and human- to provide that data. Congrats to DAR for jumping into that with both feet. Too bad the SAR is missing the boat.

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